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Speech by SITB at the opening ceremony of the Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union - 38th General Assembly 2001 (English only)

October 31, 2001

Following is a speech by the Secretary for Information Technology and Broadcasting, Mrs Carrie Yau, today (October 31)

Mr Ebisawa, Mr Leonard, Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the Hong Kong SAR Government, let me extend our warm welcome to all of you attending the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) 38th General Assembly.

Hong Kong hosted the ABU General Assembly in 1996 and we are honoured to be able to welcome you back, although this time we need to work under a much more compressed schedule. But in true Hong Kong style - efficient, flexible and enterprising - we have managed, thanks to the hard work of our Director of Broadcasting and colleagues at the RTHK.

The mood of communities around the world has been reflective of recent events, which, in a way, have brought you all to Hong Kong, instead of Istanbul. Now more than ever, we are appreciative of and dependent on a healthy and vibrant broadcasting industry. It is such a powerful medium, bringing us, in real time, images and information of happenings at other corners of the world. Viewers can and do judge for themselves how they should react to events around us.

Of course broadcasting does much more than inform. We have been served well by the increasing choice in entertainment as well as new ways of learning. Here in Hong Kong, we work to ensure that viewers should have the widest possible programming choice to cater for the diversified tastes and interests of our community. Through our liberalisation policy, we encourage investment and innovation in our broadcasting industry. Our regime also ensures fair and effective competition in the provision of broadcasting services. We see the Government's role in providing the most facilitating environment for the broadcasting sector to flourish, and in doing so, to also promote Hong Kong as a regional broadcasting and communications hub.

But our effort must go beyond individual programmes at different localities. The ABU plays an instrumental role in providing a forum for broadcasters from the region to share knowledge and compare experience.

Programmes are shared, developments in technology and regulation are discussed and evaluated, mutual co-operation is increased.

I thank the President and Secretary General for bringing the General Assembly to Hong Kong. I am sure a lot of important and meaningful exchanges will be made at your meetings. I wish you a very successful and fruitful conference.

And thank you all for visiting our city. I hope you could find time to enjoy the many attractions of Hong Kong while you are here.