Transcript of remarks by SCED on Kai Tak Cruise Terminal
Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, after a media tour of the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal today (June 5):
Reporter: You mentioned in your press release that the economic benefits from the terminal will be up to $2.6 billion a year, could you just put that into perspective how much are they now? Is it like double or 10 times as much? And the second comparison that will be really useful to have is how that compares to economic benefits generated by air tourism?
Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development: The simple answer to your first question is for this, the economic benefits haven't started here. So we really cannot give you a figure to compare, but that the forecast is done by the economists when this project was in a planning stage. I am not able to give you that comparison. As to the comparison with the airplanes and the airport economic benefits, I don't have the figures right now, but I think the two are totally different modes of operation. The cruise is really a recreational and tourism facility whereas the airport is for travelling, for transportation, as well as for tourism purposes. So I don't think you can compare the two of such. But I think this terminal will bring in as we have forecast the economic benefits. And, I think it's also very iconic here. Even if you are not travelling on the cruise, I think you will appreciate the facilities we have, and I think this also allows the citizens of Hong Kong to enjoy these great facilities. As you walk around in the rooftop garden, it's just spectacular. I think that would also bring in benefits that would not be able to quantify in an economic way.
Reporter: Because the terminal will probably not be used during the typhoon season or there would be fewer bookings, how important is that for you to fill up the space with conventions, banquets and that sort of things?
Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development: First of all, this terminal could be used for multi-purposes. I've brought you up to the rooftop to enjoy the facilities that we have - the garden that would be open to the public, hopefully in the third quarter, that's our plan. Secondly, this is a cruise terminal. Cruise will bring in benefits to Hong Kong, while we need some time, I think, the operator would need some time to have more cruises to come to Hong Kong. This place is opened up with a potential. There have never been complaints that we have too much space in Hong Kong, I should say. So when there is space, that really empowers and enables us to carry on a lot of activities in the meantime. Therefore, I think it's a very good thing that we now have more options to consider. People in Hong Kong are very creative. I'm sure they can think of good ways to use this in the most meaningful way. So, I'm not concerned about that, but I really look forward to the opportunity of fully utilising what great facilities that we have here. And I just want to say that the whole planning process has been completed and the construction process has been completed in a fairly short period of time. A lot of effort and planning has been put into the whole process. I'm very excited to see that today we can see the fruit of the labour of colleagues, of various members of the community. Now we have this great facility. And I think the whole of Hong Kong, the community, can really take advantage of this. I am looking forward to having all these construction works completed, particularly the commercial areas that will be opened up in the fourth quarter, the garden that would be opened for the public to enjoy. I think that adds so much to our community. Thank you.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Wednesday, June 5, 2013