Speech by SCED at 26th anniversary dinner for Hong Kong Exhibition & Convention Industry Association (English Only)
Following is the speech by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, at the 26th anniversary dinner for the Hong Kong Exhibition & Convention Industry Association (HKECIA) today (June 8):
Stuart (Chairman of the HKECIA, Mr Stuart Bailey), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to join you all here tonight to celebrate the 26th anniversary of the Hong Kong Exhibition & Convention Industry Association. First of all, my warmest congratulations to the newly elected members for the 2016-2018 HKECIA Executive Committee. I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to Stuart for continuing to lead the HKECIA ably with great passion and enthusiasm.
Hong Kong has, for many years, been known as a global trendsetter in business and leisure. People from all around the world come to Hong Kong for the latest fashion, the latest products and the latest trends. We have made our reputation bringing together people, products, services, ideas and opportunities from all around the world in a compact, dynamic and business-friendly environment.
Hong Kong is able to assume and sustain the role of a global trendsetter thanks in large part to our vibrant MICE (meetings, incentive travels, conventions and exhibitions) industry. Over the years, we have hosted a good number of world-renowned conferences, attracting key opinion leaders and trendsetters from all parts of the world to Hong Kong. And the staging of many academic, medical, business and technology conventions every year further put us on the forefront of the latest developments of these sectors.
This trendsetting mindset is one reason why Hong Kong has, for the fifth consecutive year, been selected as the "Best City for Business Events" by readers of CEI Asia Pacific magazine in 2016. We are also much delighted to regain the title of the world's most competitive economy according to the International Institute for Management Development World Competitiveness Yearbook 2016.
Looking ahead, China's Belt and Road Initiative, the subject of the Global Exhibitions Day Conference held earlier this afternoon, will become the global trend that you do not want to miss. The Initiative is a visionary national strategy to take global and regional co-development to a new height. Hong Kong, with our strong institutional advantages and decades of experience in international business and trade, is a reliable partner for businesses from the Belt and Road region, and for those who are looking for a springboard to reach out to other Belt and Road economies.
Our business conventions and exhibitions, some of which are the largest of their kind in Asia or in the world, are premier platforms for trade facilitation and business matching in the Belt and Road region. Building on our existing strengths and seizing this opportunity, I am sure that our MICE industry will find new momentum for further expansion and growth.
Ladies and gentlemen, our MICE industry has gone a long way in the past two decades. In the face of increasing competition from our neighbouring cities, we must stay ahead of the game. We need to work together to enhance our long-standing competitive edge and explore new and trendsetting elements to boost Hong Kong's advantages. On this, I will count on the continual support from the HKECIA. With concerted efforts, I have full confidence that our MICE industry will scale new heights in the years to come.
I wish you all an enjoyable evening and the HKECIA every success.
Ends/Wednesday, June 8, 2016