Intercomms - Development
INTERCOMMS : The International Communications Project


Hong Kong welcomes Telecom World 2006, 4-8 December 2006 in Hong Kong, China

Mrs Marion Lai, Deputy Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology, outlines the effort that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government and the ITU are making to ensure the event is a success

Mrs Marion LAI CHAN Chi-kuen, JP Mrs Lai joined the Hong Kong Government as an Administrative Officer in 1982 after graduating from the University of Hong Kong. She was appointed Deputy Secretary of the Commerce, Industry and Technology Bureau in March 2003 and responsible for formulating and reviewing policies on broadcasting and telecommunications matters. Before taking up this post she was the Deputy Director, Food and Environmental Hygiene Department. Her other previous postings were with the Social Welfare Department, the Official Languages Agency and the Civil Service Bureau.

Q: What is the importance of Telecom World to Hong Kong?
A: ITU TELECOM WORLD, held every three years, is one of the most prominent global ICT events and the hosting of this world event will benefit Hong Kong’s hospitality and services industries economically. The event will also bring enormous intangible benefits, reinforcing Hong Kong’s image as Asia’s world city and as the world’s telecommunication, financial and business hub.

It also highlights Hong Kong’s strategic role as the gateway to the vast China market. The city enjoys immediate physical and cultural proximity to the mainland – there is nowhere better to seek the expertise, information and facilities needed to tap into the huge potential of the Chinese market.

Q: What is the PRC/HK Government doing to ease access to the event for attendees – such as visa prioritisation/support, local transport, etc.?
A: As the host city, we would make arrangements to facilitate the entry of event participants. We have developed special arrangements with the ITU to facilitate applications for those who need a visa. Nationals from around 170 countries / territories may visit Hong Kong visa-free for 7 to 180 days (please visit the following website at for the lists of visa-free and visa-required countries/territories). We will set up a welcome desk at the Hong Kong International Airport to provide information and assistance to event participants on arrival.

The AsiaWorld-Expo (AWE) – the venue for the Exhibition and Forum – is accessible by public transport, including railways, taxi, buses and crossboundary coaches. The railway line, Airport Express Line, provides the most direct and convenient link to and from AWE. The AWE Station is an in venue rail station a couple of minutes from the airport; and half an hour from the centre. Participants may also choose to drive to AWE. On top of the comprehensive transport services already in place, we are working on special transportation packages to enable participants to travel conveniently to AWE and around Hong Kong, and will announce such packages in due course.

Q: How are you adapting the AsiaWorld-Expo to the needs of a telecommunications audience and exhibitors?
A: AsiaWorld-Expo is Hong Kong’s newest and most advanced exhibition and event centre. It was newly opened in December 2005. As for telecommunication facilities, it features the latest ICT infrastructure developed and operated under a long-term partnership with Hong Kong’s largest communication provider.

Participants to ITU World Telecom 2006 will be able to enjoy an array of communications services, including:

Bullet point   Asia's largest indoor 100% coverage of wireless broadband Internet access that allows thousands of exhibitors and visitors to access broadband services simultaneously
Bullet point   Unlimited bandwidth to support real-time and high-quality multimedia shows and broadcasts simultaneously for all 10 exhibition halls
Bullet point   Cutting-edge IP telephony providing high-quality, highly efficient voice communications
Bullet point   Virtual LAN at gigabit bandwidth with over 3,000 Ethernet ports for connectivity anytime and anywhere in the centre, supported by a structured cabling system that provides a powerful and efficient infrastructure option
Bullet point   Dedicated and redundant onsite telecom exchanges to guarantee 100% availability of all services
Bullet point   Advanced video-conferencing services

In addition, custom-made solutions can be offered to individual exhibitors on request, from the installation of roof-top antennas to dedicated leased line, fibre optic cabling or satellite communications. There will also be dedicated telecommunication networks throughout the venue for the event.

Q: Beyond the day-to-day logistics, what are you doing to provide social events for attendees to meet and do business outside the exhibition hall (in such venues as the Forum and the Telecom Village) to make sure the event is ‘The Global Networking Platform’?
A: As the host city, HKSARG (Hong Kong Special Administrative Region) will organise a series of official social programmes for event participants. These include a welcome reception, media lunch, Ministers/VIP dinner, China reception and farewell reception. Details can be found in ITU’s official event calendar. In addition, we will also organise side programmes and spouse programmes for VIPs to visit and experience attractions in the cities. A Business Facilitation Programme (BFP) is

being organised by the HKCS (Hong Kong / China Secretariat) to foster overseas companies’ understanding of the Chinese ICT market. The BFP includes seminars, delegation visits and networking activities which aim to provide networking and knowledge exchange platforms for participants in the run-up to and during the conference. While Part II of the BFP was a China ICT Delegation Exchange with Canada (1-9 May 2006), Part III will take place during the event week. It will include delegations to China, visiting the ICT companies as well as the Research and Development Centres in Shenzhen, Shanghai and Beijing. These delegations are organised with the support of the Ministry of Information Industry of the Central Government and in collaboration with Chinese industry leaders.

Q: While it is often useful to have everything under one roof, what are you doing to support alternate meeting venues outside AsiaWorld Expo?
A: In addition to the meeting facilities at the AsiaWorld-Expo (AWE), there are a variety of meeting venues and facilities in Hong Kong. Participants looking for venues to host meetings and functions in Hong Kong can check out the information compiled by the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) The link can also be found at the ITU TELECOM WORLD 2006 Host City website,

As mentioned earlier, we are working with major transportation companies in Hong Kong to produce special packages to facilitate travelling to and from the AWE on the same day. More information will be announced in due course.

Q: What is the Hong Kong government doing to support the event by encouraging attendance of government agencies responsible for buying new Telecoms equipment both from China and elsewhere in the Asia Pacific?
A: The HKCS, established under the Commerce, Industry and Technology Bureau of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, to facilitate the staging of the event in Hong Kong, is responsible for conducting international promotional activities to promote participation.

Over the past 18 months, the HKCS has conducted extensive international promotion in support of the ITU, on the back of our major ICT events. These events include the 3GSM World Congress 2005 in Cannes, CeBIT 2005 in Hanover, SuperComm 2005 in Chicago, PT/Wireless & Networks Comm 2004 and 2005 in Beijing, International ICT Expo 2005 in Hong Kong, and 3GSM World Congress 2006 in Barcelona. Such efforts have yielded success as over 95% of the exhibition space of WORLD 2006 has now been sold. As from early 2006, our efforts will continue to concentrate on attracting overseas trade visitors. Chinese embassies and consulates overseas, as well as the Economic and Trade Offices of the HKSARG in overseas cities, have been assisting and we expect some 50,000 trade visitors will visit the exhibition.

Hong Kong has been fostering ties in ICT cooperation with 11 other countries (Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Korea and the United Kingdom). Co operation under the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) takes various forms such as mutual visits to understand each other’s practices, promoting joint research programmes and education exchanges, facilitating technology development efforts, exchanges of policy/regulatory information, and of course, inviting the MOU countries to send delegations to the major ICT-related events such as the ITU TELECOM WORLD 2006.

Q: How do you think the Hong Kong government’s participation in the event will help shape your telecoms strategy in the future?
A: With the convergence of technologies, the theme of ITU TELECOM WORLD 2006 will be “Living the Digital World” which covers three major areas of Digital Lifestyle, Digital Ecosystem (Economic System) and Digital Society. The broadened scope means development opportunities, not just for the telecommunication sector, but also for ICT-related industries.

The Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO), the government's adviser on information technology (IT) established under the Commerce, Industry and Technology Bureau (CITB) of the Hong Kong SAR (Special Administrative Region) government, has the mission to promote and enable the extensive adoption and use of IT in the government as well as the wider community, and to enable individuals, businesses and the government to interact easily and securely.

Together with the CITB and the Office of Telecommunications Authority, the OGCIO will organise the Hong Kong / China Pavilion, which is a platform for product and service promotion for the local ICT sector as well as knowledge and information exchange among participants. In the Pavilion, OGCIO will showcase its latest development of various e-Government initiatives. Its presence on the exhibition floor will also enable the government ICT specialists to obtain first-hand information on latest technological developments.

In addition, senior government officials of the HKSARG including the Financial Secretary, Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology, the Government Chief Information Officer, the Director-General of Telecommunications and the Commissioner of Innovation and Technology will be speaking at various sessions. The exchange of information as well as experience sharing with participants will provide a good reference for the government regarding the latest policy and regulatory issues.

Q: What do you believe will be the enduring legacy of the event for Hong Kong, both in terms of IT and its benefits to other areas of the economy?
The event will benefit the Hong Kong ICT industry as a whole. The exhibition, forum and other official or social programmes will provide various networking opportunities for participants to establish business contacts. Moreover, as part of the pre-event promotion, the BFP has already helped establish business contacts between overseas ICT companies and China mainland and Hong Kong ICT companies and industry associations. For instance, Part II of the BFP, namely, the China ICT Delegation Exchange with Canada, has received an encouraging response from the Canadian ICT companies, some of which have started talking to their target partners in China and Hong Kong. Arrangements are being made to facilitate more and closer business contacts. These contacts will be further developed even after the event.

As the event will be covered by international media, Hong Kong’s reputation as an event capital of Asia will be widespread. It is expected that the tourism and service industry as well as the conference and exhibition business of Hong Kong will continue to be benefited.

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