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Speech by PSCMA at 2010 Shanghai Expo ticket sales launch ceremony

     Following is the English translation of the speech by the Permanent Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Joshua Law, at the World Expo 2010 Shanghai China Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China Ticket Sales Launch Ceremony today (April 2):

Honoured guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     On behalf of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government, let me extend my warmest welcome to you, Director Chen and your colleagues. It is a great honour to have your presence here today, as you have travelled all the way from Shanghai to Hong Kong for this ceremony. I would also like to thank all our guests here for taking  precious time from your busy schedule to join us. Your support for the World Exposition to be held in Shanghai next year and for the HKSAR's participation in the event greatly encourages us. Thank you.

     The World Expo 2010 Shanghai China (Shanghai Expo) is of immense significance to our country, to Hong Kong and to Shanghai. The Shanghai Expo is another major international event to be held in China after the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. We in the HKSAR attach great importance to the event. Our participation in the Shanghai Expo will provide a valuable opportunity to showcase our characteristics and strengths, and promote our broader commercial interests to international audiences. It will also help enhance the image of the HKSAR and strengthen our economic ties with the Mainland. In the course of preparation for the various activities, we have maintained close contact and co-ordination with the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo at different levels and have given full play to the spirit of Shanghai-Hong Kong working together as a family.

     HKSAR's participation in the Shanghai Expo involves the following key elements:

     Firstly, we will construct a standalone Hong Kong Pavilion within the China Pavilion area under the theme "Hong Kong - a City with Unlimited Potential" to feature Hong Kong's unique characteristics and showcase our connectivity with the Mainland and the rest of the world.

     Secondly, we will participate in the Urban Best Practices Area (UBPA) Exhibition with the theme "Smart Card, Smart City, Smart Life" to demonstrate how we have improved the efficiency and quality of city life, and developed our city as a model of urban sustainable development through the extensive use of smart cards and modern technology.

     Thirdly, during the Expo period, we will organise an extensive array of promotional activities and cultural programmes to exhibit to our visitors our quality city life, our diverse culture and achievements of our creative industry.

     Fourthly, we will create a virtual pavilion on the Internet as part of the "Expo Shanghai Online" to promote and publicise both the HK Pavilion and UBPA Exhibition, and to provide an interactive platform for online visitors to have a virtual Expo experience, to help attract them to visit the Expo.

     The ceremony today marks a new chapter in the preparations for the Shanghai Expo. It also draws us a further step closer to the 2010 Shanghai Expo.

     In the coming year, we will organise a series of promotional activities to publicise the relevant information regarding the Expo, as well as to raise public awareness of and interest in Hong Kong's participation in the Shanghai Expo.

     We are only 394 days away from the grand opening of the Shanghai Expo and we are eagerly looking forward to the occasion. We sincerely hope that our guests here and the general public in Hong Kong will personally visit the 2010 Shanghai Expo, to view the exhibition at the Hong Kong Pavilion and to experience the achievements of the HKSAR.

     Thank you.

Ends/Thursday, April 2, 2009