Following is the opening remarks by the Chairman of the Hong Kong Maritime and Port Board and Secretary for Transport and Housing, Mr Frank Chan Fan, at the opening ceremony of Hong Kong Maritime Week 2019 today (November 18):
Distinguished guests, friends from the maritime community, ladies and gentlemen,
Good morning. First of all, let me extend my warmest welcome to you all for joining the Hong Kong Maritime Week 2019. I am delighted to see so many friends, old and new, from home and afar.
The Hong Kong Maritime Week 2019 could not have happened without your unfailing support. Amid the social unrest, your presence speaks for itself and means a lot to us and to Hong Kong.
2019 marks the fourth year of the Hong Kong Maritime Week, which has grown into a signature event for Hong Kong. Keeping up the momentum and aspiration, we bring together the global maritime community to Hong Kong where minds meet and transcend borders. After all, Hong Kong is a truly international maritime centre.
This year, over 40 events are staged by local and overseas partners. They range from international conferences, forums, to light-hearted activities such as visits, exhibitions and family fun days.
Let me highlight some key events that bear special significance. We are delighted that the International Chamber of Shipping has established its first Asian office in Hong Kong. Its launching ceremony will be held this Thursday. The Asian Logistics and Maritime Conference, our anchoring event which requires little introduction, will be held tomorrow. Apart from popular programmes and seminars organised by Lloyd's List and Mare Forum, there are several new events too. These include the Captain's Table to be held tomorrow, which is a global start-up competition organised for the first time in Hong Kong by the Young Shipping Professional Network, and certainly last but not least the Capital Link Hong Kong Forum to be held next door right after this opening ceremony.
"Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much." Helen Keller's statement about a century ago speaks equally well today. With a sluggish economic outlook and social unrest across the globe, strong headwinds are coming our way for the entire maritime community. It is all the more important that we band together to weather the storm. With the invaluable inputs and contributions of the Hong Kong Maritime and Port Board and trade members, the Government is taking proactive measures to further the maritime industry. These include introducing tax concession for ship leasing businesses, facilitating measures to attract overseas maritime principals to Hong Kong, funding injection for maritime manpower development and service expansion of the Hong Kong Shipping Register. We are determined and committed to supporting each and every member of our maritime community, local and global.
Our voyage will not stop just because the sea is rough. Instead, we build a greener and better ship to rise above the storm. On behalf of the Hong Kong Maritime and Port Board, I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation for your unswerving support. I wish you all an enjoyable and rewarding sharing and exchange during the Hong Kong Maritime Week 2019. Thank you.