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Hong Kong Trade Development Council at the MarComAsia Conference 2000

Welcoming Remarks by Mr. Frederick Lam, Deputy Executive Director, Hong Kong Trade Development Council at the MarComAsia Conference 2000

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

It is my great pleasure to welcome you to this conference for professionals in advertising, marketing and communication in Asia. I'd like to extend a particular welcome to visitors from outside the region who are interested in developing their business in this dynamic part of the world.

With its combination of free information flows and a world-class infrastructure, Hong Kong is Asia's hub for the communication industry. Marketing and communication are natural extensions of Hong Kong's pivotal role in world trade. We don't just bring buyer and seller together. Through marketing and other services we add value every step of the way.

As Asia's economies recover, advertising and related businesses in the region are resuming their journey of growth. Hong Kong-based companies are gearing up, in particular, for a new era of opportunity in the Chinese mainland once China enters the World Trade Organisation, which is likely in the near future.

We anticipate rapidly rising demand for "marcom" services that will enable companies to differentiate themselves from competitors. For there will be fierce competition to win over mainland consumers. Marketing, branding and advertising campaigns will be essential not just for overseas entrants to the mainland but for indigenous enterprises already adjusting to market forces.

The Internet, too, is creating enormous opportunities for advertising, marketing and communication in this region. You only have to look at the full-page, full-colour advertisements appearing daily in Hong Kong's newspapers to appreciate how big the opportunity is and how swiftly e-commerce is gaining ground in Asia's leading economies.

In such a fast-changing scene, this annual conference provides a platform for industry practitioners to network, exchange information, share experiences and gather intelligence.

This year we cover four main areas: advertising, marketing, the Internet and the Chinese mainland market. Our speakers, all industry experts from leading international advertising and marketing firms, will present key insights on building brands and increasing market share -- whether in the Chinese mainland or cyberspace.

I would like to express our gratitude to Media and Marketing magazine for co-organizing this event with the Trade Development Council and also to our sponsoring associations for their support and advice. I hope the next two days will be rewarding for you all and that this conference will prove to be a catalyst for your further business growth.

Thank you.

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