17 Jan 2007
AsiaWorld-Expo celebrated its first anniversary with key business partners and customers tonight (17 January), with the Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology, Mr. Joseph W P Wong, as the Guest-of-Honour.
The company said it had already achieved strong business results with the future looking very promising for Hong Kong's largest and most modern exhibition and events venue. As a result, plans are under development to add another 30,000 square metres of rentable space for the unique venue.
Phase II development will involve adding ground-level, column-free exhibition halls along with additional meeting, conference and all required supporting facilities. Described as a natural and seamless extension of Phase I, the expansion, which was planned from day 1, could go-ahead quickly and cost-effectively with minimal impact on the operations of the existing venue.
With its strategic location offering easy domestic, cross-border and worldwide connections, AsiaWorld-Expo secured and hosted a number of spectacular international trade shows, conferences, and entertainment events in 2006, five of which occupied the entire 70,000 square metres of available space. Over 90% of these events were staged in Hong Kong for the first time and are signed up as annual fixtures for the coming years.
"It has always been AsiaWorld-Expo's objective to provide Hong Kong with a world class venue that is on par with the best in the region and the world. I am pleased to announce we have achieved this in our first year of operations," said Nicolas Borit, Chief Executive Officer of AsiaWorld-Expo Management Limited.
"AsiaWorld-Expo has had a strong start and we have to thank our customers for their vote of confidence in staging their events at this new venue. We are happy to see their belief in us has paid off with flying colours," he said.
Highlights for 2006 included the popular China Sourcing Fairs for gifts, electronics and accessories during the peak periods of April and October, which helped to solidify Hong Kong's position as a leading destination for these types of events. Others included leading jewellery fairs; specific sector trade fairs covering various industries such as furniture, auto parts, printing and packaging, security, power generation, arts and antiques.
The venue has 10 column-free, ground level exhibition halls allowing quick and easy access for exhibitors, event organisers and contractors. The venue's purpose-built entertainment arena, which can also double up as a conference facility, can accommodate up to 13,500 people making it Hong Kong's largest indoor seated venue. Apart from public shows and large-scale corporate conferences, concerts and entertainment galas were staged. Oasis, Coldplay, Jamie Cullum, The Black Eyed Peas and a number of leading local artists, just to name a few, all played live concerts to sell out audiences last year while Eric Clapton, John Legend, lL DIVO and Rain are the big attractions at AsiaWorld-Expo this month.
The successful hosting of the mega ITU TELECOM WORLD 2006 further confirmed the venue's ability to deliver world class events and meet even the most sophisticated production and logistical demands.
"Apart from the direct and indirect financial benefits this event has brought to AsiaWorld-Expo and the economy of Hong Kong, it has also received international acclaim from both the business sector and governments," the Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology, Mr. Joseph Wong said.
"It has significantly enhanced Hong Kong's status as an international centre for exhibitions and conventions," he added.
He said at the central level, relevant Government departments would step up their efforts to promote Hong Kong's advantages to host international exhibitions and conferences.
"We will also work closely with AsiaWorld-Expo, the Trade Development Council and the industry as a whole to attract more international events to Hong Kong. Where necessary, the Government will continue to assume a coordinating role in the areas of security, protocol, transportation, etc. to facilitate the organisation and running of international exhibitions and conventions."
"At the level of exhibition facilities, the Government is mindful of increasing competition from other cities in the region."
"We will ensure that we have sufficient and first class facilities where and when we need them."
"So we are liaising closely with AsiaWorld-Expo to take forward the early commencement of its Phase II project, increasing the total exhibition space to 100,000 square metres, subject of course to a viable business case being made," said Mr. Wong.
In addition to the ITU event, AsiaWorld-Expo has also secured another world leading event to be held at the venue. Asian Aerospace, the world's third largest aviation event, will be relocated from Singapore to AsiaWorld-Expo from this September onwards. It is a signature international trade show and features top industry players like Boeing and Airbus Industrie, and is projected to again bring significant economic benefits to various industries in the city.
AsiaWorld-Expo is a customer-focused organisation that strives to provide the best service to customers. Working closely with different service partners, it delivers excellent services to customers. AsiaWorld-Expo is also a pioneer in setting industry standards with well-defined rules that ensure all those who work and visit the venue are provided with a pleasant, safe and healthy environment.
The future is already looking very promising with the majority of the 2006 shows making bookings for this year and beyond, and the sign-up of an increasing number of new events.
The offering of AsiaWorld-Expo will be further enhanced with the different surrounding developments including SkyPlaza (retail, F&B and entertainment), SkyCity Nine Eagles Golf Course, SkyPier (building of a permanent cross-boundary ferry terminal to the Pearl River Delta), and the new 700-room Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott Hotel.
"We look forward to working with the government and the industry to take the exhibition and events industry to new heights," concluded Mr. Borit.