Tsang Tak-sing, Secretary for Home Affairs, delivered his speech last night at the cocktail reception celebrating the 20th Hong Kong Book Fair, saying the Government will establish further co-operation with the HKTDC Hong Kong Book Fair, allowing the event to increase its involvement with the community and enhance the cultural sentiment in Hong Kong.
The 20th Hong Kong Book Fair cocktail reception was held last night (25th July) and Mr Tsang was an officiating guest. During his speech, he said, “the scale of the Hong Kong Book Fair is expanding each year. It has already been the most prominent event for books and magazine publications in the Asia-Pacific region. Exhibitors from all over the world actively participate in it, reinforcing Hong Kong’s leading position in the publishing and distribution industry within the region.”
”The Hong Kong Book Fair is already a quality brand of our city; it mingles culture with commercial elements. While it explores business opportunities, it also creates ample room for cultural innovations, enriching the social and cultural lives of Hong Kong people,” he said.
Regarding the future development of the Hong Kong Book Fair, Mr Tsang indicated that he has already exchanged views on the issue with Fred Lam, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), and had agreed to make the Hong Kong Book Fair a ‘must-attend’ event in Hong Kong’s cultural life each year.
He said that public libraries under the Leisure and Cultural Services Department will organise activities to promote reading and encourage literature composition in the community in line with the organisation of the Hong Kong Book Fair.
Mr Tsang further added that public libraries were already organising programmes such as ‘Summer Reading Month’ and ‘Story Composition Contest for Students’ during the summer holidays. The Government also organises the Hong Kong Literature Festival, Hong Kong Biennial Awards for Literature and the Hong Kong Book Prize. He wished Hong Kong’s young people would develop better reading habits, and obtain more knowledge through books.
Mr Lam said that “830,000 visitors attended the Book Fair last year. This is not simply the public event with the biggest ‘buzz’ event every year, but also the most popular and vibrant book exhibition for Chinese literature.”
He said this year’s theme, “Diversity and Creativity,” enables the HKTDC to position the Book Fair as a platform for welcoming different cultures; while the faith in “creativity” promotes culture by encouraging a wide variety of reading.
Mr Lam said that the “Hong Kong Book Fair has gone through 20 years and is equipped with a solid foundation for attracting readers, authors and publishers from various regions to come to Hong Kong, paving the way for the Fair to become a cradle of cultural heritage, exchange and creativity.”