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Old Posted Jan 30, 2008, 3:36 PM
hkskyline's Avatar
hkskyline hkskyline is offline
Hong Kong
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 6,308
HONG KONG | Convention and Exhibition Centre Extension

Extension for shows center
10 September 2007
Hong Kong Standard

Source : http://www.hkcecema.com/


The Hong Kong government has given the green light to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre Phase III extension, a move analysts said would help the city better compete with the emerging threat from Macau.

Members of the inner circle of the administration, including Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen and Chief Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen, are supporting the development, a senior government source told The Standard.

They believe additional capacity from Phase III will help Hong Kong stay competitive as a leading convention city in Asia, the source said. "There is an urgency to speed up the expansion of the HKCEC," Jeffrey Lam, chairman of the Trade Development Council's Toys Industry Advisory Committee, told The Standard.

Lam said there is often a long waiting list of exhibitors who were unable to book space at HKCEC trade fairs. "Obviously, Macau would like to take away business from us," Lam said. "Nevertheless, we still have our competitive edge in terms of software.

"What we lack is hardware - the exhibition space." The Phase III Benjamin Scent and Bonnie Chenextension will expand the floor space to beyond 100,000 square feet, a member of the 19-person governing body of the TDC said.

The newly-enlarged HKCEC facilities have an exhibition area comparable to the Venetian Macao, which has about 111,500 square meters of meeting, convention and exhibition space. "The Venetian attracts, first of all, because of the huge space that is available, and the other [reason is] entertainment," said Credit Suisse analyst Gabriel Chan. "In Hong Kong, the space is almost always full."

Phase III will be developed on land now occupied by the bus terminus and sports grounds near Great Eagle Centre, the government source said.

Although the existing sports facilities will be demolished, the TDC plans to build new sports facilities on top of the HKCEC Phase III structure to serve the public interest.

In tandem with the expansion, the government will rebrand HKCEC as an all-around complex offering exhibition, performance, and sports facilities, the source said.

"The Venetian attracts, first of all, because of the huge space that is available, and the other [reason is] entertainment," said Credit Suisse analyst Gabriel Chan. "In Hong Kong, the space is almost always full."

Phase III will be developed on land now occupied by the bus terminus and sports grounds near Great Eagle Centre, according to the government source. Although the existing sports facilities will be demolished, the TDC plans to build new sports facilities on top of the HKCEC Phase III structure.

In tandem with the expansion, the government will rebrand HKCEC as an all-around complex offering exhibition, performance, and sports facilities, the source said.

"There's not that much convention business in Hong Kong right now," said Morgan Stanley analyst Rob Hart. "Macau is better situated to focus on the convention business, and there's plenty of other convention business around in the Pearl River Delta region."

The Phase III extension follows the Atrium Link extension, now under way and expected to be completed in 2009.

The Atrium Link extension, which links the Phase I and Phase II wings of the convention center, will add 19,400 sq m of exhibition space, an increase of 42 percent, for a total exhibition area of 66,000 sq m.

At the moment, the HKCEC offers 49,000 sq m of exhibition space spread between the Phase I and Phase II wings. Plans call for construction to begin on the Phase III project in 2009. Work is expected to be completed by 2015.
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