Top names under one roof
The highlight of activities organised to mark the 50th anniversary of public housing development in Hong Kong is the International Housing Conference 2004. The event will be held from February 2 to 4 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The conference, at which Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa will preside, will feature more than 40 speakers from 11 countries, including China, other Asian countries, Australia, New Zealand, Britain, Canada and the United States.
Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands, Michael Suen Ming-yeung, who is also chairman of the Housing Authority, will give the welcome address at the opening of the conference.
World Bank consultant Bertrand Renaud will deliver the keynote address on the first day of the event, on 'Permanence and change, housing policy after 50 years of Asian development'.
Leung Chin-man, Permanent Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands (Housing), will give the closing remarks on the last day of the conference, February 4.
According to the Housing Authority, the socio-economic changes that have taken place in recent years in many parts of the world, especially in the Asia-Pacific region, and the world economy's continuing globalisation, have brought about big changes in housing, posing unprecedented challenges to governments, the private sector and housing consumers.
While some countries may have already launched reforms to deal with the changes, many are still searching for new directions and looking to the reform experiences of counterparts elsewhere.
The conference will provide a forum for policy makers, academics and practitioners from different countries to exchange experiences and ideas, and discuss issues of common concern.
Also, it will be an opportunity to examine and analyse regional problems from an international perspective, identify the challenges ahead, and explore new dimensions and innovative solutions.
The conference theme is 'Housing in the 21st century: challenges and commitments'. Conference topics include transformations in housing policies, globalisation and housing development, and sustainable housing for healthy living.
Some 600 participants from the public and private sectors, professionals in the industry and academics are expected to attend the conference. Up for discussion will be the role of government and the market, institutional and legislative changes, governance in housing, subsidy approaches and changing housing needs, marketisation and management reforms, market trends and housing finance.
Speakers will also share insights on issues such as globalisation of finance and property markets, local markets under globalisation, globalisation and investment environment, and investment opportunities after China's accession to the World Trade Organisation.
Interested parties are welcome to attend the conference. They can register online at www.housingauthority.gov.hk/en/ihc.