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Dr Lui Che-woo, Chairman of K. Wah Group is honoured with Grand Bauhinia Medal by the HKSAR Government

(Hong Kong, 30 June 2012) The HKSAR Government today announced that Dr Lui Che-woo, Chairman of K. Wah Group (“the Group”), is awarded the Grand Bauhinia Medal (GBM), in recognition of his long and distinguished community and charity service. Dr Lui has dedicated himself to philanthropic affairs in Hong Kong and has made significant donations in the areas of medical care, arts and culture, disaster relief and other charitable causes. He is supportive of education, and has contributed extensively to the enhancement of tertiary education in hotel management.

Dr Lui Che-woo, Chairman of K. Wah Group, heartened by the accolade from the Government, said, “This year marks the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR; hence, I am grateful for and honoured to gain recognition from the Government at this time. Looking back over the past five decades, I am pleased to have had the opportunity to participate in the development of Hong Kong and to grow along with the Territory. All of the people of Hong Kong have also helped turn this city into a prosperous and stable society, having experienced the economic ups and downs together. While upholding the passion and perseverance of Hong Kong people, we have sought to continuously achieve progress and reach new heights even during the worst of times. I have to say that I have spent the most wonderful and unforgettable days of my life in Hong Kong, and am proud to have contributed to its prosperity and stability.”

Dr Lui rose from poverty to become a successful entrepreneur. He established the first K. Wah company in 1955 and participated in various large-scale land reclamation projects at Kwun Tong district (covering Sau Mau Ping, Lok Fu, Lam Tin and Yau Tong), leading to the regions development into a light industrial hub. Dr Lui won the exploitation rights for the Anderson Road Quarry in the 1960s. He then applied machinery in the labour intensive quarrying industry and opened a new era of highly effective, safe and mechanised operation. Though faced with extremely difficult conditions at the time, Dr Lui made great contributions to the economic development and rise of a post-war Hong Kong. He also led K. Wah Construction Materials to grow into a large scale one-stop construction material supplier in Hong Kong.

A pioneer in the hotel and tourism industry, Dr Lui’s contributions to raising the local industry’ status, by enhancing service quality and nurturing talents, has been enormous. As early as the 1970s, he realized there was a pressing need to bring world-class quality hotels to the city to parallel local economic development. As a leader in the industry, he sought cooperation with Holiday Inn through franchising, subsequently adopting modern management systems gained from the international hotel chain and introducing them into his first five-star hotel in Tsimshatsui East – the present InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong. Moreover, Dr Lui introduced the Hotel Star Rating System – an international practice – into Hong Kong, thus spurring local hotels to be on par with international standards. He founded and has been chairing the Federation of Hong Kong Hotel Owners. Under his chairmanship, he contributed significantly through offering proposals relating to the sustainable development of Hong Kong’s hotel and tourism industry to the Government. Among Dr Lui’s efforts, they have included advocating the concept of MICEE – the last "E" standing for Entertainment. This is an extension of original MICE acronym, which stands for Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions, encompassing entertainment, culture, hotel, catering, transportation and retail industries. The aforesaid proposal along with many others has proved invaluable to the long-term development of Hong Kong.

Dr Lui commits whole-heartedly to nurturing management professional for the local hotel and tourism industry. He strongly advocated and contributed to the establishment of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management at The Chinese University of Hong Kong along with the planning and construction of a teaching hotel by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. His efforts have subsequently led to increased international recognition of Hong Kong’s tertiary education, with respect to hospitality and tourism. Through Dr Lui’s generous support, the two universities have enjoyed benefits ranging from the construction of academic buildings and establishment of scholarships to research and development programmes subsidy and facilities improvement. He has also encouraged the School of Hotel and Tourism Management of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University to keep abreast of technological and social development by opening creative modules such as hotel branding management and China hotel brand development. Today, the faculty is ranked second in the world, training countless talents that have gone on to contribute to the local industry.

Dr Lui is also highly concerned about information technology development. Since Hong Kong’s early steps into the technology age, he established and chaired the China Association (H.K.) for Science and Society Limited, with the prime objective to serve as a platform for Hong Kong, China and international information technology communication and cooperation, thus facilitating economic and social development of Hong Kong and China.

While Dr Lui continues to develop his business, he has never forgotten to give back to the society, whether in Hong Kong or Mainland China. Over the past decades, he has embraced the principle of “What comes from the community is to be used for the community”, which he coined, and can be defined as serving the community by building a stable and prosperous society. He firmly believes that education is the key to building a strong nation, which explains why he is concerned about education in all its levels. For years, he has made generous donations to advancing education in Hong Kong and Mainland China, including supporting the Ministry of Education of the PRC to establish and renovate 122 primary and secondary schools; building the Lui Che Woo Law Library at The University of Hong Kong; opening various facilities at Fudan University, China Europe International Business School and University of Macau; and implementing initiatives aiming at enhancing campus facilities.

Dr Lui concluded, “Today, K. Wah Group has extended its business to major cities in Mainland China and overseas, yet Hong Kong remains our home – an important foundation for supporting our further growth. We therefore have utmost confidence in Hong Kong’s future. Moving forward, we will continue to make every effort towards fulfilling our commitment to society and to building a better tomorrow for the citizens of Hong Kong.”