Following is the speech by the Acting Postmaster General, Mr Allan Chiang, at the World Cup on Stamps Exhibition Opening Ceremony cum Hongkong Post's "In Commemoration of the Participation of the Chinese Team in the 2002 World Cup" Commemorative Stamps Issuing Ceremony (May 16):
Mr Fok, Dr. Chan, Mr Cheung, Mr Kwan, and our honorable guests,
Today's special stamps are issued in commemoration of the participation of the Chinese Team in the 2002 World Cup. I am sure that every of you, indeed every ethnic Chinese, must have been as elated as I am - proud of our national team, proud of its achievement of being qualified for the final weeks of the World Cup. Wish our team a success from the very start.
To commemorate this first breakthrough, Hongkong Post, the State Post Bureau and the Macau Post Office each issue a set of commemorative stamps today. Our stamps depict the shoving of a striker and the guarding of the goalkeeper, which truly reflects the exciting moments of the game.
Soccer is a team game. The whole team of players has to work hard for one single purpose - to be the winner in the competition. So is Hongkong Post. To attain a better place in this highly competitive commercial world, we have to be united as one, all out for the provision of quality service for our customers. Besides, connection with outside institutions has to be cultivated and we have to be well prepared for all sorts of cooperation.
Today's joint issue of this commemorative stamp is just the best example to show how ready Hongkong Post is in working with other institutions. Time was pressing. We learnt of the qualification of our national team for the final weeks just couple of months ago, but lots of details, such as stamp issue arrangement, design of the souvenir pack, stamp production work, so on and so forth, had to be worked out. Thanks to the joint efforts of our counterparts, these gracefully designed stamps are timely produced and ready for presentation today.
Apart from working with overseas postal organizations and our mainland counterpart, Hongkong Post also form partnership with institutions of other fields, just like the two co-organizers of today's exhibition - the Commercial Press (HK) Ltd. and the China Philatelic Association. HongKong Post's active involvement in the event gives us not only this opportunity to publicize the issue of today's stamps, but also a chance to go on with our effort in the promotion of philately. I do hope this set of special stamps gains not only the favour of the collectors, but also of the soccer fans. I hope they too will buy a set or two because of their love for the World Cup and the Chinese team.
Today, we are also honored to have Mr. Timothy Fok, a member of the International Olympic Committee and Dr. Chan Man-hung, Managing Director and Chief Editor of The Commercial Press (HK) Limited, to officiate for us.
Lastly, let me take this opportunity to extend our gratitude to the Commercial Press for inviting Hongkong Post to co-organise this event.
Thank you very much.
End/Thursday, May 16, 2002