Following is the speech delivered by the Postmaster General, Mr Allan Chiang, this (October 14) morning at the "HONG KONG 2004 Stamp Expo Tourism Series No 2: Green Hong Kong" Stamp Sheetlet Issuing Ceremony:
The Honourable Mr [Howard] Young [representing the tourism constituency in the Legislative Council], distinguished guests and friends from the media,
Good morning and welcome to the issuing ceremony of "HONG KONG 2004 Stamp Expo Tourism Series No 2: Green Hong Kong" Stamp Sheetlet.
Logistics, financial services, trade and trade-related support services and tourism are the four pillars of the Hong Kong economy. We, Hongkong Post, have always been on the lookout for means to provide assistance and drive to these pivotal industries so as to help foster a speedy recovery of the local economy.
On the logistics front, we provide one-stop merchandise management and delivery services, giving our clients considerable leverage in terms of cost efficiency and competitiveness. Serving in an adjunct role in the thriving financial services industry, our postal remittance service will be upgraded by the end of the year to provide blanket coverage across the globe, which means the availability of the service is no longer restricted to Canada, Japan, the Philippines and Mainland China. In September, we rolled out PostalPlus for SME to give SMEs engaging in trade and trade-related support services, among others, an extra edge by reducing their costs on one hand, and enabling them to provide better services on the other. In order to promote tourism, we have issued stamps that feature various historical, ecological and geographical points of interest in Hong Kong to appeal to not only local but also overseas philatelists and infrequent collectors. In keeping with our unswerving commitment to the development of tourism, the HONG KONG 2004 Stamp Expo has chosen "Tourism" as its theme, and a series of six stamp sheetlets in connection with the Expo will be issued for fuller publicity.
The first sheetlet "Nightlife" was released on April 8, 2003, a time when tourism was hard hit by the SARS outbreak and ground almost to a complete halt. Today, the industry has regained its lustre and is poised to stage a strong comeback. It is so full of life and vigour, just like the azure blue sky, the lush greens and the flowing water depicted in the second sheetlet "Green Hong Kong". I am most excited to hear that the number of visitors has rebounded sharply and secured a five-percentage point improvement over last year. I sincerely hope that we can keep the momentum brisk and boisterous, so that by the time the Stamp Expo starts, we will be able to attract a sizeable audience and generate good business.
Tourism Series No 2: "Green Hong Kong" will be the last stamp sheetlet to be released as we count down to the Expo. May I take this opportunity to extend my sincere thanks to the Honourable Howard Young for taking the time out of his busy schedule to attend today's ceremony. Last quarter's figures suggest that tourism has managed to recover some of the lost ground. With the number of visitors increasing consistently, the industry is holding up remarkably well, in both publicity and complementary services alike. It is my, and in fact everyone's wish to see the industry keeping up the good work and making new strides in the future. I would also like to take this occasion to give the upcoming HONG KONG 2004 Stamp Expo the spotlight it deserves. The Expo is held once every three years and commands the attention of stamp collectors around the world. The Expo in 2004 promises to showcase the best scenery spots Hong Kong has to offer, as well as a riveting experience for everyone. "Stamp Expo, Tourism - all in HONG KONG 2004 Stamp Expo". Mark it on your calendar and get ready for lots of fun.
Ends/Tuesday, October 14, 2003