Following is the speech by the Postmaster General, Mr Allan Chiang, at the "Year of the Monkey" Special Stamps Issuing Ceremony this morning (January 4):
Mr Ip, distinguished guests and friends from the media,
Good Morning and welcome to the issuing ceremony of "Year of the Monkey" Special Stamps. Today we are honored to have Mr Stephen Ip, the Secretary for Economic Development and Labour as our officiating guest. Thank you Mr Ip.
Barely recovered from the electrifying atmosphere of a series of New Year's Eve countdown events three days ago, we are already anticipating the Chinese Lunar New Year, which is only 18 days away, as the excitement slowly builds. As usual, Hongkong Post greets this special occasion with a new stamp sheetlet on Lunar New Year Animals, this time featuring "Ram/Monkey", a continuation of the series that so far includes "Horse/Ram", "Snake/Horse" and "Dragon/Snake" Stamp Sheetlets. On top of that, we are pleased to present today a 4-piece set of "Year of the Monkey" Special Stamps.
Monkeys are energetic and versatile. The mesmerizing performance of the maestros, who dressed up as a father-son monkey duo, and the sleight-of-hand mask changing show we just saw have captured the very essence of these qualities. Personally, I have a soft spot for monkeys as well, probably because they demonstrate great flexibility, much like Hongkong Post.
Since Hongkong Post began operating as a trading fund department, maintaining financial stability has become one of the top priorities. To this end, we have stepped up cost control and developed new income sources. Nevertheless, our vision to serve the community the best we can, which is also the cornerstone of 160-year of postal service has never blurred by these mundane matters. Take a look at our corporate logo behind me. The familiar hummingbird figure is now accompanied with a dotted line featuring dots in increasing sizes and beneath it printed in bilingual a message that we have adopted since last October as our Corporate Statement of Purpose: "Linking People, Delivering Business". I hope by incorporating a simple message, the new design can further clarify the roles and purposes of Hongkong Post.
We deal with mails day in and day out. But as every letter placed into the mail is imbued with thoughts and feelings, our role as the messenger demands complete dedication and extreme caution. Fully aware of the weight of social responsibility, our staff will go to places as remote as Sha Tau Kok and perform duty under circumstances as risky as at the peak of the SARS outbreak. Thus, "Linking People" is as much a mission as a belief. What about "Delivering Business"? It may not be as self-explanatory as "Linking People", so let me explain.
"Delivering Business" means leveraging our delivery prowess to create business opportunities for both customers and ourselves.
We all know that finance, industrial and trade-related support services, logistics and tourism are the lifelines of local economy. Therefore, we have been aligning our services and capabilities with the needs of these pillar industries throughout the years.
For the finance industry, we are going to substantially upgrade our postal remittance service within the year to provide blanket coverage across the globe, which means the availability of this service is no longer restricted to a handful of regions and countries.
Moving on to industrial and trade-related support services that we provide. We are glad to see that our direct mail service has been embraced by companies as a cost-effective promotion channel. Besides, our E-Cert initiative has contributed to the growth of e-commerce in Hong Kong. Just two days ago, we teamed up with Global e-Trading Services Ltd to provide supporting services related to electronic trade declarations, a convenience that modern traders cannot do without.
Logistics industry is widely regarded as the new power drive of local economy. Seeing that coming, Hongkong Post has moved out of traditional business modes and ventured into the burgeoning industry by exploring one-stop fulfilment service. As we usher in the New Year, we have entered into an agreement with China Post to provide Mainland/Hong Kong Gift Fulfilment Service. Starting from 6 January, Hong Kong people and companies can make use of this service to send gifts to their relatives, friends or business partners in Mainland.
By issuing stamps of various themes and designs that incorporated the best of East and West, we have been active in promoting Hong Kong as an interesting and attractive tourist spot. Our exquisite products, like the uncomplicated but oriental monkey stamps that we issued today, are sought after by people all over the world; as a result, help realize their roles as ambassadors of Hong Kong in their special formats.
We have also designated tourism as the theme of Hong Kong 2004 Stamp Expo, which is scheduled for later this month. We, of course, believe in the magic and chemistry of combining Stamp Expo with the theme of traveling, but it is also our intention to help the Government in promoting the tourism industry.
I hope that the number of exhibitors participated in this year's Expo will well-exceed our last outing, and the Expo will turn out to be a fun and colorful festive event for local citizens and tourists alike.
Happy New Year!
Ends/Sunday, January 4, 2004