Following is the welcoming speech by Mr Allan Chiang, Postmaster General,Hongkong Post and President of HK 2004 Organising Committee at the Opening of the HONG KONG 2004 Stamp Expo held today (January 30) (English only):
Mr Tang, Honourable Financial Secretary, Mr (Surajit) Gongvatana, President of the Federation of Inter-Asian Philately, Mrs (Selina) Chow, Chairman of Hong Kong Tourism Board, Mr (William) Kwan, President of Hong Kong Philatelic Society, ladies and gentlemen,
Good Morning and Kung Hei Fat Choi !
Hongkong Post is proud to present to you HONG KONG 2004 Stamp Expo. Co-organised by the Hong Kong Philatelic Society, China Philatelic Association and Tsim Sha Tsui Philatelic Club, it is the 17th Asian International Stamp Exhibition under the patronage of the Federation of Inter-Asian Philately.
This is the fourth time that we have hosted an international stamp exhibition of this scale since 1994. We have moved from strength to strength and for good reasons. With 60,000 standing order accounts and an estimated number of philatelists exceeding 100,000 in a population of only 7 million, the popularity of stamp collecting as a pastime in Hong Kong is without question. I would even hazard the claim that here in Hong Kong we have the highest rate of philatelists per capita. Our stamps and philatelic products are widely recognised as hallmarks of innovation and quality design, as evidenced by our impressive track record of winning international and regional awards for stamp design and printing. We staged the first ever Philatelic Marketing Symposium at the Hong Kong 1997 Stamp Exhibition for marketing professionals and philatelic experts. This proved so successful that it has become a regular event at subsequent Asia International Stamp Exhibitions.
Hongkong Post has been in service for more than 162 years and our strategic role in the community can best be described by the statement, "Linking People, Delivering Business". The organisation of HONG KONG 2004 Stamp Expo is a good illustration. This international triennial mega event has attracted thousands of visitors from all over the world and more than 100 postal administrations, overseas agents, local stamp and coin dealers are participating. The venue is also an ideal arena for generating business through selling various stamp and coin products, sharing of marketing information, and promoting new products and services.
We have chosen "Tourism" as the theme of this Stamp Expo to complement Hong Kong's promotion of tourism. The postage stamp has often been referred to as "a roving tourism ambassador", because it gives people of all ages the chance to explore social, cultural, academic and artistic cultures from around the globe. We believe the variety of Hong Kong tourist attractions depicted through our commemorative stamp products and the colourful venue design will make this international philatelic event a showcase for people from all walks of life and of all ages. We are confident that the wide and varied range of programmes that we shall roll out during the five-day expo period will meet the diverse demands of our valued customers. These include the display of precious stamp exhibits in the Court of Honour, philatelic seminars for stamp collectors, stamp quizzes and games for our younger visitors, demonstrations by security printers and autograph sessions with your favourite stamp designers.
All these exciting and interesting activities would not have been successfully rolled out without the full dedication and hard work of a great number of people behind the scenes. My heartfelt thanks go to all officiating guests, organisers and sponsors for their unreserved effort, support and commitment.
I wish you all good health, happiness and prosperity in the Year of the Monkey. Thank you!
Ends/Friday, January 30, 2004