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SEDL's speech at Launch Ceremony of Consumer
Council's "Good Corporate Citizen's Guide"


Following is the speech (English only) by the Secretary for Economic Development and Labour, Mr Stephen Ip, at the Launch Ceremony of the Consumer Council's

"Good Corporate Citizen's Guide" today (March 15):

Andrew, Larry, Dr Lo, Pamela, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

It is my pleasure to join you all here today in launching the Consumer Council's "Good Corporate Citizen's Guide". The Guide provides a valuable and handy reference to our traders on good business practices, ranging from advertising, pricing to handling of complaints. Larry will tell us more about the Guide later on.

Good business practices are particularly important to Hong Kong for we are widely known as a "shoppers' paradise". In addition to a local clientele of about seven million, many of our visitors like to do shopping in Hong Kong. Last year, we received nearly 22 million visitors. Apart from the ample choice of products we offer, the degree of protection we provide to consumers helps build our reputation as a "shoppers' paradise".  

Hong Kong safeguards consumer protection through ensuring product safety and fair transaction. This requires the concerted efforts of consumers, the business sector, the Consumer Council and the Government.

There are two words that consumers must remember: - "aware" and "beware".  Consumers should acquire necessary information so that they can tell what is best for themselves. They are always advised to compare prices and ask questions so that they can make informed choices.

On the part of the trade, it is important for business operators to adopt good business practices and have a sense of responsibility to their clients. Indeed, good business practices, such as those outlined in the "Good Corporate Citizens' Guide", will enhance consumer confidence which would in turn generate more business.

To raise consumers' awareness and promote the spirit of corporate citizenship, the Consumer Council plays an important role. Over the years, the Council has done a lot to promote the interests of consumers through consumer education, product testing and market studies. Its very popular "Choice" magazine is now a household favourite. As for business operators, the Council has been organising talks and seminars for different trades, and the launching of the Guide today is another milestone in this direction.

I am glad to see the positive response to the Guide from the various chambers of commerce, trade associations and professional bodies. Their support will enhance the quality of their products and services. This is crucial to upholding Hong Kong's reputation as Asia's World City and a "shoppers' paradise".

I look forward to your continued support and efforts in consumer protection, and I hope that there will be speedy and extensive sign-ons to the "Good Corporate Citizen's Guide".

Thank you.

Ends/Tuesday, March 15, 2005


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