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Speech by Postmaster General at "10th Anniversary of the
Post Office Trading Fund" (With photo)

    Following is the speech by Postmaster General, Mr Allan Chiang, at the "10th Anniversary of the Post Office Trading Fund" today (August 30):

     Chief Executive, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     Hongkong Post, established in 1841, enjoys a proud heritage and a long history of serving the community of Hong Kong.

     Ten years ago, we were given the mandate to operate as a Trading Fund. This institutional arrangement has provided us with a high degree of financial autonomy, enabling us to manage the postal business in a more commercial manner and to respond effectively to changing market demand and customer needs. In return we are expected to cover our costs from our income rather than voted funds, and achieve a reasonable rate of return.

     Looking back, we had a challenging and successful decade.

     Challenging because the economy has undergone turbulent times and the postal landscape has been marked by aggressive global competition, cream-skimming by market niche operators and increasing use of electronic communication.

     Successful because we have faced these challenges positively, turning threats into opportunities and capitalising on our strengths and core competencies.

     Among other things, we have aligned the contributions of our 7,000 odd staff by defining our corporate purpose clearly as "Linking People, Delivering Business". In Linking People, we strive to fulfil our social obligation to bring people together locally and around the world by delivering correspondence and merchandise promptly and reliably at uniform, affordable prices. In Delivering Business, we create added value to the economy of Hong Kong by providing business solutions to the different sectors and maintaining the viability of Hongkong Post through diversification into new business areas.

     We are able to do that because we have built, over the years, a strong culture which emphasises commitment, teamwork, open communication and care for colleagues as well as customers. We have also helped colleagues embrace a commercial approach in managing our business, which promotes productivity, innovation, anticipation, proactivity, development, excellence and value for money.

     Today as we celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the trading fund operation, allow me to take stock of our past results with a sense of pride and achievement.

     Financially, we are proud to say that we have paid back completely the $900 million loan made to us 10 years ago. On the Government's initial trading fund capital of $2.1 billion, we have so far contributed more than 100% return in the form of dividend, tax and loan interest.

     In terms of service improvement, our annual independent public perception surveys undertaken since 1999 tell us that over 94% of our customers rate our services as satisfactory or very satisfactory.  The same surveys indicate that, among major service organisations in Hong Kong, we have been consistently ranked in the top three.

     Leveraging our extensive retail and distribution network and our reputable brand, we provide a comprehensive and wide range of postal and related services. The number of new services we have introduced since 1995 exceeds 30, and this includes logistics, electronic services and payment collection.

     On the human resource front, it is gratifying to note from annual staff perception surveys that over 90% of staff in the recent two years say they enjoy high morale at work, despite the pressure of doing more with less.      

     I must take this opportunity to thank all Post Office staff, past and present, for a job well done. I also thank our Government bureau stakeholders, customers, suppliers and business partners for their support and contribution to our success.

     Looking ahead, we understand that the challenges for the postal service will be substantial, but the opportunities would be no less abundant. We strongly believe that paper-based communication is going to be alive and well despite the explosion of new communications technologies. Also, the extensive, fixed-cost networks of mail and retail facilities necessary to maintain a universal postal service could be managed as an unrivalled infrastructure asset rather than a social liability.  

     As postal operators, our job is to maximise the efficiency and effectiveness of existing mail processes, systems and networks; and to define and execute bold transformation strategies to compete and meet changing customer needs and market demand. With a dedicated and committed Hongkong Post team, we are confident that the postal service can continue its 164-year tradition of innovation and adaptation to remain a valued and relevant member of the community we serve.

     Thank you.

Ends/Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Issued at HKT 21:37


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