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Speech by SFST at the Directors of the Year Awards 2006 Launch Reception (English only)(with photos)

    Following is a speech by the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Mr Frederick Ma, at the Directors of the Year Awards 2006 Launch Reception today (June 7):

Herbert, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     I am delighted to be here to kick off one of the most prominent corporate governance events in Hong Kong this year, the Directors of the Year Awards 2006, which not only gives recognition to outstanding directors, but also promotes good corporate governance practice.

     Good corporate governance is essential to maintaining Hong Kong's position as an international financial centre, and a premier capital formation centre for the Mainland.  One case in point is the prominent trend of more and more Mainland enterprises choosing Hong Kong as the place for listing.  They seek to list here not only for funding, but also for the quality mark of being a listed company in our market which is characterised by high corporate governance standard.

     To achieve good corporate governance at company level, we cannot act alone by relying on rules and regulations.  We are keenly aware of the need to have the strong support of relevant stakeholders.  Directors, in particular, are our most important partners who are in the best position to champion this when running their companies.  However, this is not always an easy task as one may have perceived, and it could require a change of the mindset of company staff or even corporate culture.  Directors' dedication is thus much needed.

     I am therefore particularly grateful for those outstanding directors in this respect.  I do encourage them to come out and participate in this year's awards, not only because their efforts should be recognised but, equally important, they can set good examples of excellence and integrity for our business community.  Their knowledge and practical experience will provide the most useful reference for practising good corporate governance in Hong Kong.

     Finally, may I also thank Herbert and his colleagues for their tremendous efforts in organising this year's awards which is their sixth since 2001.  This event will definitely go down into the history for Hong Kong's corporate governance.  I wish it every success.

     Thank you.

Ends/Wednesday, June 7, 2006
Issued at HKT 17:11


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