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SCED's speech at signing ceremony of Consumers International World Congress 2011 in Hong Kong (English only)

    Following is the speech by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Frederick Ma, at the signing ceremony of the Consumers International World Congress 2011 in Hong Kong cum prize presentation of the 8th Consumer Rights Reporting Awards today (June 27):

President Samuel Ochieng, Professor the Hon Anthony Cheung, distinguished guests and friends from the media,

    It is a great pleasure to join you today.  This is in fact a memorable occasion which we have been longing for for quite some time.  I also wish to extend a very warm welcome to President Ochieng of  Consumers International, whose presence signifies the close co-operation between the Hong Kong Consumer Council and Consumers International, particularly on the hosting of the Consumers International World Congress in 2011 in Hong Kong.

    I am very pleased that Consumers International has selected Hong Kong to host the next world congress.  I am thankful to Professor Cheung for his kind words on the part played by the Government in the process. But to be frank, the success has come largely as a result of the Consumer Councilˇ¦s many years of unrelenting efforts in promoting consumer protection, which is not only recognised by Hong Kong citizens but also highly regarded in the international community. It is the honour of Hong Kong to be given the opportunity to co-host this big event with Consumers International and I can assure all of you that the Hong Kong Government will provide full support for this prestigious event. I am confident that we will stage the best ever congress, bringing together many prominent consumer leaders and advocates from all over the world, and yielding fruitful results in promoting global consumer protection.

    I would also like to highlight Hong Kongˇ¦s unique role as an Asian World City and our proximity to the Mainland, which has placed us in the most advantageous location in attracting participation of consumer protection bodies from Asia and China.  I understand the Consumer Council has been working very closely with these bodies in recent years and I trust that the event will further cement the ties amongst the consumer bodies of Hong Kong, the Mainland and other economies.

    Building on the success of the world congress in Sydney last year, the world congress in Hong Kong will no doubt be another milestone in the history of Consumers International!  In todayˇ¦s ceremony, we will sign a Memorandum of Understanding to signify our commitment to organising a world class congress in 2011. 

    I am happy to know that this evening has also been dedicated to celebrate the outstanding achievements of our friends from the media, who have contributed markedly to the promotion of consumer protection.  The annual Consumer Rights Reporting Awards has encouraged press coverage of consumers rights issues, the reports of which definitely provide good guidance to every one of us here as we are all consumers. 

    The best means of helping consumers to protect themselves is to let them know their rights and how they should exercise their rights. Consumers are much empowered by the availability of information which makes a lot of difference when making purchasing decisions.  I am happy that the media has been playing this important role for many years through their reports, and the effect is that consumers in general are now more educated, know how to spend wisely and are better equipped to protect themselves from unfair or improper trade practices.  I am particularly delighted to see so many distinguished participants today.  I applaud your hard work and congratulate all the award winners.

    Ladies and gentlemen, I am glad to see all of you here today. I wish you all a very fruitful year ahead.  And let us wish the world congress in 2011 success! 

    Thank you very much.

Ends/Friday, June 27, 2008
Issued at HKT 18:35


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