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Speech by SCED at Customer Service Excellence Award presentation ceremony (English only)

     Following is the speech by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mrs Rita Lau, at the 9th anniversary celebration of the Hong Kong Association for Customer Service Excellence and Customer Service Excellence Award Presentation Ceremony today (January 13):

Chairlady, Ladies and Gentlemen,

     I have great pleasure in attending the 9th anniversary celebration of the Hong Kong Association for Customer Service Excellence and the award presentations today.  With the Lunar New Year around the corner, I'd like to first wish you all a happy and prosperous Year of the Ox.

     Today's event aims to promote the importance of service quality.  Good customer service surely helps build enduring customer loyalty.  In an economy like that of Hong Kong, which relies heavily on the service sector, customer loyalty is an important element for sustainable development and success in business.  Thanks to the collective efforts of organisations such as the HKACE, customer service standards in Hong Kong have, over the years, been taken to new heights, in tandem with Hong Kong's further development as an international services centre.

     A strong culture of customer service has become widely accepted as one of the fundamental strengths that Hong Kong must continue to nurture and develop as we move forward.

     The HKACE has a membership of more than 30 companies and corporations in both the private and public sectors, each of which being providers of high quality service in their own fields.  Together, they employ about 200,000 staff, which made the association a good platform for disseminating best practices and experience sharing in the provision of customer service.

     The association has worked hard over the years.  Large-scale seminars, workshops and company visits are organised.  Guidebooks are published.  The association has earned well-deserved recognition for its record in promoting the pursuit of excellence in customer service, to the benefit of Hong Kong's reputation as a customer-friendly service centre.

     As a highlight of the event today, we will present awards to winners of the "Customer Service Excellence Award for SMEs" in 2008.  As a sponsor of this programme, we are pleased to learn that the contest has attracted a record number of entries.  I congratulate all the winners for the excellent job that they have done for their companies and for Hong Kong.  They should be justifiably proud of the fine examples they have set for others.

     Looking ahead, I am glad to note that the association will, in the year 2009, join hands with the Tourism Commission and the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups to launch a "Young Service Stars Programme".  This will no doubt contribute towards entrenching a culture of courtesy and service excellence amongst our younger generation.

     Lastly, the global financial turmoil has brought new challenges to the business environment.  But I have no doubt that Hong Kong people can give a good account of our "can do" spirit and fundamental strengths of Hong Kong, in facing up to the challenges.

     May I, once again, pay tribute to the association for its past accomplishments.  I wish the association another fruitful and successful year in 2009.  

     Thank you.

Ends/Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Issued at HKT 14:35


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