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Speech by PSCT at 7th Yahoo! Hong Kong Emotive Brand Awards

The following is a speech by the Permanent Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development (Communications and Technology), Mr Duncan Pescod, at the award presentation ceremony of the 7th Yahoo! Hong Kong Emotive Brand Awards on June 25, 2009:

Alfred [Tsoi], Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good afternoon.

I'm delighted to join you today at the 7th Yahoo! Hong Kong Emotive Brand Awards. First of all, I would like to express my warmest congratulations to all winners and nominees of the Awards on being chosen by local consumers and our Internet community as the most emotionally appealing brands across various industries. I would also like to congratulate Yahoo! Hong Kong on achieving its 10th Anniversary milestone this year.

Ten years ago, the Internet industry was still in its infancy. Today, Internet is the mainstream: increasingly harnessed by companies like those who are here today, to reach out to consumers. Hong Kong is at the forefront of this movement. Not only do we have one of the most sophisticated communications infrastructure in the world, we also have very affordable internet connection and mobile phone services. Our people are sophisticated users of all the internet has to offer. From modems to broadband and now Wi-Fi we embrace each advance. Talking of Wi-Fi, Hong Kong is once again at the cutting edge: we have seen rapid growth in the development of public Wi-Fi services. There are now more than 7,900 hotspots covering more than 4,700 locations, making us one of the world's leading cities in the field. As of now, the GovWiFi programme has been rolled out in some 350 government premises, providing around 1,500 Wi-Fi hotspots and there are more to come.

The development of Hong Kong's communications infrastructure and the strong social and cultural willingness to embrace every new opportunity also provide a good foundation for developing innovative applications in Hong Kong. The emergence of Web 2.0 has led to the evolution of online communities and new types of applications, such as social networking, blogging, wiki and discussion forums. The Government will explore the wider application of the existing technologies, especially in establishing channels to interact with the public.

In a service economy like Hong Kong, we need to be creative and innovative. We need to seek every opportunity to improve not only the way to deliver our services but also the way to reach out to customers. Let me once again congratulate and thank Yahoo! for launching the Emotive Brand Awards as a platform for promoting creativity and innovativeness through recognising companies who have excelled in serving their customers and by doing so, boost our economic development.

Before closing, I would like to share with you a quote from Carol Bartz, Yahoo!'s CEO, "We have to keep customers engaged and happy and coming. We have to give them wow experiences." I am glad all of you present here clearly have been able to keep your customers engaged and happy and coming, so I urge you to bask in your own little wow experience!

Thank you.

Friday, June 26, 2009