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Transcript of remarks by SCED at media session

Following is a transcript of remarks (English portion) by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, to the media after attending a radio programme today (February 18):

Reporter: Mr So, how can the government actually better monitor telecommunications companies in providing services to their customers?

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development: As I have just indicated, the purpose of the guidelines (Fair Usage Policy Guidelines) ensures that there is a high level of transparency. Consumers would be able to make an informed decision about what subscription and what plan that they intend to purchase, and they would know very clearly the terms and conditions of those plans. That is the purpose of the guidelines.

We notice from February 16 onwards, all these plans now comply with the guidelines. Therefore, we believe that the level of transparency now exists. As to the content of these guidelines, I think this is a commercial decision and each provider would have to look at the particular capacity of the network and provide the services that they could provide under the constraint of the network.

Reporter: Mr So, what would you like to see the amendments of the Ordinance (Trade Descriptions Ordinance) to tackle unscrupulous sales tactics? Will that include cooling-off period?

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development: It will not include the cooling-off period for this round of amendments to the Trade Descriptions Ordinance. The simple reason being that, there is quite a bit of controversy involving the cooling-off period, and there is no consensus at the moment. I think the more appropriate measure is to amend the Trade Descriptions Ordinance to tackle those unscrupulous trade practices that we see in the remaining term of the Legislative Council. If we include the cooling-off period, first of all as I have just indicated, there is no consensus and also the vetting process would be quite long. On that basis, I would be doubtful whether it could successfully be legislated in this legislative term. And therefore, the more appropriate thing to do is to make the amendments to the Trade Descriptions Ordinance to tackle these unscrupulous trade practices first. And then, we will consult on the cooling-off period measures. Hopefully, we will be coming to a consensus in the future.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Saturday, February 18, 2012