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TDC committed to powering SMEs through challenging times

The Chairman of Trade Development Council (TDC), Mr. Peter Woo, reiterated today (June 5) the Council's commitment to helping SMEs find business opportunities in a challenging external environment.

He unveiled the Council's $1 billion promotional plan for 2003/04 at the SME Market Day Exhibition which opened today. The TDC blueprint aims to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) expand their business and boost competitiveness.

The plan's four major SME-targeted initiatives for this year are: marketing opportunities, business matching, market intelligence and SME development. In other words, TDC will support Hong Kong SMEs in getting orders, meeting buyers, keeping abreast of market developments and enhancing their competitiveness.

Addressing the local and international business communities this morning at the opening of SME Market Day exhibition at which the Chief Executive, Mr. Tung Chee Hwa, officiated, Mr. Woo said: "This has been a very tough time for SMEs. Their renowned fighting spirit has inspired TDC to work even harder and challenges TDC to deliver even more.

"The good news is that outside Hong Kong, Christmas inventories are low. This is the time for SMEs to be more creative and market proactively."

More than 200 leading private and public sector organisations are exhibiting at Market Day, including more than 60 from overseas and the Chinese mainland, especially from the Pearl River Delta region. The event organised by TDC is being held from June 5 to June 7 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

SME Market Day 2003 is the largest SME event TDC has organised. It is a one-stop shop for Hong Kong SMEs to source for practical support services and a useful platform for SMEs from overseas, the mainland and Hong Kong to forge business partnership.

On-the-spot experts from TDC's offices around the world will be giving individual advice on what is happening in their markets, and help SMEs to find new business partners.

Market Day is also the third wave of the TDC's Sars-related initiatives for SMEs.

In April, TDC announced an 8-point plan to help SMEs connect with overseas customers who were staying away. TDC jump-started many SMEs to free web conferencing, virtual exhibitions, and discounted advertising.

In May, TDC worked with 20 partners to create a package of initiatives to help SMEs reduce their costs and improve their efficiency.

TDC today opened its expanded facilities to further enhance SMEs' competitiveness and keep abreast with latest market dynamics. These include an expanded TDC Business Infocentre which opens seven days a week, and a third SME Training Centre to meet huge demand among SMEs for practical resources.

Mr. Woo also announced a new TDC performance pledge to raise the bar for higher service standards.

Mr. Woo said: "I believe Hong Kong, too, has raised the bar with its performance during the Sars crisis. I wrote to 400,000 overseas business contacts giving them the facts: this is a city that acts openly, behaves responsibly as a world citizen and keeps going under stress.

"Hong Kong is indeed, picking up pace and re-energizing. TDC is committed to continue to helping SMEs succeed. For their success is Hong Kong's success."

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For press enquiries, please contact Lawrence Yau of TDC's Corporate Communication and Marketing Department at 2584 4333.

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Content provided by Hong Kong Trade Development Council