2008 was a turbulent year with major international financial institutions collapsing starting in September and triggered a worldwide economic downturn. The series of happening, like dominos, is clear evidence that economic boundaries are fading and the world is all in the same boat. With the banking sector exerting a stronger credit grip and asset prices falling, businesses are forced to tighten their belts and consumers have been spending less.
The Hong Kong economy in 2009 is bound to be heavily affected. Nevertheless, the Government has already implemented a series of measures to stabilise the financial markets, ease credit conditions, support enterprises, accelerate public works, and create employment. In addition, the sustained economic growth in the Mainland and the 14 supportive measures to Hong Kong announced by the Central Government in December 2008 render support to the economy.
The economy rebounded in the second quarter of 2009, benefiting from the faster growth of the Mainland economy and the waning of recessionary forces in the advanced economies.
Total exports of goods declined by 12% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2009, much smaller than the 23% decline in the first quarter. On a quarter-to-quarter comparison, total exports of goods rebounded strongly by 12% in the second quarter of 2009.
Private consumption expenditure rebounded by 4.0% in the second quarter over the first quarter, leading to a much lesser year-on-year decline of 1.0% than the 6.0% decline in the first quarter.
There are mixed messages in unemployment rate. On one hand, it reached 5.4% in April-June 2009. On the other hand, the pace of increase in unemployment rate began to slow down.
From January to October 2009, the total bankruptcy petitions increased from 9,063 to 13,872 and bankruptcy orders increased from 8,808 to 13,991 respectively, which indicate increases of 53% and 59% as compared to the same period in 2008.
From January to October 2009, the total winding-up petitions increased from 521 to 649 and winding-up orders increased from 386 to 477 respectively, which indicate increases of 25% and 24% as compared to the same period in 2008.
Following a sharp year-on-year contraction of 7.8% in the first quarter of 2009, real GDP registered a smaller decline of 3.8% in the second quarter. On a quarter-to-quarter comparison, the economy resumed growth at 3.3% in the second quarter, ending the contraction in the previous four quarters.
Despite the above, the Association saw a satisfactory growth in our membership from our start in December 1999 with 4 to now over 180 members coming from various industries comprising experienced and high caliber professionals. It is again my honor to represent the Executive Council and Executive Committee to deliver this statement and report to members on the Association’s achievements and future goals.
Review and Acheivements
Executive Council and Executive Committee
The 7-person Executive Committee, with the support of our 3 diligent staff, has been leading the Association and running the overall business and management, and day-to-day operation. The Association’s plan and development are mainly conducted through 8 sub-committees, which include Annual Award; Certification; Education; IT, Membership; Public Relations; Survey and Who’s Who supported with our Secretary and Treasurer in managing a sound financial and accounting system. All issues and decisions were the result of discussions, day-to-day communications and monthly focused meetings. The differences in perspective and opinion from committee and staff members are fully reflected in every single meeting, which resulted in a productive consensus leading to the continuous growth of the Association.
Members and Recruitment
The Association now has 180 members came from various businesses and industries from banking and finance, electronics, telecommunication, law practice, accounting and auditing, shipping and transportation, manufacturing, trading, debt collection agencies, credit reporting agencies, credit consulting and the world’s major credit insurance companies. This diversity continues to bring macro and balanced suggestions and views on different issues and plans. The membership growth is no doubt attributed to the hard work of our Membership Committee and the increasing exposure of our Association.
As usual, the hit rate of our website continues to grow with more than 8,000 hits a month from the members, general public and overseas. Again, I would like to encourage our members and non-members to visit our website where update of our activities and industry information are available.
Certification Program - Credit & Collection Professional
This year the Credit & Collection Professional (“CCP*”) examination was held on 17th October 2009 at the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority. On 3rd September 2009, Mr. Bobby Rozario held a tutorial class for the candidates prior to the examination.
The 4 passed candidates in this examination are as follow:
1. CHAN Kin Hing Philip
2. CHAN Cheong Yip Ricky
3. YEUNG Wing Hung Francis
4. HUEN Wan Sze Betty
On behalf of HKCCMA and the Certification Committee, I congratulate the new CCPs. An official certificate presentation ceremony will be held in the upcoming AGM to recognize their achievements.
The CCP certification program has certified 12 credit and collection professionals from various industries since it launch in 2006. The coming CCP examination will be held in March 2010.
Background and details of the CCP and related examination are listed on the Association’s website www.hkccma.com. Alternatively, members can send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain the program details, application requirements and fees.
For non-members, please visit our site to download the membership application form, so as to take the opportunity to certify yourselves. This is the only certification program for credit and collection practitioners in Hong Kong and mainland China to certify yourselves, and be recognized.
*HKCCMA is the exclusive body of the CCP certification program in Hong Kong
#ACA International, USA (the world’s largest credit and collection industry association and has been established for over 63 years.
Seminar & Exhibition
Following the seminar of "How to become a Practical Credit Manager" Part I in September 2008, the Association held the Part II - Financial Statement on 13th March 2009 and Part III - Accounts Receivables Administration on 10th July 2009.
The speaker Mr. Stephen Lo, Director of Credit Management - Asia Pacific of Bayer Material Sciences Ltd and our Executive Councilor, gave the attendees an insight of the importance of credit application and what the main criteria in credit application are.
Seminar and career talk are educational events the Association has been focusing in the past few years. The Education Committee will continue organizing these types of event for the members in the future.
As usual, the Association will be participating the coming "World SME Expo 2009" organized by Hong Kong Trade Development Council at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from 3rd to 5th December 2009. Mr. Bobby Rozario, our Vice Chairman, will give a talk on “How to avoid bad debts in overseas markets after suffering the global financial crisis?” and the response is expected to be overwhelming. HKCCMA will continue to participate the “World SME Expo” and other appropriate events and exhibitions to continue educating the general public on credit and collection.
Mix At Six
The Association held three “Mix-At-Six” functions respectively in April, July and October 2009, which provided mix and mingle evenings for the members and non-members.
In April 2009, we added a new-member-benefit which waives the entrance fee of first time Mix-At-Six.
Mix-At-Six has been a relaxing business and intelligence exchange, and friendship build-up function since its commencement some years ago.
CreditOnDemand- HKCCMA "Credit Practitioner/Team of the Year" 2008-2009
This is the Association's 5th edition of "Who's Who of Credit & Collection Practitioners in Hong Kong" and is the result of joint efforts from our Who's Who Committee and staff.
Complimentary copies are available for members, listing participants, advertisers, patrons, the general public (including but not limited to professional/consultancy firms, personnel/recruitment agencies, libraries, financial institutions, universities etc.), and overseas industry associations.
Grant Thornton - HKCCMA "Credit Practitioner/Team of the Year" 2009-2010
This year’s award is to recognize the achievements and contribution of an individual or a team in any area of credit and collection related works in the aspect of management, operations, customer service, education, training, and industry involvement.
This is the first year that the Association accepts Team as nominee for the Annual Award. The contribution or accomplishment of the candidate must be recent. The Judge Panel of the Award Committee will select winners based on the accomplishment of the nomination.
The Judge Panel consists of the following high-caliber professionals and executives:
• Ms. Kelly Chan (Financial Controller –Moet Hennessy Diageo Hong Kong Ltd. and Past President of ACCA))
• Mr. Simon Lee (Senior Instructor (Accounting /Finance) School of Hotel and Tourism Mgt – The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
• Mr. William Lee (Lecturer - School of Accounting and Finance The Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
• Ms. Rosina Leung (Managing Director – Head Treasury and Trade Solutions Global Transaction Services Citicorp International Ltd)
• Mr. Patrick Rozario (Principal - Business Risk Services Grant Thornton)
• Mr. Benedict Wong (Chairman – HKCCMA)
• Ms. Grace Wong (General Manager – Coface Greater China Services)
Thanks go to the excellent Judge Panel as they performed a very difficult task in the vetting and selecting process. On behalf of the Association, I congratulate the Award Winner. I would also like to thank again the sponsor CreditOnDemand, for their generous sponsorship in this event, which is a valuable support to the Annual Award program.
Upon the completion of the AGM on 2nd December 2009, the Association will step into the eleventh-year from its establishment. I take this opportunity to thank each of the executive councilors, executive committee members and various committee chairs and members for their leadership and contributions in the past year. With their support along with those from the existing and new members, they provide a strong backbone to the Association leading to our continuous growth.
As the only credit and collection industry association in Hong Kong and China, HKCCMA will continue to preserve a healthy credit environment through regulating, maintaining and developing the highest ethical standards, professionalism and practices within our industry and of our fellow practitioners and this mission will continue endlessly.
I would like to thank our staff Betty Huen, Andrew Kwok and Eddie Chan, as well as Executive Committee Members Bobby Rozario; Stephen Lo; Ricky Chan, Francis Yeung, Xavier Farcot and Paul Tsang.
On behalf of the Association, I thank our Honorary Patrons ACA International; Mr. Gary Rippentrop (CEO of ACA International) and Mr. Neil Wood (Past Chairman of the International Unit of ACA International and Chairman of GCS Group); our Honorary Legal Advisors Mr. Victor Chan (Partner of Tang, Wong, Cheung & Co); our Honorary China Legal Advisor Mr. Ricky J. F. Li (Partner of Alpha and Leader Law Firm), and our Honorary Auditor Mr. Sam Lau (Partner of S. L. Lee & Lau, Certified Public Accountant).
The Executive Council
The election result of the 2009-2010 Executive Council has been announced to all members in November, prior to the AGM. The new Executive Councilors will officially assume duty after the Annual General Meeting to be held on the 2nd December 2009 at the Park Lane Hotel. The present Executive Councilors will retire along with the close of the AGM and the newly elected Executive Councilors for the 2009-2010 are:
1) Ricky CHAN Cheong Yip
2) Xavier FARCOT
3) Stephen LO Sai Kit
4) Bobby R. ROZARIO
5) Benedict WONG Chi Kwong
6) Paul TSANG Cheuk Hung
7) Francis YEUNG Wing Hung
8) Philip CHAN Kin Hing
The Executive Committee
In line with the Articles of Association of HKCCMA and for the purpose of transacting the day-to-day business of the Association, the coming 2009-2010 Executive Committee will consist of the Association’s Chairman and the Vice Chairman, and other Executive Councilors by appointment and acceptance basis. The 2009-2010 Executive Committee will assume its duty concurrent with the conclusion of the AGM on the 2nd December 2009. Result of the 2009-2010 Executive Committee appointment will be announced to all members via email and website by the Chair of the Election Committee. The 2009-2010 Executive Committee, to run and manage the day-to-day business of the Association, will be reporting to the Executive Council, and ultimately to the members of the Association.
2009 – 2010 Plans and Goals
• Continue to look for development and cooperation opportunity with appropriate organizations and bodies for the importation of CCP into mainland China
• Continue establishing domestic and global recognition and affiliation with industry associations and professional bodies
• Preparations on the publishing of the 2010-2011 "Who’s Who, Credit & Collection Practitioners in Hong Kong and Guangdong”. Feasibility study on a web-based version for “Who’s Who”
• Organize and exchange seminars and training programs with industry associations within Hong Kong and in mainland China to develop the professionalism in the credit and collection industry
• Review the criteria and prepare open nomination for the Annual Award program "Credit Practitioner/Team of the Year" 2009-2010. The new award nomination procedures and criteria will be available at the Association’s website at a later stage.
• Review and organize functions and events for members and non-members, such as through sponsorship of mix and mingle functions lime “Mix-At-Six”
• Continue to provide free educational courses, seminars and workshops for members and non-members (including courses for CCP examination to assist members and non-members in achieving the certification)
HKCCMA is the only industry association in Hong Kong with members comprising experienced and diligent credit and collection practitioners, managers and executives from small to large-sized enterprises. I am always mindful of the realities of the membership base we represent. This is an association of hardworking, largely credit and collection executives, practitioners and business owners from small to mid-sized companies who spend more than 40 hours in their offices weekly to realize their career and entrepreneurial dreams.
Once again, I would like to express my appreciation to all our members for their support, participation and contribution.
On behalf of the Association, I wish all the happiness, good health, and with successful careers and businesses to you all.
Look forward to seeing you all on the 2nd December 2009!Benedict C. K. WONG
, FCCMA, MCE
Hong Kong, November 2009