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U.K., Hong Kong Postal Authorities Sign E-Business Pact

[London, ENGLAND] The Royal Mail's digital security service ViaCode has this week signed an agreement with Hongkong Post to develop joint electronic security and trust services.

The agreement will pave the way for secure electronic transactions between the U.K. and Hong Kong, for government, businesses, and individual citizens.

With Hong Kong now part of the People's Republic of China, the agreement could have far-reaching implications for Anglo-Sino trade. The U.K. and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region will now recognize each other's digital certificates and ensure that future applications will be compatible.

In a joint communiqué, Peter Taylor, ViaCode's managing director and Ping Chuen Luk, postmaster general of Hongkong Post, welcomed the signing and noted that their two organizations are market leaders in digital security for government, industry and citizens.

"Now we're looking at ways to electronically bring all three elements of our two communities together and allow them to use common trusted Internet applications for administrative, business, cultural and social exchanges," they said.

ViaCode launched its services in March last year, and claims to "set the northern hemisphere benchmark for integrity and strength." Its digital certificates, based on 128-bit cryptography, are issued only after rigorous proof of identity, and can be instantly revoked with immediate system-wide effect.

Hongkong Post also offers electronic security, and has a similar spread of customers in government and business. ViaCode reaches U.K. citizens through Internet start-up UK Smart.

Full information about ViaCode is available from the Royal Mail's special site at www.viacode.com.