DHL International expects to outperform last year's 30 per cent growth figure. The company's optimism is fuelled by the recovery of Hong Kong and the mainland from the Asian financial crisis and recession, plus the boom in Taiwan's hi-tech industry. DHL attributed its success last year largely to a big investment in personnel and efforts to streamline operations in the mainland. 'We are pinning our hopes on China's entry into the World Trade Organisation to help maintain our high speed of growth this year,' DHL International area director for Greater China, Andy Tsang, said. China's accession to the WTO is expected to liberalise trade and boost exports and imports. DHL expanded its operations to include six service centres in the mainland last year with an investment of $3.8 million. The company was putting a great deal of emphasis on customer service, Mr Tsang said, adding that the staff were moti vated by the success stories of others and were also taught to implement 'best practices'. 'One of the key success factors of DHL is that it is willing to invest in people and to upgrade their knowledge and capability,' he said. The company has a 40 per cent market share in Taiwan, 32 per cent in the mainland and more than 40 per cent of the document business. It also holds 30 per cent of the parcel business in Hong Kong. DHL's business growth rate to the United States, Europe and the Asia-Pacific outperformed Hong Kong's exports to each of these destinations last year. 'We experienced a 15 per cent year-on-year growth to the US, 23 per cent to Europe and 28 per cent to Asia-Pacific,' DHL International (Hong Kong) general manager, Lee Wai-tong, said. DHL is moving its hub to Hong Kong from the Philippines this month. 'We will develop five regional service centres between this year and next year with a total investment of US$14 million,' Mr Lee said.