Connecting government and business leaders online to foster trade
The sixth Belt and Road Summit, jointly organised by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), opened today. The two-day event is being held online this year under the theme “Driving Growth through Fostering Regional and International Trade”. The summit will explore opportunities arising from the Belt and Road Initiative, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) through a variety of activities, including policy dialogue and plenary sessions, thematic breakout sessions, one-to-one project matching and project pitching sessions and a virtual exhibition. More than 6,000 participants from over 80 countries and regions registered for the summit.
Values of multilateralism have never been more vital – Carrie Lam
Delivering the opening address, Carrie Lam said: “Today, amid the continuing spread of protectionism, the values of multilateralism have never been more vital. It’s why this year’s Belt and Road Summit is focused on regional and international trade, with particular attention given to the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP. These two immensely promising developments are destined to work hand-in-hand with the Belt and Road Initiative to boost the manifold benefits of multilateralism.”
Addressing the opening session in his keynote speech, Gao Yunlong said: “Hong Kong is an important platform for the development of the Belt and Road. Over the years, Hong Kong has made full use of its advantages in international finance, trade and professional services to play an important role as a super-connector for developing the Belt and Road. The 14th Five-Year Plan and the Long-Range Objectives through the Year 2035 support Hong Kong to build a functional platform for developing the Belt and Road. This fully reflects the Central Government’s trust and support for Hong Kong. We believe that as an important facilitator of the ‘dual circulation’, Hong Kong, the Pearl of the Orient, will become even more brilliant in the future.”
Leveraging Hong Kong’s advantages to maximise potential – Dr Peter K N Lam
In his welcome remarks, Dr Peter K N Lam said: “The theme of this year’s summit is ‘Driving Growth through Fostering Regional and International Trade’. Leading experts and leaders are sharing insights on how businesses can leverage developments such as the RCEP and Greater Bay Area to capture new opportunities along the Belt and Road and beyond. Participants can also catch up on the latest developments in Hong Kong which can help them to maximise this potential. The summit continues to provide a powerful online platform to make connections and share ideas.”
Giving the perspective of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab mentioned that as the world faces the pandemic and its economic fallout, and we experience the transformative impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, there is a greater need for more regional and global cooperation, mainly in four areas: digital trade and governance, tackling the COVID pandemic, investment in green infrastructure and global supply chains.
Policy Dialogue session explores impact of economic policies
Following the opening session, the Policy Dialogue session helped businesses to understand the policies of different countries and regions to give them a head start in capturing Belt and Road opportunities. Moderated by Edward Yau, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of the HKSAR, the session explored the development trends resulting from various economic policies, featuring officials from countries and regions along the Belt and Road. Speakers included Dato Lim Jock Hoi, Secretary-General of ASEAN; Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II, Brunei Darussalam; Pan Sorasak, Minister of Commerce, the Kingdom of Cambodia; Jerry Sambuaga, Vice Minister of Trade, Indonesia; Ramon Lopez, Secretary, Department of Trade and Industry, the Philippines; Tan See Leng, Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Trade and Industry, Republic of Singapore; Sansern Samalapa, Vice Minister of Commerce, Thailand; and Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, United Arab Emirates.
Plenary session examines how Belt and Road and RCEP can foster global growth
One of the plenary sessions held this morning ran under the title “Belt and Road and RCEP: Enhancing Regional Business Connectivity”. Paul Chan, Financial Secretary of the HKSAR, delivered the welcome remarks. The session featured industry leaders from Hong Kong, Mainland China and the RCEP market, including Victor Chu, Chairman & CEO, First Eastern Investment Group; Sean Chiao, Asia Chairman and Global Business Line Chief Executive, Buildings and Places, AECOM; Huang Zhaohui, CEO and Chairman of Management Committee, China International Capital Corporation Limited; Wang Cuijun, Director, China Merchants Group Limited; Suroj Lamsam, CEO & President, LOXLEY Public Company Limited in Thailand; and Michael Tan, President & Chief Operating Officer, LT Group in the Philippines. The speakers provided insights and analysis on how the RCEP, signed last November, and the Belt and Road Initiative can contribute to growth, cooperation and development as the global economy begins to show signs of recovery following the pandemic.
Breakout sessions explore hot-button issues on first day of summit
Five thematic breakout sessions were held this afternoon covering topics including “RCEP: Fostering Post-pandemic International Infrastructure Cooperation along the Belt and Road”, “Fostering Trade and Resolving Disputes in the Post-COVID Era – Hong Kong’s Legal and Dispute Resolution Services”, “‘Greener’ Bay Area: through the Sustainable Finance Lens”, “Belt and Road Opportunities for SMEs”, and “Supporting the National Strategy of Dual Circulation through Captives and Reinsurance”. Project owners are also invited to attend project pitching sessions to explore potential investment projects in the areas of energy, natural resources and public utilities. More thematic breakout sessions and project pitching sessions will be held tomorrow – details of the programme, speakers and partner organisations can be found at https://www.beltandroadsummit.hk/tc/programme/programme.
GBA Track series focuses on opportunities in Greater Bay Area
The 14th Five-Year Plan highlighted how the development of the Greater Bay Area will lead to boundless opportunities. This year’s summit features the new GBA Track thematic series that features plenary and panel discussion sessions, thematic breakout sessions and a virtual exhibition. One of the highlights will be a plenary session held tomorrow under the theme “Connecting the Belt and Road & Greater Bay Area through Hong Kong”. Moderated by Victor Fung, Group Chairman, Fung Group, the session will feature speakers including Dato’ Seri Cheah Cheng Hye, Co-Chairman and Co-Chief Investment Officer, Value Partners Group Limited; Jack So, Chairman, Airport Authority Hong Kong; Sun Yu, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive, Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited; and Wang Shi, Honorary Chairman & Founder, Vanke Co., Ltd and Chairman, Shenzhen Foundation for International Exchange and Cooperation. Panel discussion sessions and thematic breakout sessions being held under GBA Track will cover a wide range of topics, including capital raising, green finance, digital technology applications and start-ups, all of which are of interest to enterprises interested in exploring the Greater Bay Area market.
One-to-one project matching and project pitching sessions
In addition to the plenary sessions, the HKTDC continues to arrange one-to-one project matching sessions and project pitching sessions as part of the summit to promote concrete cooperation and exchange. Continuing the success at previous summits, this year’s one-to-one project matching sessions will promote direct dialogue between project owners, investors and service providers to discuss cooperation plans according to their specific business and investment needs. The project pitching sessions are focusing on four key areas: (1) energy, natural resources and public utilities, (2) innovation and technology, (3) urban development, and (4) transport and logistics infrastructure.
Another key feature of the summit is the virtual exhibition, which has doubled in scale from the previous event to showcase more than 60 exhibitors. The Global Investment Zone and Hong Kong Zone will once again feature Hong Kong’s world-class professional services that are valuable for success along the Belt and Road, as well as numerous investment projects and other opportunities worldwide. The new GBA Tech Zone will showcase the latest technology and related opportunities in the Greater Bay Area.
MOUs promote multilateral cooperation
Two important memoranda of cooperation are being signed at the summit, both of which will help to promote development related to the Belt and Road. During the summit today, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between the HKSAR Government and the Ministry of Commerce on enhancing co-operation in promoting the development of the mainland’s overseas Economic and Trade Co-operation Zones. A Hong Kong enterprise signed another MOU related to cooperation on advanced medical equipment and research with its Kazakhstani counterpart. The MOU was signed online by Edmond Yau, Founder and CEO of Hong Kong firm Koln 3D Technology (Medical) Limited, and Dilyara Kaidarova, Board Chairperson of the Kazakh Institute of Oncology and Radiology (KazIOR).
China International Capital Corporation Ltd serves as the Strategic Partner of the sixth Belt and Road Summit; Bank of China (Hong Kong) Ltd as the Regional Banking Partner; China Merchants Group as the Sapphire Sponsor; China Taiping Insurance Group as the Affiliated Insurance Partner; and China Mobile International Limited as the Platinum Sponsor.
The Sixth Belt and Road Summit
Date: 1-2 September 2021 (Wednesday and Thursday)
– Belt and Road Summit programme: https://www.beltandroadsummit.hk/en/programme/programme
– Belt and Road Summit speaker list: https://www.beltandroadsummit.hk/en/speaker/speakers
Venue: Virtual platform
The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body established in 1966 to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong’s trade. With 50 offices globally, including 13 in Mainland China, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a two-way global investment and business hub. The HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to create business opportunities for companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in the mainland and international markets. The HKTDC also provides up-to-date market insights and product information via research reports and digital news channels. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com/aboutus.
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