Belt & Road Series Events

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Date Events
New Commissioner for Belt and Road

New Commissioner for Belt and Road

Denis Yip Shing-fai, newly appointed Commissioner for Belt and Road, visited the Chamber on 13 August where Chamber Chairman Aron Harilela, CEO Shirley Yuen and Deputy CEO Watson Chan discussed the BRI and initiatives that the Government has been doing to assist local companies to “go outside” under BRI, such as Dedicated Fund on Branding, Upgrading and Domestic Sales, and SME Export Marketing Fund. To better achieve the goal of “going out,” both sides discussed regions and sectors that Government policies could focus on in future. Both sides agreed that closer cooperation between the Government and the business sector is a good way to foster development of BRI.

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Li Zhonghan, General Manager of the company’s department for overseas business and international cooperation

Invest in the Silk Road

The China Merchants Group has overseas assets in more than 40 countries worth 720 billion RMB, including major investments in nations along the Belt and Road. At a roundtable luncheon on 28 March, Li Zhonghan, General Manager of the company’s department for overseas business and international cooperation, discussed some of these projects – including a port in Djibouti and the China-Belarus Industrial Park -- to give members an insight into the advantages and challenges of Belt and Road investment.

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Belt and Road Working Group Meeting with Paul McComb

Belt & Road Working Group Meeting

At a meeting of the Chamber’s Belt and Road Working Group on 5 March, Paul McComb, Director General for Trade and Investment at the British Consulate General in Hong Kong, introduced the U.K.’s participation in the Belt and Road Initiative. This includes a contribution of US$50 million to the Project Preparation Special Fund of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and a programme of unconditional guaranteed bank loans provided by U.K. Export Finance. Andrew Wells, Convenor of the Working Group, and members continued the discussion informally at a networking session following the meeting.

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Practical implications of the Belt and Road for SMEs at HKGCC

Practical implications of the Belt and Road for Hong Kong's SMEs: Risk and Dispute Resolution

Members of the Chamber’s Belt & Road Working Group discussed the practical implications of the initiative for SMEs in terms of risk and dispute resolution at a meeting on 11 December. Behzad Mirzaei, Partner of Basio Consultants & Services, shared his expertise, including doing business in the Middle East  John Yeap, Partner at Pinsent Masons, introduced the typical risks associated with BR projects regarding utility ownership, labour, language and currency. Maria Tan Pedersen, Partner at Jones Day, said investors should fully understand their role and the type of project they are participating in before going ahead with any agreement. Sarah Grimmer, Secretary-General of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, explained some of the approaches to resolving disputes involving BR projects.

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Unleashing Myanmar's Potential

Serge Pun, Chairman of SPA Group, gave members a unique perspective on the facts and some of the myths of Myanmar’s business culture. Robert San Pe, Senior Legal Advisor to Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, discussed the challenges and opportunities of investing in the newly open Myanmar market. Speakers from the Department of Commerce and Economic Development of HKSAR, Jardine Myanmar Group, Nielsen and CityU also shared their insights at the event. A networking reception for a 30-member delegation from Myanmar following the seminar gave members and guests the opportunity to expand their connections and discuss opportunities in the country.

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Driven by the Belt and Road Initiative, Pakistan has experienced remarkable economic development in recent years and new opportunities were created for foreign investors.

New Opportunities in Pakistan Under the Belt and Road Initiative

At a Belt and Road series roundtable luncheon held on 26 March, Pakistan's Consul General in Hong Kong, Abdul Qadir Memon said many Hong Kong contractors had the qualities and resources to pursue infrastructure and finance opportunities along the belt and road, especially Pakistan, which China ranked as its most promising investment destination. Horance Hui, CEO of Karachi International Container Terminal (KICT) also speaking at the roundtable, told members that Pakistan was transforming into a more stable environment for investment.

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Grasping Green Opportunities from the Belt & Road Initiative

Steve Wong, Vice Chairman of the Chamber's Environment and Sustainability Committee and Managing Director of BillionGroup Technologies, spoke at a roundtable luncheon on green opportunities arising from the Belt and Road Initiative. He shared his views on how Hong Kong companies can use their expertise in areas such as water and waste management to provide eco-friendly solutions to countries along the Belt and Road.

BillionGroup Technologies Ltd
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Belt and Road Series - New Belt and Road Opportunities for Latin America

Dr Le Xia, Chief Economist for Asia, BBVA Hong Kong, updated members on China-Latin America trade and investment and provided his insights into China's latest policy directives at a Chamber roundtable on 30 January. Tracy Wut, Partner, Baker & McKenzie, briefed members on the potential risks of investing in the region, as well as the measures businesses can take to protect themselves.

Baker & McKenzie - A Buyer's Guide to M&A in Latin AmericaBaker & McKenzie - Belt & Road: Opportunity & RiskPodcast
Slides - Baker McKenzieSlides - BBVA
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Hearing from the Experts: Key Observations from the Belt & Road Forum

The Belt and Road is an ambitious initiative that aspires to spark economic development and cultural exchange through infrastructure and connectivity, as well as increase trade and investment. Yvonne Choi, Commissioner for Belt and Road, shared about the key takeaways from the Belt and Road forum in Beijing on 14-15 May. Dr Thomas Chan, an expert on the Belt and Road, briefed members on the major projects in the Belt and Road initiative.

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China and Belt & Road Infrastructure: 2016 Review and Outlook

Gabriel Wong, Partner and Head of China Corporate Finance, PwC, talked about the performance of infrastructure in the Belt and Road (B&R) countries in the past year, and shared his views on the recent development and outlook of B&R projects at a Chamber luncheon roundtable on 27 April. He explained there would be a significant ramp-up in power, rail and healthcare projects in middle-income B&R countries.

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