Belt and Road Corner

Hong Kong: A Key Link in the BRI

With its unique strengths, Hong Kong is well placed to play the role of "super-connector" for the Belt and Road Initiative. Our competitive advantages include preferential access to the massive Mainland market, internationally compatible trade, commercial and legal systems, as well as our strategic location, infrastructure and talent pool.

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Hong Kong's Added Value for the Belt and Road

A Key Link in the Initiative

The Mainland’s reform and opening-up over the past four decades helped power the tremendous transformation and growth of Hong Kong’s economy. Looking ahead to the next 40 years, the Belt and Road Initiative is a new engine that will help drive our continued economic and social development.

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Chamber Belt and Road Talks

Belt and Road Working Group Meeting

Edmond Yue, Co-convenor of the Belt and Road Working Group, hosted the group’s meeting on 15 June, and welcomed Pham Binh Dam, Consul General of Vietnam in Hong Kong. The Consul General updated members on the latest developments in the country and business opportunities under the Belt and Road initiative. With a huge population of over 100 million, Vietnam possesses a skilled, educated and diligent workforce ready to work hard and adapt to new challenges, he told members attending the meeting. 

Many Vietnam businesses are interested in the Belt and Road and other Chinese initiatives such as the Greater Bay Area. However, Pham said, they did not have much knowledge about such initiatives, and it was hard to find an entrance point to the Mainland markets. The same applied to Hong Kong businesses looking to invest in Vietnam’s rapidly growing economy, where they would often find themselves facing vastly different business culture and rules and regulations. 

He said that although there had been a 40% growth in trade between Hong Kong and Vietnam in the first quarter, the flow of capital investment was limited due to global uncertainty and lack of mutual market insight. He suggested that the Chamber organizes a few sessions about potential investment projects and mergers and acquisitions opportunities in Vietnam.

Pham added that Hong Kong investors should keep an eye on sectors such as e-commerce, infrastructure, finance, and hospitality and tourism, where huge opportunities were emerging. On the hospitality side, for example, he said many luxury hotels along the country’s 3,000-km coastline were up for sale for a lowered price due to the pandemic, which could be lucrative after renovations and branding. He said Vietnam’s e-commerce sector had also developed in leaps and bounds in the past few years – in fact, he said, e-commerce was even more developed than in Hong Kong as almost everything in Vietnam could already be done online.

Meeting with Belt and Road Office

Denis Yip, Commissioner for Belt and Road, paid a courtesy call on Chamber CEO George Leung and Belt & Road Working Group Co-Convenors Edmond Yue and Nicholas Ho on 18 March to discuss ways to help more businesses in Hong Kong and overseas get on the BRI train. He was accompanied by Deputy Commissioner Kesson Lee and his team from the Belt and Road Office.

Yip said his office had been organizing webinars to promote trade and investment between Hong Kong and Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. He added that the Belt and Road Summit 2021, planned to take place in September, will feature a new emphasis on the Greater Bay Area (GBA), RCEP, ASEAN and their connection to the BRI. He explained that the his office’s work had been geared towards promoting Hong Kong as a top-class service provider to BRI countries, and leveraging Hong Kong’s advantages in sectors such as I&T, finance, startups, medical, construction and engineering. 

Leung said the Chamber and its BRI Working Group keeps members abreast of the latest developments of the BRI, and, through its connections with overseas chambers, connects members with potential partners in emerging markets in ASEAN and beyond.

Belt and Road Working Group Meeting

Edmond Yue, Co-Convenor of the Belt and Road Working Group, hosted the group’s meeting on 2 March. He invited Liu Yajun, Head of Commercial Office, Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR, who spoke on the latest developments of the Belt and Road, and the initiative’s relations with the recently signed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Mainland’s Dual Circulation Strategy.

Liu said countries in the RCEP region had traditionally been important markets for the Belt and Road, so the RCEP will further create and enhance synergy between members of the trade bloc and the initiative. 

Although Hong Kong is not yet a member of the RCEP, it aims to join at the first opportunity. The Mainland supports Hong Kong's inclusion in the bloc, and believes the city will play a key role in connecting the participating economies through its state-of-the-art services industries and financial infrastructure.
 

 

Global Connectivity, Opportunities and Challenges: Hong Kong and ETCZs along BRI

Nicholas Ho, Co-Convenor of the Belt and Road Working Group, spoke at PASS (Professional Services Advancement Support Scheme) Symposium, organized by the Research Centre for Sustainable Hong Kong (CSHK) of City University of Hong Kong on 7 January.  Ho shared a myriad of business opportunities, including the architecture, urban planning and construction, available along the BRI, and talked about the Chamber’s work in promoting the initiative.

Over 200 participants from around the world joined the symposium online, which featured 16 guests and speakers, sharing insights on business opportunities and challenges for Hong Kong professional services in countries along the BRI.
 

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Strong fundamentals and experience as a bridge between cultures put Hong Kong businesses in a good position

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