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

Sustainability on the Belt and Road after Covid-19

Sustainability has become increasingly important in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and this trend is set to continue after the Covid-19 pandemic. That’s according to the BRI Beyond 2020 report compiled by the Economist Corporate Network on behalf of Baker & McKenzie. At a webinar on 19 May, Bee Chun Boo and Simon Leung, both Partners at the law firm, shared the report findings and their insights on financing trends with the Initiative. They were joined by fellow partners Martin David and Mini vandePol, who spoke respectively on the sustainability and compliance aspects of BRI projects.

Looking Past the Crises: Financial Services in Hong Kong and the Role of the Belt and Road

At the Belt and Road Working Group’s webinar today, board members of the Financial Services Development Council shared their views on the current challenges and opportunities in the asset management, banking, and insurance sectors.

Chen Ding, CEO of CSOP Asset Management, said despite the pandemic, investment in Belt and Road-related projects has been increasing, up 17% year-on-year. Newly signed big projects over US$50 million increased by 25% yoy. Brian Li, Co-Chief Executive of Bank of East Asia, said that Hong Kong’s robust banking system means that banks have considerable liquidity to tackle current challenges, and together with the Government, they had been providing financial support to businesses in Hong Kong, in particular SMEs. Winnie Wong, CEO & Executive Director of Asia Insurance & Avo Insurance, said that insurers in Hong Kong provided relief measures ranging from simplified claim procedures and waivers of late charges to extended grace periods and complimentary COVID-19 coverage.

Meeting of the Belt and Road Working Group

Jonathan McKinley, Former Deputy Secretary for Home Affairs, spoke on “Tourism on the Modern Silk Road” at a meeting of the Chamber’s Belt and Road Working Group on 6 September.

He introduced his travels on the Silk Road route from China to Central Asia, including his experience of inter-city and inter-country trains, cultural exchanges with local people, and some of the tourist spots he visited. He noted that people in the Central Asia countries are well-educated and have good language skills, and are enthusiastic about Hong Kong. However, they do not have much understanding of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Andrew Wells, Convenor of the Belt and Road Working Group, added that promotion of the Belt and Road to foreign countries will be a very important factor in the success of the initiative.

Also at the meeting, Petrina Tam, Chairman of the Chamber’s China Committee, shared her thoughts on how the professional services sector in Hong Kong could capitalize on the opportunities brought by the Belt and Road Initiative, using a professional accountant as an example. Tam is also Southern China Domestic Markets Leader at PwC Hong Kong.

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.

Good Reads

BRI Opportunities for Financial Services

Hong Kong’s financial services sector can play a key role in the post-pandemic recovery in Belt and Road economies

Belt and Road Provides Path to New Opportunities

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

Finding a Role on the New Silk Road

As the Belt and Road Initiative develops, opportunities are emerging for Hong Kong businesses willing to explore uncharted waters, writes Bulletin Editor Helen Sloan