Fifth Belt And Road Summit Opens Today

Fifth Belt And Road Summit Opens Today

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Highlighting post-COVID economy and SE Asian
cooperation

The fifth 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
(30 November and 1 December) is being held online this year
with a new virtual platform that includes plenary sessions,
one-to-one business matching meetings, project pitching
sessions and a virtual exhibition, bringing together some 80
ministerial officials and business leaders from countries
and regions along and beyond the Belt and Road. The event
attracted an audience of more than 6,000 from some 80
countries and regions.

The
fifth Belt and Road Summit opened today as an online event,
covering plenary sessions, one-to-one business matching
meetings and project pitching sessions. The first day of the
summit marked the beginning of a new business partnership
between the Smart City Consortium and Indonesia-based
enterprise PT Graha Buana Cikarang, for the purpose of
expanding Hong Kong’s smart city technology to Southeast
Asia.
Joko
Widodo, President of the Republic of Indonesia, gave a
pre-recorded address in which he spoke about how the Belt
and Road Initiative is helping to promote virus control,
infrastructure development, economic development and
commerce in the region.
The
first plenary session was hosted by Edward Yau, Secretary
for Commerce and Economic Development, exchanging ideas on
policy analysis with Peter Szijjarto, Minister of Foreign
Affairs and Trade in Hungary, Jerry Sambuaga, Vice Minister
of Trade in Indonesia, Ceferino S Rodolfo, Undersecretary of
the Industry Development and Trade Policy Group, Department
of Trade and Industry in the Philippines, Sultana Afroz,
Secretary to the Government of Bangladesh and CEO of the
Public Private
Partnership

Overcoming geographical
boundaries, the event has brought together investors,
project owners and professional investment advisors from
Mainland China, the Asian Pacific region, Europe, the Middle
East and Africa to share insights on the latest developments
related to the Belt and Road Initiative.

Carrie Lam,
Chief Executive of the HKSAR, officiated at the summit’s
opening ceremony and delivered the opening address. She
said: “Since its inception, the Belt and Road Initiative
(BRI) has been well received by the international community.
So far, China has already signed over 200 cooperation
documents with 138 countries and 31 international
organisations. The BRI is all about collaboration and
partnership. “As an active player in the Initiative, Hong
Kong is keen to strengthen our collaboration and partnership
with other Belt and Road economies. For Hong Kong, given our
location and our growing economic ties with Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, the Economic and
Trade Co-operation Zones in the ASEAN region will present
ample opportunities to Hong Kong enterprises and their
partners.”

Joko Widodo, President of the Republic of
Indonesia, gave a pre-recorded address in which he spoke
about how the Belt and Road Initiative is helping to promote
virus control, infrastructure development, economic
development and commerce in the region. He said: “Our world
is facing a common enemy: the COVID-19 pandemic. To control
the virus, we must work together and synergise. Everyone
must walk and move in-sync towards a common goal, a healthy
community, and a strong and robust economy. Through synergy,
anything we do will be more effective and have a bigger
impact; and we can apply this lesson in many other areas,
including Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) cooperation. The
key to BRI cooperation is synergy. Indonesia hopes the BRI
cooperation will also encourage partnerships between the
government, the public and the private sector, in the form
of Public-Private Partnership or PPP. Second, we must
continue to maintain the principle of equality in
cooperation. Equality will create space for countries to
plan projects based on their national interests. Indonesia’s
infrastructure development projects are open for cooperation
with all partners, including BRI. The Government of
Indonesia guarantees the establishment of a conducive
environment for mutually beneficial cooperation.”

Also
delivering special addresses were officials from the
People’s Republic of China, including Ning Jizhe, Vice
Chairman, National Development and Reform Commission; Wang
Bingnan, Vice Minister, Ministry of Commerce; Ren Hongbin,
Vice Chairman, the State-owned Assets Supervision and
Administration Commission (SASAC) of the State Council; and
Xie Feng, Commissioner, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The
speakers focused on the importance of the Belt and Road
Initiative in driving the steady growth of China’s national
economy and examined Hong Kong’s vital role in the
process.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Dr Peter K
N Lam, Chairman of the HKTDC, said: “International
cooperation is more important than ever as we face the
challenge of a global pandemic. Hong Kong is the ideal
platform to turn Belt and Road projects into viable
commercial opportunities, and it was here in 2016 that the
Belt and Road Summit was conceived. Growing together with
the Belt and Road Initiative, the summit is now the premier
international business event to find partners, raise funds
and learn about new developments and investment
opportunities on the Belt and Road. We are confident that
the online summit will provide a powerful platform to share
ideas and make connections.”

Hong Kong group forms
partnership with Indonesian industrial estates

The
first day of the summit marked the beginning of a new
business partnership. Facilitated by the HKTDC, the Smart
City Consortium used the virtual platform to sign a
memorandum of understanding with an Indonesia-based
enterprise, PT Graha Buana Cikarang, for the purpose of
expanding Hong Kong’s smart city technology to Southeast
Asia. PT Graha Buana Cikarang is a subsidiary company of a
listed industrial estates operator in Indonesia, which is
managing various industrial estates and developing new towns
in different areas of the country. Both parties agreed to
cooperate in research areas such as smart mobility,
e-health, crisis and disaster protection management,
environment and energy.

The Indonesian government has
been making plans to relocate the country’s capital city to
the province of East Kalimantan. The Belt and Road
Infrastructure Investment Roundtable will be held by the
HKTDC the day after tomorrow to discuss how to act on
infrastructure development in Kalimantan as new
opportunities arise. Participants will include
representatives from some of the infrastructure projects in
Kalimantan province, together with investors from Hong Kong
and Mainland China and a number of local professional
service providers and financial institutions.

Forum
highlights Post-COVID economy

The pandemic has slowed
down or halted economic activities, posing challenges to
logistics and customer flow. Different cooperation
activities and development projects under the Belt and Road
Initiative have been affected to various extents. Today’s
plenary session was a policy dialogue focused on “Creating a
Healthy, Sustainable and Inclusive Future”, hosted by Edward
Yau, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of the
HKSAR. Mr Yau exchanged ideas with senior international
figures including Peter Szijjarto, Minister of Foreign
Affairs and Trade in Hungary; Jerry Sambuaga, Vice Minister
of Trade from Indonesia; Ceferino S Rodolfo, Undersecretary
of the Industry Development and Trade Policy Group,
Department of Trade and Industry in the Philippines; Sultana
Afroz, Secretary to the Government of Bangladesh and CEO of
the Public Private Partnership Authority in Bangladesh; and
Sompop Pattanariyankool, Assistant Permanent Secretary of
the Ministry of Energy in Thailand. The discussion examined
the policy landscapes and investment opportunities in their
respective economies, including the Regional Comprehensive
Economic Partnership (RCEP), a regional free trade agreement
formed in mid-November this year.

Paul Chan, Financial
Secretary of the HKSAR, delivered the opening remarks at the
main plenary session that followed. The Business Plenary was
hosted by Victor Chu, Chairman & CEO of First Eastern
Investment Group, leading a group joined by Francis Chua,
Chairman Emeritus of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and
Industry, Victor Fung, Group Chairman of the Fung Group,
Vikrom Kromadit, Chairman of Amata Corporation PCL, Richard
Lancaster, CEO of CLP Holdings Limited, Jean-Pascal
Tricoire, Chairman and CEO & CEO Asia of Schneider
Electric, Wang Tongzhou, Chairman and General Manager of
China Communications Construction Group Ltd, and Bill
Winters, Group Chief Executive of Standard Chartered PLC.
Discussions focused on the topic “Powering the World’s
Recovery through Sustainable and Inclusive Development”,
seeking to find a way out of the current social and economic
doldrums caused by the COVID-19 pandemic by adopting
sustainable and inclusive development solutions, and
examining how to navigate a clear pathway through the
post-pandemic era.

Exploring infrastructure potential
amid uncertainties

The economic challenges brought
about by the pandemic have affected economic and trade
cooperation, production cooperation and regional
infrastructure development to varying degrees. Today’s
afternoon breakout session, titled “Challenges and
Opportunities for Belt and Road International
Infrastructural Cooperation”, was co-organised with the
China International Contractors Association to examine how
to promote continuous innovation in the area of
infrastructure cooperation in the new global landscape,
exploring opportunities amid the current
uncertainty.

Greater Bay Area a key focus for
innovation

The markets resulting from the development
of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the
Belt and Road Initiative are providing valuable
opportunities to Hong Kong’s innovation and technology
sectors. Co-organised with Hong Kong Science and Technology
Parks Corporation, a session titled “Fighting the
Coronavirus with Innovative Tech and Thriving in a
Post-Pandemic World – Opportunities in the Greater Bay Area”
brought together prominent experts in respiratory diseases,
biomedical professors and business leaders to examine how
anti-virus technology has become the driving force to help
Hong Kong overcome the impact of the pandemic, and how to
give added momentum to the local economy by taking advantage
of the ample opportunities created by the Greater Bay Area.
Another breakout session, jointly organised with Hong Kong
Cyberport, gathered representatives from Hong Kong’s digital
technology sector to share the latest information related to
the Greater Bay Area and the not-to-be missed opportunities
for the digital technology sector.

A thematic breakout
session titled “Positioning Hong Kong for Deal-Making and
Dispute Resolution under the Belt and Road Initiative”,
co-organised with the Department of Justice of the HKSAR,
saw the participation of distinguished legal professionals
who exchanged insights on the current landscape for
deal-making and dispute resolution, and how technology may
be used to overcome some of the challenges brought by the
pandemic. One of the major discussions was about Hong Kong’s
strengths and how the city can build on its position as a
leading international deal-making and dispute resolution
centre to serve Belt and Road investors.

Given the
unprecedented disruption of supply chains through the
“double whammy” blow of global trade disputes coupled with
the COVID-19 pandemic, how is the cluster development of
Belt and Road Economic and Cooperation Zones paving the way
for international cooperation on alternative manufacturing
locations and huge consumer markets, creating opportunities
for enterprising new overseas ventures? The thematic
breakout session “Manufacturing and Selling in Belt and Road
Markets: Seizing Opportunities from the Economic and Trade
Cooperation Zones” invited enterprising Belt and Road
pioneers to share their first-hand experience in this area
and offer advice on how to seize the boundless opportunities
that lie ahead.

The thematic breakout sessions
tomorrow will be co-organised with the Hong Kong Monetary
Authority’s Infrastructure Financing Facilitation Office
(IFFO), the Financial Services Development Council, Hong
Kong Association of Banks, Hong Kong Insurance Authority and
InvestHK. Important issues such as financing, investment,
risk management and start-ups will be
discussed.

All-day online project pitching and
business matching for first time

For the first time
at the summit, a virtual exhibition is showcasing more than
30 local companies representing different sectors including
banking and finance, infrastructure, professional services,
and technology and innovation. The Global Investment Zone
connects investors, project owners and professional
investment consultants from 12 countries and regions,
sharing the latest business information and highlighting
investment opportunities.

The eagerly awaited
Investment and Business Matching Session is held again this
year. One-to-one business matching meetings and project
pitching sessions will run virtually, providing a platform
for project owners, investors and service providers to
connect and discuss their business and investment needs as
well as exploring cooperation opportunities. The project
pitching sessions cover four main areas: innovation and
technology, transport and logistics infrastructure, energy,
natural resources and public utilities, and urban
development.

Websites

– Belt and Road Summit
website:

www.beltandroadsummit.hk/en


HKTDC Belt and Road Portal:

https://beltandroad.hktdc.com/

About
HKTDC

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 trade publications, research reports and
digital news channels. For more information, please visit:
www.hktdc.com/aboutus.
Follow us on Twitter @hktdc and
LinkedIn.

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