4 July 2018
Belt and Road Summit Attracted 5,000 Participants
The third 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), attracted some 5,000 participants from 55 countries and regions on 28 June at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
More than 80 government and business leaders from Hong Kong, the Chinese mainland and countries around the world shared their insights on the development of the Belt and Road Initiative and the new opportunities presented to different industries. In addition, governments and companies of several Belt and Road countries signed agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoUs) to implement cooperation plans. The HKTDC also arranged Project Pitching sessions and close to 500 One-to-one Business Matching Meetings for participants to foster concrete cooperation and realise the Summit’s theme of “Collaborate for Success”.
In his welcome remarks, Vincent HS Lo, Chairman of the HKTDC, said: “In just four and a half years, the Initiative has achieved significant progress. New projects such as railways and roads, ports and power plants have begun in numerous countries around the world. At the same time, new opportunities are opening up, as the Initiative goes beyond infrastructure to technology, manufacturing, logistics, agriculture, tourism and many others. For something as far-reaching in scope and global in scale as the Belt and Road, we must find the right partners to make the right choices. As the commercial hub for the Belt and Road, Hong Kong is the best place to turn Belt and Road concepts into viable commercial ventures.”
At the opening session, Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of the HKSAR, delivered the opening remarks. Xiao Yaqing, Chairman of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, the People's Republic of China; Ning Jizhe, Vice Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, the People's Republic of China; and Gao Yan, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Commerce, the People's Republic of China, delivered special addresses. Dr Somkid Jatusripitak, Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand, gave the keynote speech and shared how the Belt and Road Initiative drove the steady growth of the global economy and how Thailand and other ASEAN countries could get involved.
A milestone for Hong Kong-Georgia economic and trade cooperation
Hong Kong and Georgia signed a free trade agreement (FTA) at the Summit. Georgia is located along the Silk Road Economic Belt of the Belt and Road and is a logistics and transhipment corridor to the Caucasus and Central Asia. The railway linking Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey began operation last year, further strengthening Georgia’s role as a transportation hub connecting Europe and Asia. More transportation and infrastructure projects will be started in Georgia in the future, creating a keen demand for investment and professional services.
In addition to signing the FTA, Genadi Arveladze, Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Georgia, joined the plenary luncheon chaired by Edward Yau Tang-wah, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Government of the HKSAR. Along with U Thaung Tun, National Security Advisor, Union Minister for the Ministry of the Office of the Union Government, Chairman of Myanmar Investment Commission, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar; Baroness Fairhead, Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion, Department for International Trade, the United Kingdom; and Lim Sidenine, Secretary of State, Ministry of Public Works and Transport, Kingdom of Cambodia, the speakers examined how governments could enhance cooperation and support enterprises and investors to participate in Belt and Road projects.
Business opportunities in different sectors explored
At the Plenary Session entitled “Action through Collaboration: Case Studies on Signature Belt and Road Projects”, panel chair Bernard Chan, President of Asia Financial Holdings Limited, spoke with Liu Qitao, President of China Communications Construction Group; Li Shufu, Vice Chairman of All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce and Chairman of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group; Prof Frederick Ma, Chairman of MTR Corporation Limited; Manuel V Pangilinan, Chairman of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation; and Shinta Widjaja Kamdani, Vice Chairwoman of Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN Indonesia) and Chief Executive Officer of Sintesa Group. The panellists shared views and experience on Belt and Road investment.
The breakout sessions focused on areas including infrastructure financing, digital technology, construction, green finance, risk management and legal services. Discussions included how enterprises and investors can leverage the strengths of Hong Kong’s services providers to upgrade their projects and maximise returns. Additionally, young business leaders and leading women entrepreneurs shared their experience in Belt and Road markets.
Overseas investment missions bearing fruit
The HKTDC has been organising business and investment missions to help Hong Kong and mainland Chinese companies reach out to various Belt and Road countries. Thailand is one of the key destinations. Dr Somkid Jatusripitak, Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand, delivered the keynote speech at today’s Summit. A number of MoUs were also signed between Hong Kong and Thai companies.
Hong Kong power company CLP signed a MoU with Thailand’s largest industrial city developer, Amata. To facilitate the use of renewable energy, they would join hands to study the feasibility of building a floating solar farm in Chonburi Industrial City, located on Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor. CLP met Amata last year when it joined the HKTDC’s mission to Thailand and the two companies reached the agreement after a year of negotiation.
Hong Kong-based Ho & Partners Architects (hpa) and Thailand’s leading developer Life & Living reached an agreement in which hpa will provide concept development and master planning for a tourism and leisure development in Thailand. In another project, hpa will be the project lead to design and develop a smart city in the Sriracha Creative District located along Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor. The project’s estimated valuation is close to US$ 3 billion.
Hong Kong electrical engineering contractor Kum Shing Group had earlier signed a MoU with Thailand’s Metropolitan Electricity Authority to offer consultancy services on providing stable power supply in Bangkok.
During the Summit, the HKTDC also signed MoUs with Thailand’s Ministry of Industry, Bangkok Bank and Siam Commercial Bank to strengthen bilateral cooperation and promote the Belt and Road Initiative.
In addition, Hong Kong’s Kwan On Holdings and hpa signed an MoU with the Philippines’ Aggregate Business Group to collaboratively work on the overall planning and marketing campaigns of three development projects in Philippines. The project’s estimated infrastructure investment is US$ 3.5 billion.
Concrete business opportunities abound
While the Plenary and Breakout Sessions were in progress, investors, project operators and owners and services providers took part in Investment and Business Matching. More than 220 projects were received and One-to-one Business Matching Meetings were arranged based on their needs. The Summit also organised Project Pitching sessions focusing on three sectors: Transport and Logistics Infrastructure, Energy, Natural Resources and Public Utilities, and Rural and Urban Development for participants to learn about different projects.
More project details and services information were available at the Summit’s exhibition zones. At the Global Investment Zone, more than 50 project owners and operators, investment promotion agencies, Consulates-General and representatives of government agencies from 29 countries showcased projects of their respective markets. At the Hong Kong Zone, more than 40 Hong Kong companies from four sectors: Banking and Financial Services, Information Technology, Infrastructure Development, and Professional Services introduced their services and shared case studies.
The third Belt and Road Summit invited 34 global business leaders to serve as honorary advisors. China International Capital Corporation Ltd was the Summit’s Strategic Partner. Bank of China (Hong Kong) Ltd was the Diamond Sponsor.
Belt and Road