Seventh Belt and Road Summit opens in Hong Kong
1 Sep 2022


Over 6 000 senior government officials and business leaders from more than 80 countries and regions signed up for the seventh Belt and Road Summit, which opened today (August 31), to discuss business and collaboration opportunities associated with the Belt and Road Initiative.


Jointly organised by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, the Summit is a premier Belt and Road business and investment platform for Mainland, overseas and Hong Kong enterprises. The event, themed "Heralding a New Chapter: Collaborate and Innovate" and held in a hybrid format this year, is one of the major events to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR.


The Vice Premier of the State Council, Mr Han Zheng, gave a video keynote speech at the opening session this morning. The Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR, Mr Luo Huining, attended the opening session.


In his opening address at the Summit, the Chief Executive, Mr John Lee, pointed out that the Belt and Road is built on collaboration and covers a wide spectrum of connectivity. He said the Initiative has brought about trade and investment co-operation, as well as infrastructure development, unleashing profound potential and opportunities. The HKSAR Government has been partnering with different stakeholders in providing Belt and Road networking opportunities for business and professionals.


He said that as a global city, an international financial and trade centre and the business bridge between the Mainland and the rest of the world, Hong Kong is ready to partner with Belt and Road companies and economies by providing essential project financing and professional services support, innovation and technology, capacity building, cultural awareness, wide-ranging connections and much more.


Also speaking online at the opening session were Deputy Director-General of the World Trade Organization Mr Zhang Xiangchen; the Minister of Commerce, Mr Wang Wentao; the Chairman of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, Mr Hao Peng; and Vice Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission Mr Lin Nianxiu.


The Financial Secretary, Mr Paul Chan, gave special remarks at the business plenary session titled "Collaborate for a Bright New Era". He said that Hong Kong's competitiveness as an international financial, trading and shipping centre is distinctive and unique, and elaborated on Hong Kong's role in actively contributing to the Belt and Road Initiative in such areas as infrastructure financing, green finance, Renminbi business, risk management, and advancing environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives in the region.


Mr Chan also said that Hong Kong is working to create strong impetus for growth and develop as an international innovation and technology hub, and there will be new policies and support measures to attract enterprises and talents.


The Secretary for Justice, Mr Paul Lam, SC, gave welcome remarks at a thematic breakout session and elaborated on how the full-fledged legal and dispute resolution services in Hong Kong can provide strong support for investors and the dispute resolution sectors in navigating new opportunities along the Belt and Road.


Stressing that Hong Kong is committed to improving its legal regime continuously to better serve the international community, as well as offering users a buffet of dispute resolution options catering to the diversified needs of different clients from around the world, Mr Lam said Hong Kong will continue to flourish and remain as the prime platform for businesses and practitioners to seize the golden opportunities that lie ahead along the Belt and Road.


The Deputy Financial Secretary, Mr Michael Wong, chaired the policy dialogue session titled "Driving Growth through Partnership and Collaboration" and shared his insights on nurturing and enhancing partnership and collaboration under the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA). He was joined by the Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies of Singapore, Mr Heng Swee Keat; the Secretary of State of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport of Cambodia, HE Lim Sidenine; the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment of Indonesia, Mr Luhut Binsar Panjaitan; the Deputy Minister of the International Trade and Industry of Malaysia, YB Senator Datuk Lim Ban Hong; and the Thai Trade Representative and Advisor to the Prime Minister of Thailand, ML Chayotid Kridakon.


The Summit today featured another business plenary session on capturing synergy between the Belt and Road and the GBA, which was attended by renowned key players. In addition, five thematic breakout sessions were held today on building the Northern Metropolis as a new gateway to the Belt and Road and the GBA, Hong Kong's role as a leading centre for resolving disputes along the Belt and Road, infrastructure development, Hong Kong's role as a risk management centre in support of the national strategy of the Belt and Road Initiative, and how digitalisation is driving the GBA and the Belt and Road development.


The two-day Summit will continue online tomorrow (September 1), featuring six thematic breakout sessions on a wide range of topics, namely the role of transition finance; green technology and talent cultivation in the GBA; Hong Kong as a capital raising hub for the Belt and Road, the GBA and RCEP regions; fostering trade and investment connectivity in the RCEP; cross-border trade opportunities under the post-pandemic era; and opportunities for start-ups and young business leaders under globalisation.


Four project pitching sessions on energy, natural resources and public utilities; innovation and technology; urban development; and transport and logistics infrastructure, as well as over 800 one-on-one business-matching meetings for more than 280 projects, will also be held.


Source: GovHK