Belt and Road back in the spotlight
September’s Belt and Road Summit will help to show the way forward for businesses engaging in China’s signature infrastructure initiative.
24 August 2022
As pivot points between Mainland China and the rest of the world, Hong Kong and the broader Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area both have key roles to play in the Belt and Road Initiative. As COVID-19 restrictions ease and physical gatherings are made easier, government and business leaders from around the world will converge on Hong Kong for the Belt and Road Summit at the end of this month.
Jointly organised by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the seventh Belt and Road Summit will take place on 31 August and 1 September. The first day will feature both online and physical events at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre while the second day will be entirely online. As part of celebrations to mark the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR, this year’s summit will run under the theme “Heralding a New Chapter: Collaborate and Innovate”.
Policymakers and business leaders will gather to explore how the Belt and Road Initiative can be leveraged through the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) development and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to forge multilateral collaboration, drive post-pandemic economic recovery and boost investment and business opportunities, while highlighting the unique advantages of Hong Kong and facilitating investment and business cooperation in different arenas.
The summit gives businesses around the world a platform to share insights and explore collaboration opportunities. Business representatives can participate virtually from international locations and continue to identify business opportunities even if they are not able to join the event in person, while those at the venue can enjoy a lively and interactive exchange with speakers.
Sessions and events include the Opening Session, the Policy Dialogue, Business Plenaries, Thematic Breakout Sessions and Project Pitching Sessions. For the first time, the event will feature the Global Business Connectivity Forum to highlight how the summit can contribute to multilateral collaboration and achieve synergies by strengthening connections between projects and corporates.
The 2022 summit will bring together about 80 government officials and business elites from Belt and Road countries and regions, as well as project owners and operators, investors and service providers from all over the world, to explore Belt and Road opportunities. In addition to learning about investment opportunities in different Belt and Road regions and sectors through inspiring sharing by renowned speakers, participants will also be able to discover potential projects and connect with potential partners for investment and collaboration.
HKTDC Chairman Dr Peter K N Lam and HKSAR Chief Executive John Lee will host the Opening Session, which will feature an online keynote address by World Trade Organization Deputy Director-General Zhang Xiangchen.
Titled “Driving Growth through Partnership and Collaboration”, the Policy Dialogue Session, chaired by HKSAR Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Algernon Yau, will analyse how Belt and Road economies can strengthen cooperation and boost economic growth through infrastructure development and trade in the post-pandemic era. Panellists include government officials from Belt and Road countries and regions.
The “Collaborate for a Bright New Era” plenary will take place in the morning of the first day, with “Capturing Synergies between Belt and Road and Greater Bay Area” held in the afternoon.
The morning session will open with special remarks by HKSAR Financial Secretary Paul Chan. Chair of Hang Lung Properties Limited Ronnie Chan will host the talk and other speakers include Rod Eddington, Chairman of Infrastructure Partnerships Australia, Chairman of JP Morgan’s Asia Pacific Advisory Council, and Non-Executive Chairman of Lion; John Key, the 38th Prime Minister of New Zealand; Aswin Techajareonvikul, Chief Executive Officer and President of Berli Jucker Public Company Limited; and YK Pang, Deputy Managing Director & Chairman of Hong Kong, Jardine Matheson Holdings Limited.
The session will examine how the RCEP will inject new impetus into the region and how Belt and Road countries can strengthen connections in order to capitalise on new opportunities.
“Capturing Synergies between Belt and Road and Greater Bay Area”, hosted by the Permanent Honorary President of the Chinese Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong, David YK Wong, will be held in the afternoon of 31 August. Guest speakers include Ding Yanzhang, Chairman of the Power Construction Corporation of China; Rex Auyeung, Chairman of the MTR Corporation Limited; KC Chan, Chairman of WeLab Bank; Huang Zhaohui, Chief Executive Officer, Chairman of the Management Committee, Executive Director of the Board of China International Capital Corporation Limited; and Michael Kwok, Chairman of East Asia Region of Arup Group. They will discuss how the initiative can bring opportunities for the GBA and how enterprises should capitalise on their strengths to get a head start in the fast-changing business world.
Spanning different countries and regions, the Belt and Road Initiative creates new room for the development of various professional sectors. Catering to the needs of these sectors, the summit, in conjunction with a number of organisations including the Department of Justice, Hong Kong Monetary Authority Infrastructure Financing Facilitation Office, Insurance Authority, Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited , China International Contractors Association, Bank of China (Hong Kong) Ltd, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Standard Chartered Bank and Dun & Bradstreet, will hold several thematic breakout sessions.
They will cover a wide range of topics such as international dispute resolution, insurance service, infrastructure development in the GBA, digitalisation, green finance, fundraising and financing, digital technology, global connectivity, cross-border trade opportunities, as well as start-up and youth development.
The 2021 summit brought together more than 260 investment projects from the Belt and Road, spanning 42 countries and regions. It also facilitated more than 770 one-to-one project-matching sessions for project owners, investors and professional service providers. In view of the previous success, the HKTDC will extend the hybrid project and business matching sessions this year from two to seven days (31 August to 6 September). New features will include a video display at the summit to increase project exposure and provide investors and professional service companies with a better understanding of project details.
The matching sessions include one-to-one business-matching meetings and project-pitching sessions. Business-matching meetings will connect participants based on their investment preferences and business expertise to facilitate one-to-one discussions on collaboration opportunities. More than 260 investment projects are expected this year.
Project-pitching sessions will provide a platform for project owners from different countries to present their projects, giving investors and service intermediaries a comprehensive understanding of the investment opportunities in different sectors. Pitching sessions will focus on four main areas: energy, natural resources and public utilities, innovation and technology, urban development, and transport and logistics infrastructure.
More than 60 exhibitors will display online and offline in the Global Investment Zone, Hong Kong Zone and GBA Tech Zone. The Global Investment Zone will showcase large-scale investment projects and opportunities from different countries to attract international investors and partners; the Hong Kong Zone will demonstrate services and business advantages offered by enterprises; while the GBA Tech Zone will feature high-end innovative technologies, artificial intelligence, digital technologies and solutions offered by exhibitors from the region.
China International Capital Corporation Ltd serves as the Strategic Partner of the seventh Belt and Road Summit; Bank of China (Hong Kong) Ltd as the Regional Banking Partner; and China Mobile International Limited and China Unicom Global Limited as Platinum Sponsors.
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