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The Second Belt and Road Summit opens next Monday

Theodore Koumelis - 06 September 2017, 00:10

Global government and business leaders to discuss infrastructure and ASEAN opportunities, bringing the initiative "From Vision to Action".

HONG KONG - Jointly organised by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the second Belt and Road Summit will be held on 11 September (Monday) at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The second edition of the Summit is expected to attract more than 2,500 senior government ministers as well as key representatives of international institutions, business and industry leaders from Hong Kong, the Chinese mainland, the ASEAN region and other countries along the Belt and Road. The Summit is set to usher the Belt and Road Initiative into the implementation phase and help global enterprises seize related business opportunities.
 
"From Vision to Action"
Numerous projects and infrastructure construction related to the Belt and Road Initiative have been set in motion, reflecting the cooperative framework for global development taking shape and becoming a major driver for regional and global economic growth. Under the theme "From Vision to Action," this year's Belt and Road Summit will spotlight infrastructure investment and ASEAN opportunities. The Summit is expected to become an exchange platform promoting more concrete cooperation on infrastructure, commerce and trade. Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of the HKSAR and Ning Jizhe, Vice Chairman, National Development and Reform Commission of the People's Republic of China, will deliver keynote speeches at the opening session.
 
Dialogue with policymakers
Infrastructure development is a top priority among the Initiative's five key focus areas: policy coordination, investment and trade facilitation, financial integration as well as cultural and social exchange. The Initiative advocates building infrastructure such as roads, railroads and energy pipelines and opening intermodal channels through international cooperation. The goal is to promote a seamless flow of goods and optimal use of resources.
 
Reflecting the fact that success of large-scale infrastructure developments hinges on policy coordination among governments, the first panel at the Summit will be "Investing in Belt and Road: Dialogue with Policymakers." The session will be chaired by Laura Cha, Chairman of Hong Kong's Financial Services Development Council, along with panellists Edward Yau, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of the HKSAR Government; Virasakdi Futrakul, Thailand's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs; Justyna Skrzydlo, Poland's Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Construction; and ministers from other Belt and Road countries and regions. The panellists will share insights on the infrastructure policies of various countries, enabling participants to gain a comprehensive understanding of the policy landscape for infrastructure development on the Belt and Road.
 
ASEAN opportunities
Against the backdrop of rapid regional economic growth in recent years, ASEAN nations are expected to enter into a free-trade agreement with Hong Kong in the near future, strengthening bilateral economic and trade cooperation. Keen demand among ASEAN countries for infrastructure also presents new opportunities for Hong Kong's services industries.
 
The Summit has invited Bernard Chan, President of the Asia Financial Holdings Ltd, to host a session entitled "Partnerships with ASEAN: Growth through Infrastructure." He will be joined by leaders from the infrastructure sector in Hong Kong, the Chinese mainland and ASEAN to share their first-hand experience in investing on infrastructure projects and will discuss ASEAN opportunities. Speakers will include Keith Griffiths, founder and Chairman of Aedas; Liu Qitao, Chairman of China Communications Construction Company Ltd; Professor Frederick Ma, Chairman of MTR Corporation Ltd; Meng Fengchao, Chairman of the Board of Directors of China Railway Construction Corporation Ltd; Chairul Tanjung, Chairman of CT Corp; and Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ayala Corporation.
 
Infrastructure investment
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) plays a pivotal role in advancing Asian infrastructure development. The Bank is offering a new platform for supporting infrastructure projects for its 80 member economies. Hong Kong became an official member of the AIIB in June. At the keynote luncheon, AIIB Vice President and Chief Administration Officer Dr Luky Eko Wuryanto will deliver a keynote address, in which he will shed light on the AIIB's latest plans and their implications for global infrastructure investments.
 
Breakout forums on financing, dispute settlement and entrepreneurship
The Belt and Road Initiative encompasses multiple domains and the three thematic breakout forums in the afternoon will examine infrastructure investments and financing, infrastructure dispute resolution and entrepreneurship opportunities. The HKTDC and the HKMA Infrastructure Financing Facilitation Office (IFFO) will co-organise a breakout forum hosted by IFFO Advisor Dr Victor K Fung, inviting various key stakeholders to discuss how to capture infrastructure investment and financing opportunities through Hong Kong.
 
Cross-border investment and infrastructure disputes usually arise due to differences in legal systems and business practices of various economies. Hong Kong has a pool of legal talent who can advise on the avoidance and management of legal risks at the contract negotiation stage and in the course of project implementation. Hong Kong's legal and dispute resolution professionals can also provide effective dispute resolution services. A breakout forum co-organised by the HKTDC and the Department of Justice of the Government of the HKSAR will feature a distinguished panel of arbitrators and legal professionals, who will highlight Hong Kong's key advantages in legal and dispute resolution services.
 
The new platforms and markets created by the Belt and Road Initiative will open opportunities for start-ups and young entrepreneurs. In the breakout forum "Sharing by Young Business Leaders on Belt and Road Opportunities," a panel of young business leaders from Hong Kong and ASEAN countries will share their perspectives on capturing the vast business opportunities presented by the Initiative. Panellists will include Pawoot Pongvitayapanu, CEO of TARAD.com; Dato' Seri Ivan Teh, CEO and Managing Director of Fusionex, Malaysia; and Hong Kong's Glendy Choi, Executive Director and CEO of Hong Kong's D&G Technology Holding Co, Ltd; and Nicholas Ho, Deputy Managing Director of hpa.
 
Project presentations and business matching meetings
To create more concrete business opportunities, Project Presentations & Networking sessions and One-to-One Business Matching Meetings will be organised. The presentation sessions will be organised under three themes: Transport & Logistics Infrastructure, Energy, Natural Resources & Public Utilities, and Urban Development. Project owners from the respective countries will introduce the development potential of their projects, followed by networking between participants.
 
At the One-to-One Business Matching Meetings, investors will be matched with project owners based on their needs. The Summit will identify appropriate projects from the more than 100 projects submitted. At the same time, investors and project owners will be introduced to Hong Kong's services providers, bringing Belt and Road opportunities to Hong Kong's services industries.
 
This year's Project Presentations and Business Matching Meetings will be attended by more than 500 project owners, investors and service providers with more than 130 investment projects.
 
In addition, there will be an exhibition area at the Summit, gathering more than 30 banks and financial institutions, infrastructure-related services providers and various professional services companies. The Global Investment Zone will showcase the latest information and investment opportunities of eight economies, including Germany, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Participants engaged in project negotiations visiting the exhibition area will find a wide range of services; from financial and advisory services as well as legal and accounting consultancies to ICT services.
 
This year's Belt and Road Summit is one of the events celebrating the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR. The Summit is supported by a wide range of relevant sectors, embodying the key theme of the celebration events "Together, Progress, Opportunity." The Summit has invited some 40 global business leaders to serve as honorary advisors for the event. The China International Capital Corporation Ltd is the Summit's Strategic Partner, while the Bank of China (Hong Kong) Ltd is the Diamond Sponsor.
 
 
Photo caption: Edward Yau, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, HKSAR (2nd L), and Vincent HS Lo, Chairman, HKTDC (2nd R), at the Summit press briefing today. Hong Kong companies that successfully tapped into Belt and Road countries shared experiences and insight, including Rorce Au-Yeung, CEO, VPower Group International Holdings Ltd (1st L) and Nicholas Ho, Deputy Managing Director, hpa (1st R)


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