2017 Oct Policy Address (Extract)
Opportunities Arising from the Belt and Road Initiative
The Belt and Road Initiative is a new engine for Hong Kong’s economic development. In the current term Government, the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau (CEDB) has been tasked to co ordinate the work of the HKSAR Government on the Belt and Road Initiative. The SCED is proactively steering the next stage of work on the Belt and Road Initiative. To ensure that the CEDB will be able to take forward the work on the Belt and Road Initiative more effectively and on a sustained basis, we will provide additional resources to reinforce the manpower for the Belt and Road Office. The SCED has also revamped the Trade and Industry Advisory Board into a broader platform to facilitate liaison with enterprises and various professions and to collect their views more effectively.
To fully participate in and capitalise on the opportunities brought by the Belt and Road Initiative, and to leverage our edge under the “what the country needs, what Hong Kong is good at” policy, the HKSAR Government will step up communication with the Central Authorities to gain a deeper understanding of the policy directions and implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative. We will also co operate with enterprises and chambers of commerce to translate policies into business opportunities. We are in discussion with the Central Authorities with the aim of entering into an agreement of Hong Kong’s full participation in the Belt and Road Initiative with the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) by the end of 20 this year. The agreement will cover various areas such as finance, infrastructure, economic and trade facilitation, people to people bonds, project interfacing, dispute resolution as well as the Guangdong Hong Kong Macao Bay Area development. Specific measures will be drawn up to lay down the principles and provide a blueprint for mutual co operation. Among these measures, we will explore the establishment of an information sharing platform for Belt and Road projects so that enterprises will have a better grasp of relevant information to facilitate more effective project interfacing and enterprise collaboration. The HKSAR Government will also establish a joint working mechanism with the NDRC for direct and regular dialogues, to strengthen communication and co operation and to oversee the implementation of the agreement.
The second Belt and Road Summit (the Summit), jointly organised by the Government and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC), is a significant initiative in driving the Belt and Road Initiative. The second Summit held on 11 September this year gained strong support from the Central Authorities and attracted the active participation of many countries and various sectors in Hong Kong. Over 3 000 government representatives of different countries and leaders of different sectors from more than 50 countries and regions took part in the Summit. The business matching sessions, in particular, received an overwhelming response from the business sector. As many as 170 investment projects in transport and logistics infrastructure, energy, natural resources and public utilities, and urban development were featured through project presentations and networking sessions, with more than 600 participants. In addition, one to one business matching meetings were arranged for over 200 companies, including project owners, investors and professional services providers. The Summit successfully achieved its objective of “turning vision to action, fostering concrete co operation under the Belt and Road Initiative”. Building on the success of the Summit this year, the HKSAR Government plans to continue to work with the TDC and stage the event every year, making it a key platform to promote and foster Hong Kong as an international commerce and trading platform for the Belt and Road Initiative.