2018 Policy Address (Extract)
Belt and Road Initiative
The Government has strived to grasp the opportunities brought by the B&R Initiative. At the end of last year, we entered into the “Arrangement between the National Development and Reform Commission and the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region for Advancing Hong Kong’s Full Participation in and Contribution to the Belt and Road Initiative” with the NDRC. Through the 26 collaboration measures laid down therein seeking to support Hong Kong’s full participation in and contribution to the B&R Initiative, we have established Hong Kong’s pivotal position in the promotion of the B&R Initiative by leveraging our strengths to meet the country’s needs. These measures cover six key areas in which Hong Kong have distinctive strengths and positions, namely finance and investment, infrastructure and maritime services, economic and trade facilitation and co-operation, people-to-people bond, taking forward the development of the Greater Bay Area, and enhancing collaboration in project interfacing and dispute resolution services. In June this year, the first B&R Joint Conference, establishing Hong Kong’s unique and direct communication mechanism with relevant Mainland authorities regarding the B&R Initiative, was held in Beijing. Furthermore, we have co-organised consecutively with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council three Belt and Road Summits since 2016. Within a short span of three years, the Summit has established itself as the largest and most important B&R commerce, investment and business matching platform for Mainland, overseas and Hong Kong enterprises.
Hong Kong has firmly established itself as the prime platform and a key link for the B&R Initiative. Riding on our various unique advantages, and in view of the opportunities and challenges, we have formulated a five-pronged B&R key strategy on continuous engagement with the Mainland and B&R related countries and regions. These themes include (i) enhancing policy co-ordination; (ii) fully leveraging Hong Kong’s unique advantages; (iii) making the best use of Hong Kong’s position as the professional services hub; (iv) promoting project participation; and (v) establishing partnership and collaboration. The Commerce and Economic Development Bureau (CEDB) plays a leading and co-ordinating role in promoting the B&R Initiative, and is in the process of recruiting the Commissioner for B&R to undertake the relevant work. The Professional Services Advancement Support Scheme administered by CEDB will continue to provide funding support for projects to enhance external promotion for our professional services and to better equip the professional services sector in seizing the opportunities and meeting the challenges brought by the B&R Initiative.