It has been suggested that the Asia-Pacific’s Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and China’s Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area can support the Belt and Road Initiative in driving global development forward. Ways to achieve this will be examined at the Belt and Road Summit 2021.
Jointly organised by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the sixth Belt and Road Summit will be held online on 1 and 2 September with the theme “Driving Growth through Fostering Regional and International Trade”. The summit will explore how the Belt and Road Initiative can be leveraged together with the development and the Greater Bay Area and RCEP to forge multilateral collaboration and drive post-pandemic economic recovery as well as investment and business cooperation in various sectors.
This year’s summit will be held virtually, connecting global participants across different geographic boundaries and time zones. The summit will comprise a range of sessions and events, including the Opening Session, Policy Dialogue session, two Business Plenaries, a panel discussion and thematic breakout sessions, investment project pitching sessions as well as an exhibition and one-to-one business matching meetings. The event will bring together more than 80 government officials and business elites from Belt and Road countries and regions, as well as project owners, investors and services providers from all over the world, to explore Belt and Road opportunities. In addition to benefitting from the inspiring sharing by renowned speakers, participants will also be able to learn about the current investment climate and opportunities in different regions and sectors, and build contacts with business potential counterparts on the spot.
Policy trend analysis
The Belt and Road facilitates global investment and trade, providing potential investment opportunities for investors and collaboration opportunities for different professional services sectors. HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam and HKTDC Chairman Dr Peter K N Lam will host the opening session, where a keynote address will be delivered by Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.
At the Policy Dialogue session (on 1 September morning), chaired by HKSAR Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau, officials from Belt and Road countries and regions will analyse the latest economic policy trends. Panellists include Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew Bin Abdullah, Minister at the Prime Minister's Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II, Brunei; HE Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, United Arab Emirates; HE Dato Lim Jock Hoi, Secretary-General of the ASEAN Secretariat; HE Pan Sorasak, Minister of Commerce, Cambodia; Muhammad Lutfi, Minister of Trade, Indonesia; Ramon Lopez, Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry, the Philippines; Tan See Leng, Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Trade and Industry, Singapore; and Sansern Samalapa, Vice Minister for Commerce, Thailand.
HKSAR Financial Secretary Paul Chan will address the day’s Business Plenary Session, themed “Belt and Road and RCEP: Enhancing Regional Business Connectivity”, which will also feature business leaders from Hong Kong, Mainland China and RCEP markets. Speakers include Victor Chu, Chairman and CEO, First Eastern Investment Group; Sean Chiao, Global Business Line Chief Executive, Buildings and Places, AECOM; Huang Zhaohui, CEO and Chairman of Management Committee, China International Capital Corporation Limited; Suroj Lamsam, CEO and President of Loxley Public Company Limited in Thailand; Michael Tan, President and Chief Operating Officer of LT Group in the Philippines; and Wang Cuijun, Director, China Merchants Group Limited. The session will examine how the RCEP will inject new impetus into the region and how Belt and Road countries and regions can strengthen connectivity to seize the new opportunities.
Greater Bay Area opportunities
This year’s summit introduces the Greater Bay Area series focusing on opportunities in the region. It includes a Business Plenary, a panel discussion, thematic breakout sessions and an exhibition. The Business Plenary (on 2 September), titled “Connecting the Belt and Road and Greater Bay Area through Hong Kong”, will be chaired by Victor Fung, Chairman of the Fung Group, and Dato Seri Cheah Cheng Hye, Co-Chairman and Co-Chief Investment Officer of Value Partners Group; Jack So, Chairman of Airport Authority Hong Kong; Sun Yu, Vice Chairman, Executive Director and Chief Executive of Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited; and Wang Shi, Chairman of Shenzhen Foundation for International Exchange and Cooperation and Founder and Honorary Chairman of Vanke Co., Ltd. The panel will share insights on how Hong Kong should leverage its advantages to connect the Belt and Road and the Greater Bay Area and seize relevant opportunities in the cross-boundary collaboration era. A panel discussion and thematic breakout sessions will cover topics such as fundraising, financing, green finance, digital technology and start-ups.
Belt and Road opportunities for various professional services, including legal and dispute resolution, captive insurance and reinsurance, and infrastructure, as well for small and medium-sized enterprises will be discussed at thematic breakout sessions co-organised with various partners including the HKSAR Department of Justice, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s Infrastructure Financing Facilitation Office, the Hong Kong Insurance Authority, Hong Kong Cyberport, Invest Hong Kong, the China International Contractors Association and the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce. The sessions will also cover international cooperation in infrastructure development, as well as cultural and business collaboration.
Project pitching, business matching
The summit will once again feature the Investment and Business Matching Session, a platform where project owners, investors and services providers can connect and explore cooperation opportunities. The session includes one-to-one business matching meetings, to be arranged according to participants’ business and investment needs, and project pitching sessions which focus on four main areas: energy, natural resources and public utilities; innovation and technology; urban development; and transport and logistics infrastructure. The matching sessions are expected to involve more than 100 investment projects.
An exhibition will again be held online, featuring more than 60 exhibitors from around the world. Adding to the returning Global Investment Zone and Hong Kong Zone, the new Greater Bay Area Zone will showcase the latest technology and related investment opportunities in the Greater Bay Area.
Hong Kong-Kazakhstan cooperation
During the summit Hong Kong firm Koln 3D Technology (Medical) Limited and the Kazakh Institute of Oncology and Radiology will sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to promote cooperation over advanced medical equipment, including the application of medical metal 3D printing technology in orthopaedic oncology and related training.