Chief executive Carrie Lam’s policy address, unveiled on 11 October, showed the Hong Kong authorities intent on taking a major role in ensuring the success of the Belt and Road Initiative, as can be seen from the following extract.
“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 by the end of 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 cooperation,” the policy document revealed.
Indeed, just a month earlier, in September, a hugely successful second Belt and Road Summit had been jointly organized by the Government and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. The event attracted 3,000 government representatives and business leaders from more than 50 countries.
There were close to 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 over 600 participants. The Summit achieved its objective of “turning vision to action, fostering concrete co-operation under the Belt and Road Initiative.” The take away point here is “turning vision to action’.
Such bold initiatives and solid guidance for businesses is sorely needed. Four years after president Xi Jinping first unveiled the “Silk Road Economic Belt” to an unsuspecting world many sector players remain uncertain as to how they can capitalise on it. This is not as surprising as it seems. Involving about 65% of the world’s population, more than 30% of its GDP and moving about 25% all of its goods and services, the Belt and Road has been described by some as the biggest development drive in history.
The sheer size of the Initiative can be overwhelming, especially for SMEs. Companies involved in cross-border transportation, movement of goods and transportation infrastructure need to understand the context and objectives of the Belt and Road and build strategic plans to best leverage their core competencies. In the case of SMEs with or without international experience, finding partners would be a wise move. It is widely believed that those companies who strategically position themselves early will have gained an advantage over the next few years as the true potential of the Initiative becomes apparent.
It is these companies, where logistics plays a large part in their operations that stand to benefit immensely from the Asia Logistics and Maritime Conference 2017 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, 23-24 November.
The Belt and Road forms a major pillar in this year’s conference. Not only as a dedicated theme of the first Plenary Session but as a vital consideration in the e-commerce and supply-chain management sessions.
There is no better place than ALMC 2017 to make that vital first connection with a potential business partner. Around 2,000 delegates are expected this year, plus 100 exhibitors from 15 countries and regions. And if you need assistance to make that first move, ALMC 2016 helped arrange more than 150 one-on-one business-matching meetings.
Don’t delay Book today! The Hong Kong Trade Development Council is offering a 30% early bird discount, which will expire today 13 October 2017. http://www.hktdc.com/ncs/almc2017/en/s/part-details.html