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Fourth Belt and Road Summit examines opportunities

September 16, 2019 MICE No Comments Email Email

The fourth Belt and Road Summit, jointly organised by the HKSAR Government and the HKTDC, drew to a close today, having brought together more than 5,000 political and business elites from over 60 countries and regions. Under the theme “Creating and Realising Opportunities”, the two-day summit invited over 80 government and business leaders from countries and regions around the world to discuss the opportunities available in different sectors based on latest developments of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Infrastructure investment projects drive geographical connections

Aside from the plenary sessions and various thematic discussion sessions, the 2019 Summit featured One-to-one Business Matching Meetings and Project Pitching Sessions that proved popular among both project owners and participants. The Summit received more than 240 investment projects, focusing on: Urban Development; Energy, Natural Resources and Public Utilities; and Transport and Logistics Infrastructures. The projects covered 33 countries, including France, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Indonesia and the mainland. More than 700 project matching meetings were arranged for project owners, investors and professional service providers, with over 300 companies participating.

Middle East countries actively involved in Belt and Road

Countries from the Middle East are now key partners in the Belt and Road Initiative. HE Abdulla Al Saleh, Under Secretary for Foreign Trade and Industry, Ministry of Economy, United Arab Emirates (UAE), spoke at the Policy Dialogue Session. “Hong Kong has a good business environment and is an ideal platform for starting businesses. Also, Hong Kong has rich experience and expertise in the area of Islamic finance, as well as an excellent monetary system, which is very important to Middle Eastern enterprises that have financing needs.” The UAE has attended each Belt and Road Summit, sending a sizeable group of delegates each time.

The Global Investment Zone gathered close to 70 exhibitors from the Asia-Pacific region, Mainland China, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, hosting exhibitions that highlighted the respective investment environments, key industries and development projects of these countries and regions. In addition to the Hong Kong Zone, which featured some 40 service providers, there were two pavilions from Saudi Arabia – one organised by the Saudi Ministry of Transport and another by the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) – that introduced the country’s government policies and investment opportunities, respectively.

Saudi Arabia also joined with the United Arab Emirates to organise three delegations to participate in the Summit, introducing various Belt and Road development projects to participants from other countries and regions. Saudi Arabia highlighted a number of projects related to roads and highways, including the Taif Ring Road and the Jeddah-Mecca Direct Road, while various logistics park projects with high potential were introduced by the UAE.

A series of cooperation agreements were signed at the Summit. Hong Kong’s Kwan On Holdings, looking to diversify in the Philippines and expand its Belt and Road Initiative plan, signed an MoU with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, a national government agency of the Republic of the Philippines. The MoU sets out an overall framework for launching a light rail project with the objective of optimising transportation in Metro Manila and promoting development along the Pasig River.

New Belt and Road opportunities for SMEs and young people

SMEs have long been the driving force of Hong Kong’s economic development. A newly introduced breakout session at this year’s Summit, titled “Belt and Road Opportunities for SMEs”, invited professionals in the field to introduce the opportunities and challenges SMEs may face under the Belt and Road.

The Belt and Road also offers many opportunities for the younger generation looking to develop their businesses and harness their creativity. In the session “Belt and Road Opportunities for the Young Generation”, run in association with InvestHK, a panel of young entrepreneurs shared their experiences and views on how new entrepreneurs can grasp opportunities arising from the initiative.

China International Capital Corporation Ltd served as the Summit’s Strategic Partner. Bank of China (Hong Kong) Ltd was the Diamond Sponsor.

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