Prof Justin Lin Yifu, Prof Yuan Yue and Consul Generals from various countries attended the 2017 Hong Kong Forum on the Belt and Road Initiative: Dialogue and Cooperation between China and Asian Countries
20 Oct 2017
In seeking the response from participating countries in China’s Belt and Road Initiative, particularly to draw on collective wisdom and efforts from all stakeholders which include distinguished academics, businessmen, diplomats, economists, think tanks and public institutions and to explore future directions, the “2017 Hong Kong Forum on the Belt and Road Initiative: Dialogue and Cooperation between China and Asian Countries” was held at the Exchange Auditorium, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited on 19 October 2017. This forum was jointly organised by Lingnan University, Bauhinia Magazine and Hong Kong Economic Association. China Economic Research Programme and Pan Sutong Shanghai-Hong Kong Economic Policy Research Centre of Lingnan University are the executive organisers.
This forum invited Dr Bernard Chan Pak-li, Under Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development to attend as an officiating guest. The moderators are Prof Leonard K Cheng, President and Prof Wei Xiangdong, Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences of Lingnan University. The seven keynote speakers included:
- Prof Justin Lin Yifu, Counsellor of the State Council; Former Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of World Bank
- Prof Ba Shusong, Chief China Economist, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited
- Prof Yuan Yue, Chairman of Dataway Horizon Group and Adjunct Professor of School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University
- Mr Abdul Qadir Memon, Consul General of Pakistan for Hong Kong and Macau
- Mr Tengku Sirajuzzaman, Consul General, Consulate General of Malaysia for Hong Kong and Macau
- Prof Francis T Lui, Honorary Director, China Economic Research Programme, Lingnan University and Professor Emeritus, Department of Economics, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
- Prof Larry Qiu Dongxiao, Associate Dean, Faculty of Business and Economics, The University of Hong Kong and President, Hong Kong Economic Association
President Leonard K Cheung of Lingnan University said that Hong Kong has always featured a special mix of Chinese and Western influences in its culture and economic development over the past 100 years. Today, Hong Kong is still an ideal place for mainland Chinese businessmen to foreign investment, and to act as a “two-way springboard” for overseas Chinese and foreign companies investing in mainland China. In addition to Hong Kong’s free trade system and convenient business, it stands out from other coastal cities of China and becomes Asia’s leading international financial center and becomes the most important offshore Renminbi center in China. The world is large. While Chinese enterprises are expanding internationally through “Going Out” policy and the “Belt and Road Initiative”, Hong Kong enterprises should take advantage of this unique opportunity of expanding both domestic and international markets. Hong Kong needs to strategically adjust its supply of the professional services and other related professionals in order to stimulate economic growth and improve social mobility.
This forum invited 7 keynote speakers that included internationally renowned academics, diplomats, experts who familiar with the financial market and changing external environments. The forum also include both academics and practitioners with mixed skills. In his keynote speech on “The Belt and Road Initiative: Implications and Opportunities for the Developing World”, Prof Justin Lin Yifu discussed the rationale of China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” and its likely impacts on the world. China is currently the second largest economy as well as the largest trading nation in the world. With the rising weight and power, China, like the current high-income countries, need to increase its help to other developing countries. Infrastructure is the bottleneck for growth in most developing countries and China has strength in building infrastructure. Beyond creating unparalleled opportunities for other developing countries, the “Belt and Road Initiative” will enable China to make better use of domestic and international markets and resources, thereby strengthening its capacity to remain an engine of global economic growth. By building much-needed infrastructure across the Silk Road routes – from roads and rail links to ports and resource pipelines – China hopes to build “a community of common interest, destiny, and responsibility.
Prof Yuan Yue presented his keynote speech on “An Analytical Model of Investment Risk Analysis from Macro, Meso and Micro Perspectives, and Exploring the Management of the “Belt and Road Initiative”. The “Belt and Road Initiative” consists of both opportunities and challenges. From the macro perspective, the risk of zero-sum game, terrorism and political stability as well as the perceived difference in the attitude towards the “Belt and Road Initiative” have exacerbated the uncertainty of China’s investment projects abroad. From the meso perspective, China’s comparative advantages increase because of the differences in international standard and characteristics of the business environment. From the micro perspective, company management, staff management model, dispute resolution, political and business relations model and other factors also increase the risk of labour market and foreign trade and investment. These factors affect every businessman who intends to invest in the local market. Prof. Yuan Yue suggested to build a legal framework at the national level. Various industries and enterprises are encouraged to form a multi-cooperative relations with the promotion of professional norms in order to explore an innovative way of managing the “Belt and Road Initiative”.
Prof Francis T Lui presented his keynote speech on “Globalization and the Economic Basis of the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’”. Prof Lui argued that the “Belt and Road Initiative”, if successful, can integrate many more countries into the global economy. The scale economy enhanced by the increase in size of the world market will likely lead to greater division of labor and thereby improve efficiency in production. The experience in China has also shown that market size itself can be an important stimulus for technological innovations that drive further economic growth.
Besides, Mr Abdul Qadir Memon, Consul General of Pakistan for Hong Kong and Macau presented his keynote speech on “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor” and Mr Tengku Sirajuzzaman, Consul General, Consulate General of Malaysia for Hong Kong and Macau presented his keynote speech on “A Tale of Two Hubs: Spotlight on Opportunities between Malaysia and Hong Kong in the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’”.
Participants expressed that this forum provided new insights on the topic of the “Belt and Road Initiative” from different perspectives, and helped to improve their career advancement opportunities. In addition, this forum facilitated the stable and healthy development of Hong Kong, China and the world economy. This was a significant dialogue and cooperation on the “Belt and Road Initiative” at the international level.