Home > HK
Saturday, May 21, 2016, 01:55

HK prepares to embrace Belt and Road Initiative

By Li Yinze and Li Xiange

Hong Kong is gearing up to fully embrace the Belt and Road Initiative - after the nation’s top legislator Zhang Dejiang outlined a clear future direction for the city.

The State leader stressed the importance of the development strategy during his inspection tour of the SAR which ended on Thursday.

Starting in June, 93 students from 10 local higher education institutions will go to countries and regions along the Belt and Road, including the Chinese mainland, Southeast Asia and the Czech Republic, for one to two months’ internship in a program provided by local think tank - the Maritime Silk Road Society.

"It is a precious opportunity for students, as they will be working while learning. They will also learn firsthand about the Belt and Road Initiative,” said Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, co-chair of the think tank.

Ernest Chau Long-yat, a junior student from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, is heading for the Republic of Djibouti in Africa. He said he was looking forward to encountering a different culture in June while developing skills as a pathfinder.

And the Maritime Silk Road Society is not the only one heeding the call of Zhang during his keynote speech at the Belt and Road Summit on Wednesday in Hong Kong.

At the summit, the chairman of the Standing Committee of National People's Congress suggested Hong Kong should tap its unique strengths into playing a significant role in the Belt and Road Initiative.

Chan Wing-kee, chairman of the Hong Kong Guangdong Community Organisations, called Zhang’s visit an inspiration to Hong Kong. It would help the city to develop social cohesion and to concentrate on revitalizing the economy.

Hong Kong should actively participate in the initiative, and opportunities abound for deepening cooperation with the mainland to develop markets along the Belt and Road routes, including service industries, legal and financial sectors, Chan said.

Local legislator representing the financial service sector Christopher Cheung Wah-fung said it is very important for the government to put forward a detailed blueprint to participate in and carry out this national strategy.

Cheung, also a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, suggested the authorities expedite the launch of Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect.

He also said a regional operation center of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank should be set up in Hong Kong to take advantage of the city’s strengths in attracting investments and talents.

Local party Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong has made 10 suggestions on the Belt and Road Initiative to the SAR government, including organizing regular visits to the countries and regions along the Belt and Road, diversifying the tourism attractions in Hong Kong, setting arbitration centers to provide professional legal services, and establishing centers to train talents from across the region to serve the initiative.

Latest News