Fran­nie Guan

China Daily (Canada) - - HONG KONG -

keen to par­tic­i­pate in the ‘Belt and Road’ ini­tia­tive as it in­volves so much in­fra­struc­ture build­ing, like high speed rail­way, gas pipe­lines and also power sys­tems,” said Lam.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port pub­lished by Moody’s In­vestors Ser­vice in July, the con­struc­tion of a gas pipe­line run­ning from Turk­menistan to the Xin­jiang Uygur au­ton­o­mous re­gion in North­west China was the ma­jor project where Chi­nese in­vest­ment poured into Cen­tral Asia. The pipe­line com­prises three par­al­lel lines, each run­ning for over 1,800 kilo­me­ters.

Many of the coun­tries cov­ered by the 65-na­tion “Belt and Road” ini­tia­tive are all in des­per­ate need of in­fra­struc­ture con­struc­tion. Asian De­vel­op­ment Bank put the cost of the con­ti­nent’s to­tal in­fra­struc­ture re­quire­ments at more than $8 tril­lion over 10 years.

Mean­while, HSBC Global Re­search found that in­fra­struc­ture con­struc­tion un­der the “Belt and Road” called for the ap­pli­ca­tion of higher tech­ni­cal stan­dards, green and low car­bon con­struc­tion and op­er­a­tion man­age­ment.

Daniel Cheng, chair­man of the Fed­er­a­tion of Hong Kong In­dus­tries, be­lieves this would open up more op­por­tu­ni­ties for Hong Kong’s en­vi­ron­men­tal in­dus­try, given the in­creased aware­ness in the re­gion of risks to the en­vi­ron­ment.

“Our tech­nol­ogy such as ma­te­rial science can help de­velop lighter trains, bet­ter air­port de­sign and smarter cities,” said Cheng. “For in­stance, in ar­eas where there is a lot of sun­shine, we can in­stall so­lar pan­els for the in­fra­struc­ture.”

Cheng be­lieves many coun­tries and re­gions along the Silk Road Eco­nomic Belt and the 21st Cen­tury Mar­itime Silk Road were on the fast track to de­vel­op­ing their economies, while be­ing fully aware that they should re­duce the im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment.

“The pat­tern of ‘pol­lute first, fix later’ is not go­ing to work in South­east Asia,” said Cheng. “Be­cause they know that ev­ery time they fix it later it will cost them a hun­dred times more.”

The fact that “Belt and Road” economies are pay­ing more at­ten­tion to their liv­ing en­vi­ron­ment could open up op­por­tu­ni­ties and speed up the adop­tion of so­lu­tions de­vel­oped by Hong Kong en­trepreneurs that ad­dress global prob­lems.

A case in point is the ro­botic, ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence-based sys­tem with sen­sors de­signed by Insight Ro­bot­ics Ltd. It looks like an or­di­nary sur­veil­lance cam­era but can spot a wild­fire as small as two square me­ters across and trans­mit an alarm to au­thor­i­ties within half a sec­ond.

“The ground­work has been laid for the Insight Ro­bot­ics Wild­fire De­tec­tion Sys­tem in South­east Asia,” said Kevin Chan, CEO and co-founder of Insight Ro­bot­ics.

He ex­plained that their busi­ness strate­gies fo­cus on this re­gion be­cause it has some of the world’s most con­cen­trated high-value plan­ta­tion and planned for­est ar­eas, which are highly ex­posed to fast-spread­ing threats such as fire and ge­netic plant dis­ease.

Chan said a fea­si­bil­ity study and com­puter sim­u­la­tion pro­gram had been set up in In­done­sia, which is be­ing eval­u­ated with a view to­ward wider de­ploy­ment. For long-term de­vel­op­ment in the re­gion, Insight Ro­bot­ics has set up re­gional of­fices, in­clud­ing one in Malaysian cap­i­tal Kuala Lumpur, with lo­cal man­age­ment and re­gional sales per­son­nel.

“The ‘Belt and Road’ ini­tia­tive will need a lot of tal­ents with English pro­fi­ciency and also rich ex­pe­ri­ence in do­ing busi­ness with over­seas com­pa­nies,” said Zhao Lei, CEO of HK­fanr, a Hong Kong based e-commerce startup with a fo­cus on cross-border trad­ing.

He be­lieves that with “Belt and Road” economies achiev­ing more pros­per­ity, their pur­chas­ing power will also in­crease, thus pro­vid­ing po­ten­tial busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties for Hong Kong youth who want to es­tab­lish e-commerce busi­nesses in th­ese coun­tries.

“Hong Kong has ac­cu­mu­lated much ex­pe­ri­ence in trad­ing and fi­nance and it will con­trib­ute a lot if the young en­trepreneurs want to ex­plore the mar­ket in the ‘Belt and Road’ re­gions,” Zhao added.

“In the ‘Belt and Road’ ini­tia­tive,

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