HK called gate­way to Belt and Road

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By NA LI in Toronto re­nali@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

The Hong Kong Eco­nomic and Trade Of­fice (Toronto) (HKETO) is en­cour­ag­ing Cana­dian busi­nesses to make full use of Hong Kong’s ad­van­tages when tap­ping into mar­kets opened by the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive.

Speak­ing at a sem­i­nar in Mon­treal or­gan­ised by the Hong Kong-Canada Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion on Tues­day, HKETO act­ing di­rec­tor Nick Choi told the au­di­ence that Hong Kong was well po­si­tioned to part­ner with Cana­dian com­pa­nies that want to par­tic­i­pate in the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive.

“With a gross eco­nomic vol­ume of $22 tril­lion and a to­tal pop­u­la­tion of 4.4 bil­lion along the Belt and Road, the Ini­tia­tive of­fers busi­nesses un­par­al­leled op­por­tu­ni­ties to tap into new mar­kets,” said Choi.

In the area of cap­i­tal for­ma­tion and fi­nanc­ing, Choi said that as a ma­jor in­ter­na­tional fi­nan­cial cen­tre with well-de­vel­oped ren­minbi pay­ment and set­tle­ment in­fra­struc­ture, Hong Kong has the ex­per­tise, ex­pe­ri­ence and con­nec­tions to serve as the fundrais­ing hub and fi­nanc­ing plat­form of the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive.

“With our dis­tinc­tive ad­van­tage of be­ing a ‘su­per-con­nec­tor’ op­er­at­ing un­der the ‘one coun­try, two sys­tems’ ar­range­ment, Hong Kong can play a cen­tral role in de­liv­er­ing the enor­mous op­por­tu­ni­ties pre­sented by the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive,” Choi said.

Dis­cussing Hong Kong’s in­ter­na­tional busi­ness net­work, Choi said that Hong Kong is the most con­nected in­ter­na­tional trad­ing cen­tre and a ma­jor plat­form for Chi­nese main­land’s for­eign trade and in­vest­ment, han­dling some 20 per­cent of the Chi­nese main­land’s in­ter­na­tional trade.

Be­ing the world-renowned free port which has been ranked as the world’s freest econ­omy for 22 con­sec­u­tive years by the Her­itage Foun­da­tion, Hong Kong has de­vel­oped an ex­ten­sive net­work of busi­ness con­nec­tions which can be ex­panded and ex­tended to in­clude coun­tries along

Hong Kong can play a cen­tral role in de­liv­er­ing the enor­mous op­por­tu­ni­ties pre­sented by the Belt and Road.”

the Belt and Road, ac­cord­ing to Choi.

“Hong Kong is strate­gi­cally lo­cated in the heart of Asia and equipped with world-class in­fra­struc­ture. It is a global trans­port and lo­gis­tics cen­tre which has all that is needed to serve as a gate­way con­nect­ing with the Chi­nese main­land and be­yond,” Choi stressed.

Choi also told the sem­i­nar that Hong Kong can pro­vide high-end in­ter­na­tional le­gal and dis­pute res­o­lu­tion ser­vices to com­pa­nies from dif­fer­ent le­gal and busi­ness sys­tems look­ing for a com­mon plat­form to set­tle their dif­fer­ences.

In con­clu­sion, Choi re­it­er­ated that Cana­dian en­ter­prises should make full use of Hong Kong’s strengths in tap­ping the mas­sive Asian mar­kets and be­yond un­der the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive. He also told par­tic­i­pants that the Hong Kong Spe­cial Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion Gov­ern­ment and the Hong Kong Trade Devel­op­ment Coun­cil will jointly hold a Belt and Road sum­mit in Hong Kong this May, with gov­ern­ment and busi­ness rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the economies along the Belt and Road be­ing in­vited to share in­sights on the var­i­ous op­por­tu­ni­ties of­fered.

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