Posted in: Press Releases
March 22, 2017
The Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (Toronto) (HKETO), Miss Kathy Chan, invited Canadian entities to collaborate with Hong Kong in grasping the opportunities brought by the Belt and Road initiative .
In delivering a keynote speech at a business workshop entitled “Hong Kong – Your Super Connector to tap the Belt and Road Opportunities” organised by the Hong Kong-Canada Business Association (Greater Toronto Area) on March 22, Miss Chan first inspired the audiences with the visionary Belt and Road initiative promulgated by China to foster closer economic, political and social links with some 60 countries in Asia, Middle East, Europe and Africa.
The key objective of this vision is to improve connectivity, which would in turn boost international trade and investment as well as movement of people. “So, the first wave of business opportunities brought by the Belt and Road Initiative will naturally be infrastructure-related. In fact, infrastructure projects in the region have been accelerating since the announcement of the Initiative. There are abundant business opportunities to relevant sectors such as construction, technology and raw materials available in China as well as to the international business community,” Miss Chan said.
Industry cooperation is another key element of the Belt and Road initiative. “Chinese entities are currently constructing more than 70 economic and industrial cooperation zone projects in the countries along the Belt and Road, where Canadian entities can consider collaboration,” Miss Chan said.
Apart from infrastructure development and industry cooperation, the Belt and Road initiative will create a huge demand for financing, insurance and asset management. The Chinese Government has already established a 40 billion USD Silk Road Fund to finance the Initiative. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) was also in operation a year ago. But there will still be a huge funding gap, creating opportunities to the Canadian financial sector.
“We are glad to see that Canada indicated last year that they would apply for membership with AIIB, which signals a stronger commitment of Canada in the development of the Asian and the wider Belt and Road region,” Miss Chan said.
In this connection, Hong Kong is an ideal partner of Canada in tapping into the Belt and Road region. “Hong Kong is an international financial centre. We have the expertise and experience to serve as the fundraising hub for Belt and Road projects,” Miss Chan said.
In addition, Hong Kong is centrally located in Asia and benefits from a big pool of global talents provided by more than 7 500 overseas and Mainland corporations that have a presence in the city. “Canadian businesses can set up operations in Hong Kong to benefit from these advantages to serve as a one-stop hub for the overall coordination and management of projects in the region,” Miss Chan added.
In the event of disputes, companies can also make use of the world-class international dispute resolution services provided by Hong Kong. “Arbitral awards made in Hong Kong are enforceable in more than 150 jurisdictions including Mainland China,” Miss Chan said.
In conclusion, Miss Chan encouraged Canadian companies to expand their business in Asia and the Belt and Road region by making full use of the advantages provided by Hong Kong.
The Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (Toronto), Miss Kathy Chan, speaks at the Markham Business Networking Morning Workshop organised by Hong Kong-Canada Business Association (Greater Toronto Area) on March 22.
HKETO Director Kathy Chan with other speakers, including Director (Canada) of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, Mr Andrew Yui (left) and Head of Investment Promotion, Canada, Invest Hong Kong, Ms Shirley Wong (right).
HKETO Director Kathy Chan with President, Hong Kong-Canada Business Association (Greater Toronto Area), Mr Arthur Chan (left) and panel moderator, Mr Bob Armstrong (right).
Chinese version on next page.
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