7 July 2016
One Belt One Road – The Role of Hong Kong
By Houmin Yan (College of Business, City University of Hong Kong)
As a China development policy initiative One Belt One Road is achieving a high profile, and it is no surprise that throughout the region people are pitching to be part of it. The Hong Kong SAR is no exception and in a recent address, Chief Executive CY Leung identified a number of roles for the SAR. Hong Kong, he said, is ideally positioned to be the "super-connector" between the Mainland and the rest of the world. As China's major international financial centre, and one of the world's financial capitals, Hong Kong has the experience, the expertise and the connections to play a role as a major fundraising hub.
Hong Kong is well equipped: The HKSAR is an offshore Renminbi hub, with the world's largest Renminbi liquidity pool, home to the world's busiest air cargo airport, and the world's fourth-busiest container port. Some 20% of the Mainland's international trade is already handled by the SAR. So, according to Leung, its role as a logistics hub will only be enhanced once the OBOR maritime road is in full flow.
Hong Kong is also a rich source of top professionals in a wide range of services, such as accounting, law, construction, engineering and business management. Major financial players such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and the US$40 billion Silk Road Fund will be supported by Hong Kong's expertise in international financing and asset management. And the very scope of the OBOR initiative means that innovative financial vehicles will also play a significant role in realising the dream...
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