The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is China's visionary plan to promote market integration, connectivity, and forge new economic ties with 60-plus countries in Africa, Asia and Europe along the land-based "Silk Road Economic Belt" and the seafaring "21st Century Maritime Silk Road". Over 4.4 billion people live along the routes, accounting for over 30% of global economic value.
The BRI features enhancing policy coordination, strengthening infrastructural connectivity, facilitating unimpeded trade, deepening financial integration and building people-to-people bonds among countries along the routes.
Seeing the potential of the visionary Belt and Road Initiative, Hong Kong is striving to grasp the vast opportunities arising from this Initiative together with business partners from all over the world.
On 14 December 2017, Hong Kong's Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, signed an agreement with Mainland China that serves as a blueprint for Hong Kong's further participation in the Belt and Road Initiative. The Arrangement between the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region for Advancing Hong Kong's Full Participation in and Contribution to the Belt and Road Initiative (the Arrangement) put forward specific measures which will help to reinforce and elevate Hong Kong's position as international financial, transportation and trade centres, promote partnership between the Mainland and Hong Kong enterprises, spawn the demand for Hong Kong's professional services, and present Hong Kong's talent with opportune prospects.
The Arrangement covers a wide range of areas, which include facilitating co-operation of all key stakeholders through the platform of Hong Kong to provide for the Belt and Road Initiative the funds required as well as a diversity of financing channels; fully leveraging Hong Kong's status as the global offshore Renminbi business hub to facilitate cross-border investment; developing green finance; supporting Hong Kong in providing diversified professional services for Belt and Road infrastructure projects; supporting Hong Kong's maritime development and providing international legal and dispute resolution services for the Belt and Road Initiative; encouraging enterprises in the Mainland and in related countries and regions to establish their regional headquarters in Hong Kong; enhancing academic, cultural and arts exchanges between Hong Kong and related countries and regions; and encouraging Hong Kong to develop tourism products and stage conferences and exhibitions on the Belt and Road Initiative.
In addition, it provided for a Joint Conference mechanism between the HKSAR Government, the NDRC, the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council and other relevant Mainland authorities for regular and direct communication. The Joint Conference will discuss matters relating to Hong Kong's participation in and contribution to the Belt and Road Initiative and consider specific work priorities.