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Gordon Lam (right), chief representative and general manager for southern China at Li & FungDevelopment (China) Ltd, speaks at the forum - Redefining the New Silk Road - at the HongKong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai on Monday. Parker Zheng / China Daily
The mainland's "One Belt, One Road" initiative has the potential to create greater opportunitiesfor the logistics sector in Hong Kong, a group of panelists told a China Daily Roundtable in theSAR on Wednesday.
"China has taken the initiative in launching the new Silk Road for Asia to boost economic,commercial and industrial cooperation and build the connectivity among Asian governments. Wecan bring more muscle to the development of the new Silk Road economic belt," said Zhou Li,publisher and editor-in-chief of China Daily Asia Pacific.
"The construction of key infrastructure projects, as well as improvement of thetelecommunication system in Asia, would help China enhance its trade ties with neighboringcountries and encourage overseas expansion of Chinese companies to tap markets in theregion," he told the audience at a China Daily roundtable summit featuring Asian logistics andmaritime industries.
China's "One Belt, One Road" strategy, proposed by President Xi Jinping, is designed tostrengthen the infrastructure along the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century MaritimeSilk Road. The "belt" on land aims to promote greater connectivity between China and thecentral and western parts of Eurasia, whereas the "road" at sea seeks to establish closerlinkage with the economies in South and Southeast Asia as well as Africa.
"Following the 'One Belt, One Road' initiative, China has provided a lot of support to drive thedevelopment in the region, including the Silk Road Fund and Asia Infrastructure InvestmentBank," said Li Yao, chief executive officer of China-ASEAN Investment Cooperation Fund (CAF),adding that Xi has also been promoting the idea of a Free Trade Area in the Asia-Pacific.
"Our fund, which was established five years ago, focuses on the Silk Road connectivity andindustrial cooperation. Logistics is crucial to the development of the region. More importantly, westrive to bring together commercial returns and social impact, which we believe is a 'must-do'task for all forces in the business community who want to make real contributions to developingcountries," Li said.
Vivien Lau, managing director of Hong Kong Air Cargo Industry Services Ltd, said: "The new SilkRoad focuses on building more roads, railways, ports and airports across the region. It providesopportunities for the logistics sector in Asia, especially Hong Kong. One belt and one road canconnect all the businesses involved in the supply chain by eliminating unnecessary tradebarriers to make the trading process shorter and easier. With all the connectivity and network inplace, the initiatives will speed up the movement of goods and encourage people to set uptrans-national presence in Asia."
The new Silk Road is a major opportunity for at least the next 10 to 15 years, said Gordon Lam,chief representative and general manager for southern China at Li & Fung Development (China)Ltd. "The combined economies along the road represents a huge population and a significantmarket not only for Hong Kong but also Asian countries in the coming years. In the old days,traders in Hong Kong sourced from the Chinese mainland and other parts of Asia for export tothe US and European markets. Nowadays, we are sourcing from everywhere and bring thegoods back to the region. The global value chain has been shifted," Lam added.
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