With its premium professional services, Hong Kong should be built as a soft power hub for the Belt and Road Initiative so as to contribute to the national strategy from such aspects as legal frameworks, finance services and social science.
Linda Li Che-lan, professor of political science at the department of public policy at City University of Hong Kong, made the call at a forum entitled “Belt and Road Initiative & 70th Anniversary of Major Country Diplomacy” in Hong Kong on Wednesday.
The special administrative government make enterprises self-regulate through regulations rather than direct control and administrative intervention. It could be a good example for the business environment of Belt and Road, which will also drive the Chinese mainland’s business environment reform at the same time
Linda Li Che-lan
professor of political science at the department of public policy at City University of Hong Kong
With more commercial and large-scale infrastructure projects related to the BRI on the way, Li said she expects agreements on such projects to be signed in Hong Kong, and that international markets will be willing to entrust their projects to Hong Kong due to the city’s renowned and professional legal system.
“The special administrative government make enterprises self-regulate through regulations rather than direct control and administrative intervention. It could be a good example for the business environment of Belt and Road, which will also drive the Chinese mainland’s business environment reform at the same time,” said Li.
She also proposed building an international lawyer cooperation hub, as well as an arbitration and dispute settlement center to help more Chinese companies grow business in BRI countries smoothly.
“The establishment of certain institutions and regulations could help avoid trade disputes and make trade events more convenient,” she said.
Fundraising is another problem that BRI may face. In the past, capital for many projects came from financial institutions like the Silk Road Fund, a State-owned investment fund, and the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. But now, many people hope to attract more global investors in the development of the BRI.
With Hong Kong’s strong financing ability, a greater number of investors could be interested in BRI projects and get involved, said Li.
Foreign policy experts also shared their views on China’s diplomatic development during a morning session at the forum.
Zhang Yunling, former director of international studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, reviewed the development of China’s neighboring diplomacy in the past 70 years. Wang Taiping, former Chinese consul general to Osaka of Japan, highlighted several key events between China and Japan, while former Chinese ambassador to South Korea Ning Fukui adopted a positive outlook on Sino-South Korea relationship for the future.
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