A former chairman of Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, Aron Harilela, said on Tuesday that the SAR can help raise the capital the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) needs to realise its full potential.
Speaking at the Belt and Road Forum CEO Conference in Beijing, the head of Harilela Hotels praised the initiative for its role in promoting free trade, lifting people out of poverty in Asia and raising living standards in the West – by facilitating the flow of affordable and high-quality goods from factories in Asia, especially China.
He said the BRI provides a framework that can address the economic, social and environmental issues facing the world today.
He noted that while the initiative is creating infrastructure, including ports, roads, and railways, it will only reach its full potential if the "plumbing of global commerce" – trade, finance, investment and law – is in place.
And this is where Hong Kong comes in, he said.
"Hong Kong is – and has always been – a connector to people, markets and opportunities. Under One Country, Two Systems, we in Hong Kong can help bring the international investment BRI needs to achieve a scale that matches the breadth of its vision."
Harilela noted that the SAR, with its robust legal system, resilient financial sector, strategic location and skilled workforce, can make a significant contribution to the development of the Belt and Road Initiative.
He said he believes the initiative is the future as it envisions to drive the next phase of prosperity in Asia and beyond.