The “One Belt, One Road” initiative was launched as China’s strategic partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) entered its 10th year. The initiative aims to strengthen the country’s relations with partners in the region.
Hong Kong, as an international harbor, can take advantage of the initiative by utilizing its rich experience and resources in trade, shipping, fisheries and other fields.
Hong Kong enjoys a superior geographical environment for fisheries — it has more than 150 commercially valuable fish species. The city also has one of the largest port logistics hubs and the largest container terminal with world-class facilities and highly efficient management.
Its collaboration with the ASEAN has been going on for a long time. Hong Kong enterprises entered the ASEAN markets in the very early years. The city is one of the most important partners of ASEAN with tight bonds in resources, manufacturing and modern services industries.
In 2014, Hong Kong and the ASEAN reached a free trade agreement. Hong Kong expects the new “ASEAN 10+1” market will help it to gain a bigger voice on the international stage and promote deeper cooperation on marine industries.
As for Europe, the European Union is China’s biggest trade partner. About 80 percent of the goods are transported by sea. The development of maritime resources and utilization of ocean space are directly linked to the economic lifeline of the “blue continent”.
Hong Kong should fully use its advantages in finance and legal systems, especially in maritime law, arbitration and maritime finance services, among other related professional services.
The combination of Hong Kong’s maritime resources advantages and its financial and legal excellence will benefit both the Sino-EU cooperation and the city’s industrial upgrade around a maritime economy.
Hong Kong can also play a significant role in maintaining academic information sharing platforms and nurturing specific talents to provide the intellectual support for maritime cooperation among countries along the Belt and the Road.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Oct. 2.
Translation by Myssie You
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