International Conference on HK and the World under the Belt and Road Initiative

17–18 December 2015 | The Chinese University of Hong Kong



In September 2013, President Xi Jinping unveiled the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as a grand development strategy to promote regional connectivity, economic cooperation, cultural exchanges, and mutual learning among countries along two ancient economic corridors. The BRI is unprecedented, and there is as yet little established scholarly or socio-economic interaction among participating countries in the Belt and Road regions. Hence, the Central Policy Unit of the HKSAR Government and the GCR co-hosted an international conference on 17–18 December 2015 bringing together scholars, policy makers, members of think tanks, and other stakeholders mostly from the Belt and Road regions to exchange views on the BRI, with a special emphasis on Hong Kong's role and contributions.


The conference consisted of a plenary session and six closed-door parallel thematic discussion sessions. The plenary session was open to the public and attracted nearly 300 people. Three keynote speeches were delivered by Prof. Lawrence J. Lau (Ralph and Claire Landau Professor of Economics, CUHK), Dr Peter Frankopan (Director of the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research, University of Oxford), and Mr Mushahid Hussain Sayed (Chairman of the Pakistan-China Institute). Prof. Lau shared his views with the audience on recent economic developments in China and China's global presence. Dr Frankopan presented the historical aspect of the BRI and explained the legacy and heritage of the Silk Road. Mr Sayed talked about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, as the purpose of the megaproject is to upgrade and expand the infrastructure networks between China and Pakistan.


The six thematic discussion sessions were aimed at facilitating academic exchanges. These sessions engaged 39 non-local panelists from 29 countries (covering three major continents — Asia, Africa, and Europe) and 47 local panelists. The panelists engaged in frank and critical discussions on various topics, and made key suggestions in the following aspects — economics and finance, education and culture, infrastructure and technology, and law and governance. Specific comments were also made on the role of Hong Kong in the BRI.


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