Academia International Conference on Economic and Financial Cooperation: Hong Kong and the World under the Belt and Road Initiative

1516 December 2016 | The Chinese University of Hong Kong



In September 2013, President Xi Jinping unveiled the Belt and Road Initiative as a grand development strategy to promote regional connectivity, economic cooperation, cultural exchanges, and mutual learning among countries along two ancient economic corridors. The Belt and Road Initiative is unprecedented, and there has been little established scholarly or socio-economic interaction among participating parties in the Belt and Road regions. Hence, the Central Policy Unit, the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies co-hosted an international conference on 15–16 December 2016 bringing together scholars, policy-makers, members of think tanks, and other stakeholders from Hong Kong, Mainland China, the Belt and Road countries, and other countries, for academic exchanges.


The conference consisted of a plenary session, six closed-door thematic discussion sessions, and a roundtable discussion session. The plenary session was open to the public and attracted nearly 300 people. Prof. K. C. Chan, the Acting Financial Secretary of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region officiated at the conference, and Prof. Fanny M. Cheung, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) delivered speeches of welcome. Four keynote speeches were delivered by Dr Victor K. Fung (Group Chairman, Fung Group), Prof. Mingkang Liu (BCT Distinguished Research Fellow, Lau Chor Tak Institute of Global Economics and Finance, CUHK), Dr William H. Overholt (Senior Fellow, Harvard University Asia Center), and Prof. Jianye Wang (Managing Director, Silk Road Fund Co., Ltd.; Professor of Economics, NYU Shanghai). Dr Fung talked about the next wave of globalisation under the Belt and Road Initiative. Prof. Liu shared his views with the audience on keys to the successful implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative. Dr Overholt presented the idea of the Belt and Road Initiative as a grand strategy. Prof. Wang explained the relationship between outbound investments and domestic reforms brought about by the Belt and Road Initiative.


The six thematic discussion sessions were aimed at facilitating academic exchanges. These sessions engaged 21 non-local panellists from 14 countries. The panellists participated in frank and critical discussions on various topics, and made key suggestions in the following aspects: development strategies and policies, international investment and finance, energy economics, e-commerce and information technology, infrastructure and facilities, and logistics and supply chains. Comments were also made about various specific roles that Hong Kong can play in the Belt and Road Initiative by serving as a point linking China and the Belt and Road regions.


The roundtable discussion session wrapped up the conference. In the fifty-minute session, key ideas and views were further elaborated upon and discussed. The participants made excellent comments and suggestions about further academic collaborations. The session ended with short closing remarks by Prof. Fanny M. Cheung.


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