Mrs Regina Ip Gave Opening Speech at “Belt and Road International Youth Summit 2018”
On 14 April, by invitation of the Junior Chamber International Hong Kong (JCIHK), Mrs Regina Ip, Co-Chair of Maritime Silk Road Society (MSRS), spoke at the opening of the “Belt and Road International Youth Summit 2018”.
The Summit was organized by JCIHK and co-organized by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in support of China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI). The event, held at Jockey Club Innovation Tower in PolyU Hung Hom campus, successfully gathered 400 youth from 17 countries to explore new cultural and economic opportunities.
During her speech, with statistics from the “Belt and Road Big Data Report 2017” published by the State Information Center, Mrs Ip highlighted the tremendous progress China had made since the launch of the Belt and Road Initiative by Chairman Xi Jinping in Kazakhstan in September 2013. Over US$18.5 billion had been invested along the “Belt and Road” routes, and 180,000 jobs created for host countries. She identified Hong Kong as a strategic stronghold in the Maritime Silk Road for the promotion of entrepreneurship and economic growth for “Belt and Road”.
As regards the Hong Kong SAR Government’s involvement, Mrs Ip pointed out that in December 2017, Chief Executive Mrs Carrie Lam signed an agreement on behalf of the government with National Development and Reform Commission Chairman Mr He Lifeng. The arrangement focuses on six key areas: “finance and investment”, “infrastructure and maritime services”, “economic and trade facilitation”, “people-to-people bonds”, “taking forward the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area Development”, and “enhancing collaboration in project interfacing and dispute resolution services”. Mrs Ip stressed that Hong Kong had a significant role to play in these six areas. For example, in the area of provision of professional services, Hong Kong’s insurers stood ready to provide new insurance covers to guard against credit risks of investing in BRI countries.
For intercultural collaboration, Mrs Ip stressed that language capability is a critical element for success. Russian and Arabic are commonly used in the “Belt and Road” countries and young people should pay more attention to acquiring new language skills and the capacity for cultural interaction. She introduced her own “Belt and Road”-focused organization, MSRS, and its annual programme, “Operation Zhang Qian – Undergraduate Summer Internship Programme”. Mrs Ip noted that MSRS had helped students to venture into the world by offering over 170 internship positions in the “Belt and Road” countries since the inception of the programme in 2016.
Mrs Ip later joined the group photo and was presented with the Certificate of Appreciation by Mr Ronald Kan, JCIHK National President.