The “Belt and Road Initiative” provides opportunities for the further development of Hong Kong's economy. Hong Kong should take advantage of these circumstances to strengthen its position as the hub of regional development in the following fields: logistics services, convention and exhibition, exchange of professional talents, finance services, service providers for Chinese enterprises interested in merging and acquisitions in Hong Kong.
The most important element of the “Belt and Road Initiative” is infrastructural construction. Such construction will meet the high demand for logistics services of countries and regions of ASEAN, Southern Asia and Asia Minor, Central Europe and Eastern Europe, and even mainland China. This factor will provide Hong Kong with an abundance of business opportunities.
As a centre for convention, exhibition, and the exchange of professional talents, Hong Kong can provide world-class convention and exhibition halls as well as top management teams that service this industry. Hong Kong should take advantage of these aspects to strengthen its position as the centre of convention and exhibition. Also, Hong Kong is a centre of cultural and academic exchange, informational exchange, and training. Hong Kong can make substantial contributions by providing these services for the countries and regions of the “Belt and Road Initiative”.
With respect to financial services, Hong Kong can assume a more active role in the following fields and businesses: RMB offshore business, financing, fund raising, asset management, and insurance. Now, Hong Kong is one of the most active centres for RMB offshore businesses. In finance, Hong Kong can become an important centre for fund raising activities. Hong Kong can provide services for successful businesses from the mainland as well as from ASEAN nations. To strengthen its position, Hong Kong should strive to become the regional headquarters or one of the main branches of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, BRICS New Development Bank, and various other funds and investment groups established by Silk Road countries.
As a platform for Chinese enterprises interested in investing overseas, Hong Kong can provide services for mergers and acquisitions. In 2013, approximately 57.1% of these investments (equivalent to US$377.1 billion) were conducted through Hong Kong. The demand for such services is only expected to increase in the future.
What Will “One Belt, One Road” Contribute to the Future Career Prospects of Hong Kong’s Younger Generation?
“One Belt, One Road” will provide opportunities in the following fields: finance, commerce, investment management, professional services, and more.
“One Belt, One Road” will stimulate business activity within the finance sector, including fund-raising, financing, RMB off-shore business, insurance, and banking. Accordingly, job opportunities related to these fields will increase. Once Hong Kong’s younger generation finishes with their education or training, they will have more job opportunities.
As business activity increases, it is predicted that there will be sufficient vacancy within the fields of marketing and management. Hong Kong’s younger generation will have good prospects of securing jobs within the local market. For those with required experience, jobs will be available both on the mainland as well as overseas.
“One Belt, One Road” will encourage investments and funds from various countries within the Hong Kong market or foreign markets via Hong Kong. Jobs related to this field will increase.
There will be an increase in demand for professional services, especially in the following fields: translation and interpretation, accounting, law, architecture, engineering, science and technology, arts, and culture. For translation professions, Hong Kong universities already provide the education and training necessary for translators and interpreters of different languages. For jobs in accounting, many Hong Kong firms have attained international standing and serve clients from all across the globe. The highly reputed and dependable Hong Kong legal system will allow businesses to seek legal advice and sign their contracts in Hong Kong. For architecture and engineering, since the opening-up of China’s market in the 1980’s, Hong Kong architects and engineers have already played a major role in infrastructure construction in the mainland. Many of these professionals have acquired experience both in the mainland as well as in foreign markets. Once ‘One Belt, One Road’ has been implemented, it is expected that experienced architects and engineers will be in even greater demand.
With respect to science and technology, Hong Kong’s younger generation will enjoy advantages within the field of computer software development. The local availability of patent registration and recognition services allows for such an advantage. In the fields of arts and culture, Hong Kong has a strong foundation built for film, TV program, and music production. With ‘One Belt, One Road’, an increased number of countries can participate in free trade. Not only will Hong Kong benefit as a whole, but its younger generation will also reap the rewards of increased opportunities within different job fields.
Some 2,000 years ago, the civilization found Hong Kong was closely related to that of Central China. The archaeological finds of the Li Cheng Uk Han Tomb bear witness to this. However, the connection of Hong Kong and The Martime Silk Road started in the Tang Dynasty. In 736AD, the Tang Government sent 2,000 troops to garrison Tuen Mun. Since then, Tuen Mun has become the outer port of Guangzhou. In the Song Dynasty, Guangzhou remained an important port for foreign trade, and the function of Tuen Mun remained unchanged.
During the 1970s, fragments of Jingdezhen porcelain were concurrently discovered at Penny’s Bay (area around Disneyland nowadays) and the construction site of High Island Reservoir. The fragments found at Penny’s Bay were in large quantity, and they were chronologically dated to the 16th Century. It was believed that these remains were related to the trade activities of the Portuguese at that time.
In Song Dynasty, the area extending from the To Kwa Wan to Kowloon City belonged to Koon Fu Saltyards. Recent studies find that there were villages and markets in these areas with a population of considerable size. Also, it is believed that during the final period of the Song Dynasty, the last two ‘Little Emperors’ had visited Sacred Hill. Nowadays, the only historical structure remained in this area is an old temple located next to St Teresa Hospital of Kowloon City. It is believed that the temple was first built in the Song Dynasty.
In 2009, 65,000 pieces of historical remains were found at the Sacred Hill site located in the western part of the former Kai Tak Airport. Among these remains, there were porcelain fragments and parts for construction works. It is believed that these porcelain fragments were mostly part of the porcelain goods stored here for export purpose. In this site, coins with Xining Year Mark（熙寧重寶，1068AD-1070AD） and many coins of different periods had also been found.
Since 2012, as the construction work of the Shatin-Central Line was in progress, historical remains were discovered in Tokwawan. The finds include six wells and 3,700 items (500 coins included) which are mainly relics of the Song Dynasty.
In the Song Dynasty, the Kowloon City area is closely linked with Tuen Mun by the sea and both places were ideal for anchoring of ships. It is believed that trade vessels from Guangzhou must pass through these locations. Hence, the suggestion that these historical remains are related to the ancient Maritime Silk Road is very much justified.