Maritime Silk Road Society Inauguration Ceremony - Explore New Developmental Opportunities for Hong Kong
In support of the nation’s far-sighted “the Belt and Road Initiative” and to identify new developmental opportunities for Hong Kong, Mrs. Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, GBS, JP. has worked with organizations representing the provinces and cities along the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, and organizations representing overseas Chinese communities in Hong Kong (the founding organizations), to establish the “Maritime Silk Road Society” (MSRS). The Society was formally inaugurated at Convention Hall, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre today on September 7 with Mr. Zhou Bo, Deputy Director of Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, as the officiating guest. Officials from the Central Government and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, top diplomats based in Hong Kong, representatives of the local and foreign chambers of commerce, representatives of community organizations and overseas Chinese groups, and business and cultural leaders who are related to The Belt and The Road attended the ceremony.
The ceremony started at 6:30pm, The Maritime Silk Road Society’s Governors and Executive Committee Members accompanied the Guest-of-Honor to the Convention Hall. After the playing of the national anthem, an introductory video was screened. In the video, founding members and business and cultural leaders explain the significance of the “Belt and Road Initiative” and the Society’s mission.
Mrs. Regina Ip, GBS, JP, Member of Executive Council, Member of Legislative Council, Chairperson of Savantas Policy Institute, and Co-Chair of the Maritime Silk Road Society, delivered a welcome speech for the Ceremony, saying that “on this auspicious day of the inauguration of the Maritime Silk Road Society, on behalf of the Society, I would like to thank Mr. Zhou Bo, Deputy Director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, sincerely for taking time off his busy schedule to officiate at this evening’s ceremony. I wish to thank also all of our guests for their attendance in celebration of this historic moment. The Maritime Silk Road Society has been established in support of the nation’s grand “the Belt and Road Initiative”: partly to leverage Hong Kong’s unique position as the linchpin between mainland China and overseas countries and regions in promoting intra-regional business, trade and cultural exchange, and partly to identify new developmental opportunities for Hong Kong.”
Mrs. Ip added, “Historically, Hong Kong was a transit port along the ancient maritime silk road.Today, Hong Kong can make significant contributions to the implementation of “the Belt and Road Initiative” by leveraging its unique advantages in business know-how, trade and culture. As a highly sophisticated financial center, Hong Kong has great potential in functioning as a fund-raising platform for the infrastructural development under the aegis of this strategy. The construction of roads, railroads, ports and development of new shipping lanes along the Belt and the Road will also generate plenty of new opportunities for logistics, shipping and modern professional and business services. In the course of enhancing trade, cross-border e-commerce will flourish along with traditional trade and business. The technology sector as well as small and medium enterprises would also benefit. The Maritime Silk Road Society hopes to bring together Hong Kong’s community and provide full support to this unprecedented national project, leveraging Hong Kong’s well tried and tested power of imagination, determination and prodigious industry. Let Hong Kong set sail for another brave, new adventure as part of the national team, and create a better future!”
Professor Xu Jialu, Vice-Chairman of the 9th and 10th Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, sent a congratulatory message to the MSRS. The message was presented by Mr. Bernard Chan, GBS, JP, Member of the Executive Council, Chairman of the Hong Kong – Thailand Business Council, and Co-Chair of the MSRS. In the message, Professor Xu wrote “Hong Kong is a melting pot of eastern and western cultures, and a society which maintains close ties with compatriots in our coastal provinces and cities, as well as with Chinese communities in Southeast Asia. Hong Kong would play an important role in facilitating cultural exchange among countries and regions along the Belt and Road.” He expressed his hope that the MSRS would leverage Hong Kong’s unique advantage to promote the cultural dimension of the grand national strategy, support Hong Kong as the linchpin between the nation and Southeast Asia, and contribute to world peace through fostering trade and cultural exchanges in the region.
Mr. Leung Chun-ying, Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Mr. Zhang Xiaoming, Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in Hong Kong, and Mr. Zhou Bo, Deputy Director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, presented Certificates of Appointment to Special Advisors, Advisors, Honorary Presidents, Co-Presidents, Vice-Presidents, Co-Chairs, Vice-Chairs and Executive Committee Members of the Maritime Silk Road Society. Mr. Bernard Chan and Mrs. Regina Ip are Co-Chairs of the MSRS. The ceremony ended with a toast, followed by a group shot.