Big role for HK in 'One Belt, One Road' plan

Updated: 2015-03-14 08:02

By Selena Li(HK Edition)

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Hong Kong will play a major role in the nation's "One Belt, One Road" initiative, as the unique financial platform will leverage the SAR's strength in financing and asset management to support the establishment and operation of the strategic plan, a Hong Kong deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC) said.

Big role for HK in 'One Belt, One Road' plan

In an exclusive interview with China Daily in Beijing, Priscilla Lau Pui-king said a financing mechanism should be in place to build the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, or "One Belt, One Road" initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping, and Hong Kong is an optimum choice for fundraising on the global market.

With the design and construction of a transportation network and other infrastructure projects estimated to run into trillions of dollars in investment, Lau said the money could be raised through syndicated loans or issuing of bonds in Hong Kong, where more than 200 international banks are operating. "Many of the parties involved are actively preparing for various financing activities. As far as I know, a syndicated loan has been extended to an infrastructure project in recent months," she said.

Big role for HK in 'One Belt, One Road' plan

Investments mobilized through syndication and structured finance will become an innovation for more commercial bodies to pull in their resources, Lau added.

Besides, financing through Hong Kong will reduce political risks for international investors, as the city is known for its comprehensive legal system that provides adequate regulations to supervise the flow of capital and investment.

Although it's estimated to take more than five years for a basic framework to take shape for the initiative, the opportunity for Hong Kong to seek a bigger role in the framework is pressed for time, Lau said, as the 13th Five-year Plan, which sets out economic development guidelines for the world's second-largest economy for the five years from 2016, will be unveiled by the end of this year.

According to Lau, the SAR government is in close contact with the National Development and Reform Commission, the mainland's central bank and the Ministry of Finance.

(HK Edition 03/14/2015 page10)