A New Model of "Mainland plus Hong Kong plus X" and a New Platform for Belt and Road Cooperation

  On 22 August 2017, the "Sichuan-Hong Kong–Macao Cooperation Week in Hong Kong: Sichuan Promotion Conference on International Cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative" was successfully held in Grand Hyatt Hong Kong. Over 400 people attended the event, including CPPCC Vice Chairperson CY Leung, Sichuan Provincial Governor Yin Li, Foreign Ministry Commissioner in Hong Kong Xie Feng, Deputy Director of Central Government Liaison Office in Hong Kong Qiu Hong, Acting Financial Secretary of HKSAR Government James Lau, as well as consuls general or representatives of 33 countries to Hong Kong, heads of over 10 foreign business chambers, representatives of local business chambers and business community and reporters from over 30 Chinese and foreign media.

  Vice Chairperson CY Leung stated in his speech that Hong Kong, being an important hub on the Belt and Road, enjoys both the advantages of "one country" and "two systems". It is one of the few economies in the world oriented towards both the Chinese mainland and the foreign countries. During the process of implementing the Belt and Road initiative, Hong Kong is ready to share international connections, communication capacity and experience with mainland provinces. Hong Kong and Sichuan Province have extensive, close and mutually beneficial cooperative relations. The two sides may further cooperate, while bringing into full play their respective strength, and use the Belt and Road opportunities to promote common development of the two regions and the domestic and foreign partners.

  Governor Yin in his keynote address stressed that the Belt and Road has provided major opportunities for strengthening the Sichuan-Hong Kong cooperation, and the complementary industrial structures of the two sides provide further driving force for their cooperation. Governor Yin made a five-point proposal on Sichuan-HK cooperation: first, to enhance cooperation on Belt and Road development and jointly build the air and land corridor; second, to enhance cooperation on building the Sichuan free trade zone, and promote alignment in trade regulation, financial innovation, investment management, production capacity cooperation and goods clearance; third, to enhance professional service cooperation and support Sichuan businesses in getting listed in Hong Kong and expect more HK service businesses to settle in Sichuan; fourth, to promote tourism cooperation, and jointly build the world tourism destination and super transit center; fifth, to expand people-to-people exchanges, engage in "young talent exchange program", jointly protect Giant Pandas and cooperate more in medicine, music, sports and culture.

  In his remarks, Commissioner Xie Feng noted that to serve national development is the basic mission of China's diplomacy. One important task of the Commissioner's Office of the Foreign Ministry in Hong Kong is to use diplomatic resources to facilitate Hong Kong's efforts to open itself wider to the world, enhance mutually-beneficial cooperation and participate in the Belt and Road. We are also committed to creating opportunities for the mainland provinces to work with Hong Kong to "go global" and make interactions with the world. The Commissioner's Office is pleased to jointly hold today's event on Belt and Road international cooperation with Sichuan Province. We hope that this can be taken as an opportunity to work together with more mainland provinces, Hong Kong SAR Government, consular corps, business chambers and media in Hong Kong, to make good use of the unique information channels and rich human resource connections with the help of over 260 overseas diplomatic missions of China. Together we may discuss the new trilateral cooperation model of "Chinese mainland plus Hong Kong plus X (countries along the Belt and Road)", so as to realize synergy with one plus one plus one having a greater effect than three. A Belt and Road symphony will play well in Hong Kong and new prospects for win-win cooperation will be created.

  Hong Kong SAR Acting Financial Secretary James Lau, Indonesian Consul General to Hong Kong Tri Tharyat, Chengdu Party Secretary Fan Ruiping, Director General of Sichuan Provincial Commerce Department Liu Xin and Vice Chairman of AmCham Hong Kong Jack Lange also addressed the conference. President of the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong Dr. Jonathan Koon-shum Choi, and Indonesian and Myanmar Consuls General gave an interview to the media.



  Altogether 26 cooperation agreements were signed at the conference, with a total value of 20.4 billion US dollars, covering manufacturing, finance, energy, agriculture, education, tourism, and health.

  Chinese and foreign media agencies, including the People's Daily, Xinhua News Agency, CCTV, China National Radio, China Daily, Reuters, Kyodo News, NHK, Nikkei, Finanz und Wirtschaft, Lianhe Zaobao, Phoenix TV, TVB, HK Commercial Broadcasting, NOWTV, Wenweipo, Takungpao, Mingpao, Hong Kong Economic Journal, Sing Tao Daily, HK Economic Times and South China Morning Post, made extensive coverage of the event. The media commented positively the vast opportunities from the Belt and Road, and believed that there are broad prospects and promising future for the trilateral cooperation.

  The Commissioner's Office will take this promotion conference as an opportunity to make good use of diplomatic resourcesto foster new model of trilateral cooperation featuring "Chinese mainland plus Hong Kong plus X". We will serve the mainland provinces, support Hong Kong in bringing into full play its unique advantages in Belt and Road, and strengthen win-win cooperation with the countries along the Belt and Road as well as their consulates and business chambers in Hong Kong.

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