The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) today launched the "Belt and Road Cross-Professional Advancement Programme" (the Programme), the first-ever cross-professional platforms for local professionals and business leaders in Hong Kong and the Mainland to exchange knowledge and share experiences in the infrastructure projects of the Belt & Road countries, as well as to network, explore market opportunities and develop multilateral collaborations. The focus of the first round of the Programme will be on infrastructure development, and there are plans to cover other areas as well, for example, tourism and hotel industries.
The Inauguration of the Programme was officiated by the Chief Executive of HKSAR, Mrs Carrie Lam; Deputy Director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, Mr Huang Liuquan; Executive Chairman of the Alibaba Group, Mr Jack Ma; Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Edward Yau; PolyU President Professor Timothy W. Tong, and Chairman of the Hong Kong Chinese Enterprises Association, Mr Gao Yingxin. More than 600 elite-participants from professional and business sectors of Hong Kong and the Mainland attended the ceremony staged at the Central Government Offices.
Addressing the Programme inauguration today, the Honourable Mrs Carrie Lam, the Chief Executive of HKSAR, said, "The Belt & Road Initiative involves a huge amount of infrastructure projects including airports, railways, ports and energy, it also requires establishing industrial zones and new town development. Before we go global to the Belt & Road counties, we all have to better equip ourselves to embrace the opportunities and challenges of the Initiative. I am pleased to launch today's Programme and I wish the Programme a big success."
Professor Timothy W. Tong, PolyU President, said, "Over years, PolyU has been actively collaborating with tertiary institutions in the Belt & Road countries for research development and education development. We have built a Belt & Road strategic platform with a vision to leverage our University's expertise and network for capacity building, thus fostering talent development, knowledge transfer and research development for the sustainable advancement of the Belt Road countries. PolyU is pleased and ready to support HKSAR Government to promote Belt & Road programmes."
The year-long Programme, funded with $2.3 million from the Professional Services Advancement Support Scheme of The Commerce and Economic Development Bureau of the HKSAR Government, has received support from 25 professional bodies covering accounting, finance, insurance, legal, real estate, construction, town planning, surveying, and engineering sectors. Commenced in January 2019, the Programme targets to reach 650 local professionals, as well as entrepreneurs from local and the Mainland. It will consist of seven workshops and two cross-professional sharing sessions, covering a wide variety of topics including feasibility and financeability assessment for the projects, risk management, cross-cultural management, budget issues, dispute resolution, international project management, relational contracting systems, etc.
The Programme is jointly offered by the Institute for Entrepreneurship, Institute of Advanced Executive Education, Department of Building and Real Estate, and School of Accounting and Finance of PolyU.
At the inaugural conference held today, experts from major multinational corporations and Chinese enterprises in infrastructure, as well as officials from the Mainland and PolyU's faculty members, shared their perspectives on exploring business collaborations and partnership opportunities in the Belt and Road countries.
Speaking at the conference, Mr Fang Qiuchen, Chairman of the China International Contractors Association, said Belt and Road Initiative has provided new momentum and opportunities for enterprises in Hong Kong and the Mainland. For the last 10 months, nearly half of the new overseas contracts offered to the Mainland's enterprises are related to projects in Belt and Road countries. "I hope that with strong support from the government, we can establish a systematic mechanism to facilitate exchanges among enterprises and industry associations of Hong Kong and the Mainland," he said.
Sr Dick Kwong, President of The Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors, said "Surveyors of Hong Kong possess internationally recognised qualification, strong management skills, and extensive global experiences. Many Belt and Road countries are putting great efforts in developing economy, engaging in massive infrastructure constructions and bettering relevant laws. Hong Kong surveyors can surely provide them with world-class surveying service."
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With the years of track record and solid experience, PolyU is well-positioned to play a significant role in realizing the vision of Belt and Road. First proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013, “One Belt” refers to the New Silk Road Economic Belt, which links China with Europe through Central and Western Asia by land; “One Road” refers to the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, which connects China with Southeast Asia, Africa and Europe by sea.
"Global Youth Leaders Summit 2018” was jointly organised by PolyU, Peking University, the Beijing Municipal Government, and Shougang Group of Beijing. The Summit has attracted more than 300 student leaders from 28 universities of 28 countries or regions across the globe, including along 22 Belt and Road countries or regions. It is the first-ever multi-partite collaboration for youth development among universities, government and business sectors.
In support of the Belt and Road strategy, the summit is initiated by PolyU's newly formed Global Youth Leadership and Service-learning Institute. It aims to provide students with opportunities to learn how to turn their vision into action, and to search for practical solutions to address critical challenges confronting the world today, such as education for all, poverty alleviation, and building of sustainable communities.
The university-industry collaboration project of PolyU-XJTU Silk Road International School of Engineering launched in April 2018. It provides training workshop for senior managerial executives and researchers of enterprises, government units and higher education institutions involving in electricity and energy operations along Belt and Road region. The cross-regional, cross-cultural workshop is the first of its kind in both the mainland and Hong Kong.
The move aligns with the Belt and Road strategy for strengthening communication and cooperation among government, enterprises and professions so as to facilitate the participation of various sectors in Belt and Road projects. PolyU-XJTU Silk Road International School of Engineering will work out the future development for university-industry collaboration based on the experience and feedbacks from implementing the first project. It aims to explore cooperation with more enterprises, institutions and organisations in different spectra for furthering its training and research initiatives, so as to cope with the nation's mid- and long-term strategic plans for the Belt and Road region.
PolyU is to draw on its multi-disciplinary strength in the Faculty of Business to serve as a leading think tank Belt and Road related issues. The PolyU Faculty of Business – Belt and Road Centre (FB-BARC) is to apply the various expertise of the Faculty's 200-strong members to fill the gaps of providing research and services pertinent to the Belt and Road Initiative.
The FB-BARC is a platform that pools the research strengths of the Faculty's three departments in logistics and maritime studies, accounting, finance, economics, law, marketing, management and international business. It is to conduct inter-disciplinary research, consultancy for local community and Belt and Road economies, intellectual exchanges for the region, as well as integrating Belt and Road components into university curriculum.
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