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Tuesday, 11 July 2017, 19:00 HKT/SGT

Source: HKTDC
HKTDC Mission Visits Heilongjiang and Vladivostok
Exploring Cooperation Opportunities under the Belt and Road

HONG KONG, July 11, 2017 - (ACN Newswire) - A Hong Kong business delegation has explored investment and financing opportunities related to the growing strength of China's Heilongjiang Province as a regional transportation and trading hub under the Belt and Road Initiative. The 3-8 July mission to explore development and cooperation opportunities made stops in Heilongjiang as well as the Russian city of Vladivostok, and was led by Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) Executive Director Margaret Fong.

Representatives of more than 20 companies from various sectors, including finance, logistics, infrastructure, supply chain management, real property, IT, aviation, catering and food, auto parts and professional services joined the six-day trip. The delegation met with local government and business leaders during stops in Harbin, Mudanjiang and Suifenhe in Heilongjiang and Vladivostok in Russia.

- Investment opportunities explored with Heilongjiang businesses

Heilongjiang shares a border with Russia, a key destination for Chinese investment among economies covered by the Initiative. The province has connecting points for railways serving both sides of the border, making it China's gateway to the north and an international hub in Northeast Asia.

The Belt and Road Initiative aims to enhance infrastructure development, industrial cooperation, financial integration, and interconnectivity among the economies along the routes. For outbound investments from Heilongjiang, the industrial centre of China's northeast, increased cooperation in investment, equipment manufacturing and production capacity with Belt and Road countries has become a main focus.

"The HKTDC has always been committed to promoting cooperation between Heilongjiang and Hong Kong enterprises," said Ms Fong. "While Hong Kong is the largest source of foreign capital for Heilongjiang, Heilongjiang is a key Belt and Road transportation and business hub. Heilongjiang can form a strategic partnership with Hong Kong and capitalise on Hong Kong's advantages as an international financial and trading platform in its efforts to expand into Belt and Road markets."

Ms Fong said, besides being an international financial, trading and logistics centre and regional services hub, Hong Kong is also an important node for Belt and Road development. High-calibre professionals in Hong Kong can offer top-notch services in financing, mergers and acquisitions, professional advisory, engineering construction and management, project planning and development, personnel training and more, she said, lending support to mainland enterprises' outbound investments under the Initiative.

The business delegation paid official calls to the Governor of Heilongjiang Province Lu Hao, Harbin Mayor Song Xibin and senior government officials of Mudanjiang and Suifenhe. The delegates visited a number of important local businesses and facilities, including Harbin Grand Shopping Centre, Harbin Wanda Cultural Tourism City, Mudanjiang Planning Exhibition Hall, Mudanjiang Youbo Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd, Suifenhe China-Russia Cloud Warehouse and Suifenhe Igor Russian Commodity Market. During these visits, the delegates explored cooperation opportunities in logistics, food, infrastructure, financing, IT and professional services between Heilongjiang and Hong Kong companies.

On 4 July, the Department of Commerce of the Heilongjiang Province and the HKTDC signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the "Comprehensively Deepening of Economic and Trade Cooperation between Heilongjiang and Hong Kong". The two parties agreed to jointly explore Belt and Road business opportunities by exchanging information on policies, markets and investment projects through the HKTDC Belt and Road Portal. They will also encourage cooperation between Heilongjiang and Hong Kong companies, promote two-way investments, and establish an economic and trade platform through which they will organise business missions, participate in exhibitions, expand areas of cooperation and promote economic and trade development between the two economies.

- Russia as an important Silk Road Economic Belt node

On 6 July, the delegation visited Vladivostok, an important industrial centre in Russia and the country's largest logistics centre in the Far East. It is also the terminus of the Trans-Siberian Railway and the largest Russian harbour on the Pacific Ocean. The Belt and Road Initiative is expected to bring bilateral benefits to both countries, with Heilongjiang and Vladivostok playing increasingly important roles in the bilateral trade between Russia and China.

While in Vladivostok, the delegation was received by Eugeniy Polianskiy, Vice Governor of Russia's Primorsky Region and Yan Wenbin, Chinese Consulate-General in Vladivostok. They visited Vladivostok City Seaport, Yankovsky Logistics Park, Russky Bridge as well as major enterprises including Far East Development Corporation, Far Eastern Shipping Company and Pacific Investment Group. The delegates also met with representatives of Chinese enterprises in Russia to learn about the local business environment, and discuss how Hong Kong can cooperate with mainland enterprises to improve their prospects in Russia by introducing Hong Kong products and services as a way to further expand into the Russian market.

"As an important node in the Silk Road Economic Belt, Russia is bound to inject new impetus to Sino-Russia economic and trade development as the Belt and Road Initiative brings about immense investment and financing opportunities," said Ms Fong. "Among the Belt and Road countries, Russia will be one of the important markets for the investment of Chinese funds. Hong Kong is an established international financial centre and global investment hub that attracts plenty of global funds and boasts a multitude of financial talents. It is in the best position to offer premium professional financing services. Being an important platform facilitating Belt and Road development, Hong Kong can make use of its unique advantages and connecting role to provide services to mainland enterprises interested in venturing into Russia and other Belt and Road countries."

Ms Fong said, as Asia's international business hub, Hong Kong is actively encouraging mainland enterprises to use its business platform for developing overseas business and carrying out investment activities. In future, the HKTDC will do more "going out" work; covering more extensive types of industries and broadening its countries from the mature European and American markets to countries along the Belt and Road routes. The HKTDC's strategy is to establish Hong Kong as a Belt and Road commercial hub, connecting business opportunities for companies around the world with information, exchange and study missions.

- Great potential for Russian-HK and Sino-Russian Trade

In 2016, Hong Kong's total export to Russia was HK$2 billion, a 22 per cent increase from the previous year. In the same period, its total import from Russia was US$688 million, a decrease of 9 per cent. In 2015, foreign direct investment flow to Russia was over US$9.8 billion, of which China accounted for US$2.9 billion. China's cumulative direct investment in Russia rose from US$930 million in 2006 to US$14 billion in 2015.

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Established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body dedicated to creating opportunities for Hong Kong's businesses. With more than 40 offices globally, including 13 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China, Asia and the world. With more than 50 years of experience, the HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to provide companies, particularly SMEs, with business opportunities on the mainland and in international markets, while providing business insights and information via trade publications, research reports and digital channels including the media room. For more information, please visit: Follow us on Google+, Twitter @hktdc, LinkedIn.
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Communication and Public Affairs Department
Vince Lung
Tel: +852 2584 4341

July 11, 2017 19:00 HKT/SGT
Source: HKTDC

Topic: Press release summary
Sectors: Daily News
From the Asia Corporate News Network

Copyright © 2018 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved. A division of Asia Corporate News Network.

HKTDC Executive Director Margaret Fong (left at the back) witnesses the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding called "Comprehensively Deepening of Economic and Trade Cooperation between Heilongjiang and Hong Kong".
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