Chamber set up to ease Belt, Road path in SE Asia

Local | Phoenix Un 13 Sep 2017

A new Belt and Road General Chamber of Commerce has been set up to promote closer relations and trade between Hong Kong and Southeast Asian countries.

The chamber was established last Friday by Lai Sun Group chairman Peter Lam Kin-ngok; Chia Tai Pharmaceutical Group chief executive Cheng Cheung- ling; Goldin Real Estate Financial Holdings chairman Pan Sutong, who is Guangdong-born; and the chairman of the Thai-Chinese property developer Reignwood Group, Chanchai Ruayrungruang.

The chamber will act as a supplement to the mainland government in terms of Belt and Road connections with other countries on the route, said its chairwoman Cheng, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

The chamber, which will be based in Hong Kong, will work mostly in trade and people-to-people matters as a voluntary civilian platform.

"The government will work mostly on policy issues and connection between countries, and for the remainder the government finds hard to do, we'll supplement them," Cheng said.

"Hong Kong is an irreplaceable connector, and this is the most prominent role for Hong Kong in the Belt and Road initiative."

The chamber may prepare businessmen with knowledge about countries along the Belt and Road so that they could avoid cultural taboos.

"Any businessman who wants to avoid offending other people will need to understand the history and culture of the other countries, and this also concerns the people-to-people bond," Cheng said.

She said some countries along the Belt and Road, such as Thailand, are politically unstable, but she was not worried.

Members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will be the focus of the chamber's future work, Cheng said, adding Chinese businessmen in these countries will be the chamber's target.

The chamber has six committees focusing on finance, large infrastructure, trade, professional services, cultural industry and medical.

Each committee has its focal industry, Cheng said, adding the chamber will introduce members into the committees to develop business opportunities along the six committee areas.

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