Hong Kong trade presence needed in ‘One Belt, One Road’ cities

Hong Kong Vision convener Jasper Tsang Yok-sing calls for more offices in locations along China’s proposed trade route

PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 November, 2016, 9:17pm
UPDATED : Monday, 14 November, 2016, 9:30pm

Former Legislative Council president Jasper Tsang has proposed Hong Kong open more offshore trade offices and strengthen ties with possible “sister cities” along China’s “One Belt, One Road” trade route.

Tsang was speaking as the convener of his think tank Hong Kong Vision, which launched its fourth report yesterday. The report will be shared with all potential chief executive candidates, including Leung Chun-ying, he said.

“If Mr Leung says he agrees with our ideas to open more Economic and Trade Offices, then our suggestion is to open them in Russia and Poland,” Tsang said.

Tsang said existing ETOs had to cover many countries, and he personally felt the need to expand their network during his visit to Hungary last year.

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“Eastern Europe is very important in One Belt, One Road, but there is no office there. It was the head of our ETO in Berlin that had to fly to Hungary to help with my arrangements,” Tsang recalled.

“Of course, Hungary wants Hong Kong to open an office there, but Poland is the more suitable choice because it is the biggest economy in eastern Europe.”

Tsang suggested Hong Kong establish ties with “sister cities” along the One Belt, One Road trade route, such as Surabaya in Indonesia and Dubai. South Korea’s Daejeon, an innovative technology hub, was also earmarked as a potential sister city.

Tsang said the measures would benefit the “one country two systems” policy, and China’s development. He explained that sister cities would start with cultural exchanges and eventually move to business matters.

Hong Kong Vision is set to launch two more reports – one on the “recognition of a national identity”, and another on governance.