A think-tank involving leading businesses, academics and media personnel is being formed to improve the quality of discussion about Hong Kong's political and economic relationships. Trade Development Council chairman Victor Fung Kwok-king and Jardine Fleming director David Dodwell are planning to launch the Hong Kong Forum as a non-partisan, self-funded body. Mr Fung will be chairman and Mr Dodwell the voluntary executive secretary. Mr Fung, whose other responsibilities include commitments to the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) forum, said: 'What we are looking for is a group of diverse individuals who are interested in international relations. 'We feel there is room for a very high level discussion forum that would provide a platform for interesting people who deal in the area of international relationships. 'It would be a private forum to express ideas to those who are similarly inclined. 'It would aim to achieve a better understanding for us as to what key people are thinking. A lot of things are developing but it has not been thoroughly discussed.' Mr Fung said it would help the process of communicating the Asia story to other parts of the world and refining the US and European view of Asia. Mr Fung said the forum would be 'unashamedly opportunistic' in its selection of speakers, who would typically be policy makers and opinion leaders. To ensure frank discussion, all issues raised and opinions expressed would be confidential. The forum would initially have about 50 members with an equal number to be selected later. 'Asia is developing very quickly on a practical level,' Mr Fung said. 'The way these economies really tick is sometimes not really understood too deeply. 'Asia wants to participate in a global economy. It is a two-way street and requires two-way involvement.' Issues likely to be raised would be trade protectionism and how Asia can develop a co-operative rather than adversarial approach. Another likely issue would be whether the Asian economic miracle would end when its supply of cheap labour and abundant land was exhausted. 'I think Asia is developing a particular form of competition and I think these messages need to be got across,' he said. A formal date for the launch has yet to be set, but is likely to be in the middle of the year.