Hong Kong, Shanghai delegation examines infrastructure investment opportunities
A Hong Kong-Shanghai joint infrastructure investment delegation visited Bangkok this week to discuss cooperation and investment opportunities driven by growing intra-regional cooperation in Asia, especially under China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
The delegation, organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) in association with the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office of the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government, comprised some 40 investors and service professionals from Hong Kong and Shanghai.
The delegates included those with interest and expertise in finance, consultancy, architecture, energy, waste and water treatment, engineering and construction, legal and accounting, and transportation, as well as other sectors.
During the Bangkok visit on May 8 and 9, the delegation met with Thai government and business leaders to promote closer infrastructure development partnerships involving Hong Kong, the Chinese mainland and Thailand.
Speaking to Thai project owners at a seminar on Tuesday titled “Hong Kong and Shanghai: Your Infrastructure Investment Partner”, HKTDC chairman Vincent HS Lo said the driving forces behind the three-way partnership of Hong Kong, Shanghai and Thailand were the Belt and Road Initiative and Thailand’s national development policies.
“Hong Kong and Thailand have a long trading relationship, and now we are working on new initiatives,” Lo said. “With Thailand’s plan for development well in place, it is excellent timing for us to reach out to you and find suitable and financially viable projects.”
Zhou Yajun, deputy director-general of Shanghai’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office and an adviser to the delegation, said: “Thailand is an important participant in the Belt and Road Initiative, which offers opportunities we have not seen before.
“Shanghai has a lot of enterprises with strong experience in infrastructure, finance and the services industry. We have come here to learn, to develop partnerships and to make friends.”
During the seminar, Hong Kong and Shanghai delegates representing the investment, financial and professional-services sectors and Thai project owners including the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand and the Thai Contractors Association exchanged views and identified areas for cooperation in infrastructure investment.
On Monday, the delegation participated in a “Thailand-Hong Kong-Shanghai Strategic Partnership on One Belt One Road” seminar organised by the Thai government. Senior government officials including Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitakand and Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana spoke on topics such as Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor development and the advantages of public-private partnerships, while Hong Kong and Shanghai delegates discussed possibilities for closer partnership.
A memorandum of understanding was signed between the Office of the Eastern Economic Corridor Development and the HKTDC.
After the seminar, the delegation was received by Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha at Government House.
Hong Kong and Thailand enjoy close and strong bilateral ties with frequent business and cultural exchanges. Last year, Thailand was Hong Kong's third-largest export market in the Asean region, with a total export value of US$6.15 billion (Bt213 billion).
Thailand is also the third-largest source of Hong Kong's imports in the Asean region, amounting to US$10.59 billion. In addition, Thailand is Hong Kong’s second-largest trading partner in the Asean region with bilateral trade of $16.7 billion last year.