Around 5,000 government officials, entrepreneurs and professionals from 69 countries attended the fourth Belt & Road Summit today.
More than 700 one-on-one business-matching meetings for over 240 projects were arranged.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam spoke at the opening session, highlighting how Hong Kong, being China's most competitive and international city, is well positioned to serve as the gateway to the Belt & Road and its manifold prospects and possibilities.
Mrs Lam said Hong Kong will embark on a programme for interactive exchanges on practices and experiences with Mainland ministries in areas including finance, commerce, foreign-related legal matters, dispute resolution, city management, aviation and transportation, professional services and anti-corruption.
She said such collaboration will enhance professionalism on both sides, ultimately realising Belt & Road projects that are both green and sustainable.
Given Hong Kong's deep and diverse pool of talent, Mrs Lam added the city is a professional services hub benchmarked against international standards and practices.
She said as a commitment to raise the professionals to new levels in pursuit of Belt & Road co-operation, the Government has provided funding under the Professional Services Advancement Support Scheme to help the professional services sector to capitalise on Belt & Road opportunities.
To facilitate business matching, Mrs Lam said business delegations have been organised to explore opportunities in Belt & Road-related countries and regions, new free trade and investment protection agreements have been forged with trading partners, and Hong Kong's Economic & Trade Office network is being expanded.
The Chief Executive said she is confident that given the spirit of Hong Kong, the city can find its place along the Belt & Road.
During the opening session, Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Gao Yunlong delivered a special address.
Secretary and Chairman of the State-owned Assets Supervision & Administration Commission of the State Council Party Committee Hao Peng, National Development & Reform Commission Vice Chairman Ning Jizhe, Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Bingnan and Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Xie Feng also gave keynote speeches.
Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau chaired two policy dialogue sessions joined by officials from different countries.
They shared their insights on facilitating and fostering regional co-operation through five areas of connectivity as well as on economic development and commerce under the Belt & Road Initiative.
In the second policy dialogue session and luncheon, Financial Secretary Paul Chan spoke with the participants on Hong Kong's edge in professional risk management services and insurance services.
Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng delivered welcome remarks at the thematic breakout forum.
The summit will continue tomorrow, with the plenary session focusing on creating Belt & Road opportunities through the Greater Bay Area.