Hong Kong’s Trade Development Council will host the 5th Belt and Road Summit today. Thousands of international public and private
Hong Kong’s Trade Development Council will host the 5th Belt and Road Summit today.
Thousands of international public and private sector leaders will participate in virtual discussions on topics ranging from trade to post-pandemic economic recovery. Today’s forum will also give attendees the chance to explore business opportunities within the Belt and Road region.
Since Hong Kong is an important link between China and the West, Beijing is keen for the city to maintain its status as an international business hub in order for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to succeed. Thus, expect Hong Kong leaders to use today’s summit to elevate the city’s profile by highlighting its strengths, mainly its ability to attract investors.
However, recent events call into question whether Hong Kong can remain a reliable commercial partner. Beijing’s meddling in Hong Kong’s semi-autonomy via its 2019 extradition legislation and recent National Security Law has negatively affected international perceptions of the city as a safe haven for business. The US, for example, has suspended Hong Kong’s special diplomatic status. Furthermore, because some in the West view the BRI as a challenge to the global liberal democratic system, it is uncertain whether Hong Kong can play a long-term role in the BRI while maintaining its international status.