Hong Kong will hold a one-day seminar in Jakarta next week to introduce its role in China's 'Belt and Route' initiative for Indonesian businesses. (Reuters Photo)

Hong Kong to Woo Indonesian Businesses to Take Part in 'Belt and Road' Initiative


JULY 18, 2017

Jakarta. Hong Kong will hold a one-day seminar in Jakarta next week to introduce its role in China's "Belt and Road" initiative for Indonesian businesses, an executive said on Tuesday (18/07).

The "Belt and Road Initiative: Connecting China, Hong Kong and Indonesia" seminar on July 26 will be organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (HKETO).

"Next Wednesday is to let more Indonesian companies know more about the opportunities; we hope that you will also enjoy them," HKTDC director for Indonesia Leung Kwan Ho said.

The event will see in attendance high-profile politicians and executives such as Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po, Chinese Embassy's minister counselor Wang Liping, Hong Kong Trade Development Council director of research Nicholas Kwan and Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board chairman Thomas Lembong.

According to Leung, the organizers do not seek to sign any particular deal between Indonesian and Chinese businesses during the event, but aim to deepen the understanding of China's program and its benefits for local businesses.

HKETO Jakarta deputy director for public relations Angie Chung told the Jakarta Globe the organizers expect about 300 stakeholders to participate in the event. The number is much higher compared with Hong Kong's previous business seminars in Indonesia.

China's "Belt and Road Initiative," also known as "One Belt One Road Initiative," is an ambitious development campaign to build infrastructure connecting China to 65 countries in Asia, Africa and Europe, which was launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping in September 2013.

It is believed that Indonesia will enjoy a seamless flow of capital, goods and services on the back of better infrastructure and cheaper logistics.

Today's logistics costs in Indonesia are among the highest in Asia, estimated at 24.6 percent of the country's gross domestic product — that compared with Singapore's 8 percent, Malaysia's 14 percent and Japan's 9 percent.

Leung said China and Indonesia can use this opportunity to built up closer ties and enhance maritime connectivity and commerce, while Hong Kong can play a unique role as the connector.

"Hong Kong enjoys full support from the Chinese government [...] at the same time, Hong Kong maintains the common law system underpinned by an independent judiciary, a capitalist system featuring low tax rate and an open market allowing the free flow of goods, services, capital and business travelers," Leung said.

Indonesia's exports to Hong Kong reached $725.7 million in the first four months of 2017, up 8 percent compared with the corresponding period last year, while imports from Hong Kong dropped 10 percent to $504.4 million. Incoming foreign direct investment from Hong Kong dropped nearly 21 percent to $402 million.