On September 13, the Belt and Road Summit opened its doors in Hong Kong, co-organized by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. The summit attracted a diverse crowd of nearly 6,000 participants from almost 70 countries and regions, encompassing government officials, business leaders, entrepreneurs, and emerging start-ups. Over 100 delegations from the mainland and abroad marked their presence at the various activities.
On the cusp of the summit, Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu accentuated its exceptional importance, noting that the event celebrates the Belt and Road Initiative's 10th anniversary. Lee emphasized that this marks the city's maiden full-scale event post-pandemic, pushing media to magnify the initiative's significance, focusing on the opportunities it presents for Hong Kong and the wider global community.
During his opening remarks, Lee reiterated Hong Kong's pivotal role in the Belt and Road Initiative as a staunch advocate, invaluable contributor, and direct beneficiary. He expressed the city's keenness to capitalize on the vast prospects the initiative offers, intensifying partnerships in sectors including trade, tech innovation, and infrastructure development, all anchored in the "one country, two systems" doctrine.
Since its inception in 2016, the Belt and Road Summit has burgeoned into a principal trade and investment platform for businesses spanning the mainland, overseas, and Hong Kong. The summit has curated over 3,800 project matchups, drawing a composite audience of 33,000 attendees, both on-site and virtually. With this year marking the initiative's 10th anniversary, there's a discernible focus on the Middle East, spotlighting its fresh developments and collaborative ventures in the BRI milieu.
The summit's agenda is also peppered with specialized forums, traversing themes like green finance, green technology in the Greater Bay Area, and the application of nascent digital technologies. Distinct sessions have been carved out for finance and the youth, casting a lens on the myriad opportunities the Belt and Road Initiative opens up for startups and the younger demographic.