Interview Transcript: “HKTDC is going to be that super connector between the investors of the world”
Vincent Lo, chairman of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, says as China transforms, restructures, and rebalances its economy, slowing down has become a necessity. Its Belt and Road is a golden opportunity for Hong Kong to be an investment, financing, and professional services centre for companies wanting to invest in the initiative.
February 19, 2016
| The Banking Conversation
Property developer and Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) chairman Vincent Lo is upbeat not just about the Hong Kong property market but also Hong Kong’s position as the centre for China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
“The Belt and Road is not going to be just a China project,” he emphasises. “It’s going to be a world project. It’s 4.4 billion people, 65 countries. If you are just a private enterprise, and HKTDC can help you by identifying projects and coming up with hopefully a standard loan agreement, a standard investment agreement, then it’s going to be a lot easier for the investment and for the countries concerned,” he explained.
The Asian Banker’s Emmanuel Daniel sat down with Lo for a conversation on the prospects for Hong Kong as various regional trading arrangements are created and China slows down.
Emmanuel Daniel (ED): You are a businessman in your own right, a very prominent property developer in Hong Kong and China. The first question I want to ask you is this: We all see the numbers. Global trade is slowing dramatically despite an era where there’s a lot of bilateral and multilateral arrangements taking place all around the world. What do you think is happening?
Vincent Lo (VL): I think we’re seeing a lot of economies slowing down, particularly in Europe. It’s even negative growth. So I think that is going to curb purchase, even in China. Imports have also come down quite dramatically. It’s because China is seeing a 7% growth. It’s more like a recession but also the psychology as well as the actual purchasing power.
ED: You’re a property developer. You understand overcapacity. But the overcapacity we find now is on every front—from raw materials, to property, to infrastructure. How long do you think this will take to work out for a country like China?
VL: Overcapacity should encourage exports and imports because overca...
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Keywords:HKTDC, One Belt One Road, China, Hong Kong, RMB, AIIB, TPP