Moscow hosted a working meeting between Russian business representatives and members of a business mission from Hong Kong. These were the first such talks to take place with the mission, which formed part of a wider Hong Kong business delegation. For the first time, major investors from this financial centre in China had the opportunity to obtain detailed information on the leading trends affecting the Russian economy. They also heard presentations given by the heads of leading Russian companies and were given real proposals on business partnership. The dialogue included ROI forecasts, and investors took the opportunity to ask questions on the prospects for future cooperation. They shared their plans and perspectives on growing business ties between Russia and Hong Kong.
Members of the official delegation from The Better Hong Kong Foundation expressed strong interest in cooperating in business real estate, IT, logistics, education and science, agriculture and fisheries, tourism, and finance. Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East Alexander Kozlov spoke on opportunities offered by his region for members of the Hong Kong business delegation: «The development of Russky Island is one area where we could definitely cooperate with Hong Kong very quickly and effectively. The ministry has been tasked with creating a special status for the island in order for it to become a centre of investment, leisure and tourism, scientific and technological progress, and financial integration. Russky Island already has a special administrative district, bringing together an offshore zone, financial centre, tech valley, a scientific and educational cluster, a tech park, and a convention and exhibition centre together with hotel, entertainment, and development infrastructure. It is a large and comprehensive development project for the area, and a place where I am convinced we can identify interesting joint projects with Hong Kong. That is especially the case with our colleagues here today, who do business in a range of spheres, including tourism, development, hospitality, gaming, high-tech manufacturing, and architecture.»
In turn, Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation Anton Kobyakov invited investors from Hong Kong to collaborate in the construction of hotel infrastructure in the Far East. «We offer huge opportunities, and wish to invite you and your investors to work with us in the Far East. It is the shortest link between China and Russia. We would like to establish international companies to develop regional air transportation, as well as joint ventures in retail, tourism, scientific developments, and modern technologies. We invite you to the Russian market, where we will provide support and reliable business partners,» he said.
Viktor Vekselberg, President of the Skolkovo Foundation and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Renova Group, spoke about the progress made on implementing the Skolkovo Innovation Centre project. He extended an invitation to the Hong Kong business community to work together in science and developing new technologies. Vekselberg added that around 2,000 startups specializing in a vast range of fields have already been launched, and operate with Skolkovo Foundations support. «Russia is not only rich in minerals and natural resources, but also, most importantly, in talented people. Russia has exceptional scientists, but we do not always manage to convert their groundbreaking developments into fully fledged marketable products. This is what Skolkovo is trying to change. We strive to create a business environment capable of attracting Russian and foreign investment in order to create innovative products which are competitive on the world stage,» he said. Vekselberg also presented a project to construct a new international airport and major logistics centre in Kamchatka and invited investors to join in on work in this promising region of Russia. Ronnie Chan, Chairman of leading property developer Hang Lung Properties, commented that work is continuing apace on developing the high-tech sector, and that he planned to find out about the projects being undertaken by the Russian innovation centre.
Also in attendance was Sebastian Man, Chairman of Chung Mei International Holdings, a producer of electric kitchen appliances and air‑treatment products for major international brands. Speaking to the Russian business representatives and heads of relevant government agencies, Man underscored the importance of developing the logistics sector. He noted that production levels in China have reached those of the fourth industrial revolution, due in large part to the development of international logistics channels. «The One Belt, One Road project, which is being implemented between China and Russia has led to genuinely impressive results. They have meant that for the first time in the last 600 years, we can see how producers of goods in China are sending shipments by land to Europe. And deliveries no longer take 60 days, but 10,» he said.
The topic of logistics was also covered in a dialogue with Diana Chou, Chairman of Dragon General Aviation Group Ltd., a major private aviation company in Asia. Anton Kobyakov noted that the company has already amassed a great deal of experience in developing regional transportation. He invited Chou to cooperate on improving regional logistics and passenger transport in Russia.
The Kowloon Motor Bus Company Ltd., one of the worlds largest companies in the sector, was represented by Executive Director Winnie Ng. She also spoke on the development of logistics, and shared her experience in optimizing passenger traffic in Hong Kong and China as a while. «Transport provides a link between people, as well as opportunities to increase trade and commercial prospects overall. On 23 September a high-speed rail link opened, connecting Hong Kong, Macau, and nine other major cities in the country, and bringing passenger transport closer to speeds associated with air transport,» she said.