The World Chinese Economic Summit 2017 took place on 13-14th November in Hong Kong. The event was opened by The Honourable Carrie Lam, the current Chief Executive of Hong Kong.
Founded by Dr Michael Yeoh, CEO of Asia Strategy & Leadership Institute and Oxford University One Belt One Road Programme Expert Adviser, the 9th edition of the annual event was titled 'Managing Global Uncertainty: Exploring New Opportunities'. Dr Lijin Yan, Chairman of the Silk Road International Foundation and Oxford OBOR Expert Adviser, highlighted 'sharing' as being key to the OBOR initiative.
“One keyword of the Belt and Road Initiative is ‘share’,” said Dr Yan. “To share our market, experience and bring a bright future to participating countries and regions.”
Addressing the panel titled 'Regionalisation and Geo-economics: Making Regional Economic Integration Succeed: Challenges & Opportunities,' Professor Denis Galligan, Director of Oxford OBOR, discussed the need for well-developed legal infrastructure in order to achieve regional coordination and cooperation. This includes a common standard for bilateral arrangements, creating regulatory areas, providing a basis for institutions and for a proper dispute resolution mechanism.
“Legal infrastructure needs to be considered more seriously, the balance between the private sector and government regulation needs to be constantly scrutinized and examined,” said Professor Galligan. “Then and only then will the Belt and Road Initiative achieve its purposes.”
Dr Ying Yu, Deputy Director of Oxford OBOR, examined the need to build a common constitutional framework among OBOR nations during the roundtable titled 'Law and Investment on One Belt One Road and China’s Outward Investment Strategy: Implications and Issues for Belt and Road Countries.' The framework serves two purposes, according to Dr Yu: to understand the scope for framing behaviours that are necessary for resolving disputes and mitigating risks, and to promote confidence among OBOR nations to increase their participation. Such common understanding not only leads to higher confidence to trade, but also helps prevent conflicts and resolve cross-border disputes through efficient, practical, and cost-effective schemes. Further, there are three elements essential to the schemes, Dr Yu notes: 1) protection and guarantees, thereby generating trust between OBOR participants to enter into deals; 2) certainty and predictability, so that people will be aware of the consequences of their behaviour; 3) an effective redress system to resolve disputes through practical, fair, reliable, and predictable methods.