What is the Belt & Road Initiative and how much do you know about it? What importance does it have and what opportunities lie ahead for MBA students? The Belt & Road Initiative is changing the world. CUHK is helping students understand its complexities with a course delivered by a seasoned expert and a study tour to Kazakhstan, where the Belt & Road initiative was first unveiled in 2013.
The CUHK MBA has always been an innovative programme, adapting to the changing business world. An elective course in “Belt & Road and Greater Bay Ecosystem” as well as a study tour of Kazakhstan will be introduced in the academic year of 2019-20. The Programme is honoured to invite Mr Raymond Yip, former Deputy Executive Director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council as instructor, to co-teach the course with Dr Andrew Yuen. Until May 2019, Mr Yip has been spearheading the promotion of the Belt and Road since 2013 and Greater Bay Area since 2017 respectively.
The Belt and Road: What makes it world-changing?
The initiative encompasses five areas of cooperation between China and 120 countries and rising, covering policy, finance, trade, people and infrastructure. This covers 60% of the world population, 30% of world GDP and 32% of world trade. In a nutshell, the opportunities are boundless with plenty of potential for growth.
Hong Kong: The super connector
Where does Hong Kong fit into this? “As an international hub for business and investment, Hong Kong is the third largest financial centre that could help in financing, in particular for the amount of infrastructure that is to be built. Hong Kong is definitely the conduit, as it represents 60% of China’s Foreign Direct Investments and over 80% of Renminbi offshore settlements are done here, according to the China Ministry of Trade “ explains Mr Yip.
“The sound legal system, plus the use of Common Law which is familiar and easily understood by other countries is hugely important, as there will be a lot of drafting of legal contracts. Hong Kong is also world-renowned as an arbitration centre for dispute settlement,” Mr Yip adds.
Study tour to Kazakhstan an unmissable highlight
Kazakhstan is where the Belt & Road Initiative was first unveiled. It is situated at the crossroads of the Eurasia train network and as an early adopter, beneficiary as well as benefactor, the country shows great interest in connecting with the world through the Belt and Road initiative. The country has a relatively young population and a supportive government that encourages startups.
Mr Yip is still working on adding more elements to the study tour, but so far the following is taking place:
MBA students stand to transform their knowledge
CUHK MBA students are already blessed with geographical advantage. Hong Kong, at the centre of the Greater Bay Area (GBA), is a supporting pillar to the Belt and Road. The GBA is one of China’s most developed regions and Hong Kong is in prime position to take advantage of a variety of opportunities, complementing technology centre in Shenzhen and business centres in Guangzhou. This is an undeniable gateway for students to fast track their career, especially when they have already equipped themselves with knowledge in this area.
“MBA students should have their awareness raised and get up to speed with the plan because it is such a huge market and game-changing stratagem. After attending the course, MBA students should be able to understand more objectively the benefits and appreciate the unprecedented opportunities that the Belt Road is bringing to the world,” says Mr Yip. For MBA students who are set on a career in entrepreneurship, the course will be a great eye-opener on startup scalability in an international context.