On 23 March 2016, the Supply Chain & Logistics Professionals (SCLP) network welcomed The Honourable Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee GBS, JP to present a luncheon briefing about “China’s Belt and Road Initiative – Challenge and Opportunity for the Trade and Logistics Industries”.

Ms Ip serves as a member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong, is the co-founder and current chairperson of the New People's Party and Co-Chair of the Maritime Silk Road Society.

The SCLP Speaker Luncheon was hosted by Mark Millar at the HMV Bar & Restaurant in Causeway Bay and attracted over 50 logistics and supply chain professionals interested in learning more about One Belt One Road whilst networking with peers and sharing industry news and perspectives.

During the presentation, Regina Ip explained the background and context to China’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative’, which aims to develop new Eurasian land and maritime trade routes based on the ancient Silk Road.  She outlined the framework and priorities of the initiative and presented examples of related infrastructure investments in Pakistan and a case study from China Merchants Group.

The Maritime Silk Road Society – of which Ms Ip is Founder and Co-Chair – was officially inaugurated in September 2015 and aims to help support the implementation of the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’. Among other activities, the Society identifies opportunities to promote stronger ties between Hong Kong and the countries and regions along the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

In his recent book, Global Supply Chain Ecosystems, Mark Millar identifies China’s Belt and Road initiative as one of the three significant geopolitical issues likely to affect every global supply chain ecosystem. In the chapter ‘The New Silk Road connecting Europe and Asia’, Mark explores the way in which the 21st century revival of the ancient Silk Route is likely to affect the new and sometimes unstable economies across central Asia and the Middle East. At the same time, he explains, the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ will impact the established maritime container freight routes that link the leading Asian ports with European markets.

Commenting after the briefing, Mark said: “There is little doubt about the huge impact the Belt and Road Initiative will have for the supply chain ecosystems that service the Eurasia trade flows. It was therefore a privilege to be able to host this informative briefing from Regina Ip, and to learn more about the Maritime Silk Road Society – an organisation at the forefront of much of the thinking around this initiative. We look forward to continuing to contribute to the work of the Society as the Belt and Road Initiative develops in the months and years to come.”

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