Hong Kong Vision 2.0 Pioneering Westward with Our Youths
Founded on international trade, having grown with trade, and now the 8th trading wonders of the world -- Hong Kong can begin another new chapter in 2017. But can we?
Should we? Can Hong Kong rise to the next level of transformation? What is indeed Hong Kong Vision 2.0? What are we talking about?
Hong Kong 2.0. Can this be a new vision for Hong Kong? Sadly, not everyone shares this vision or the possibilities in this reality because not much is known. This new vision can only be seen through new lens, new thinking, and mindful of our current challenges we are facing in Hong Kong. Today, we are trading more on information and know-how. And as we exit the information era and enter into the digital era, we should not forget who we are and the current opportunities that only Hong Kong in a position to claim. The Belt and Road Initiative is here, like it or not.
This time and oddly similar to 1967 when China closed its borders, Hong Kong stands at the tipping point for change. When China closed its borders, trade went through principally Hong Kong and this gave Hong Kong unprecedented stimulus for growth and increasing sophistication. Now that China is opening up to their West through the Belt and Road Strategy, Hong Kong stands to leverage as well, but this is only possible, if we can see the new landscape and dare to take on a new role for ourselves.
Vision and change requires leadership. If our leadership can prepare our economy, and persuade our youths and our population to this next level of prosperity, I believe we can. In fact, we should aspire to have a new Chief Executive (CE) for the HKSAR who can show us the way, inspire us, and who can let loose other leaders to change the game.
The secret to Hong Kong 2.0, and some of us at Invotech believe this, lies in identifying and persuading pioneers among us -- particularly those in good health, adventurous, and young – to step up and lead this charge to China’ West.
Oddly enough, it is not about China’s Belt and Road Initiative. This is just an opportunity, albeit a huge opportunity that looks to an average US$ 800 billion per year just for infrastructure building, according to the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank. For us, it is really about Hong Kong setting up a clear vision and preparing our young leaders for this adventure now that this opportunity is in front of us. The Belt and Road Initiative is now our Yellow Brick Road, an opportunity to be taken … or not.
For this new vision to have any chance, my personal belief is that we need to consider 7 pillars that would be needed to frame this vision…along with the next CE who can articulate this vision.
7 Key Elements for Exploration?
Let loose our SMEs: Currently, over 100,000 SMEs (small and medium enterprises) in HK are involved in trading and most have less than 10 employees. Hong Kong must invest in our SMEs so they may become our ambassadors to over 60 countries under the Belt and Road Strategy. Let’s help them help themselves. Government can set up a new SME Advisory Services with a Secretary, similar to the level and funding of the Small Business Administration in the United States; and staff them with Silver Angels (experienced business persons over 65).
Encourage Innovation and Digitalization: Promote digitalization to these SMEs, while recognizing the disintermediation of trade, and mindful of trade practices that have remained true since the days of Marco Polo. Next, invest in our young entrepreneurs and those of our counterparties in identifying these next markets. Surely, we can train and place a thousand young entrepreneurs abroad and open our doors to the same number from our partners.