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  • An Ambitious Initiative for Generations to Come: Understanding the Width and Depth of China’s Belt & Road Initiative
    An Ambitious Initiative for Generations to Come: Understanding the Width and Depth of China’s Belt & Road Initiative


    On 10 November 2017, the Chamber of Commerce of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the China-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce (CHINALUX) held the fourth and final event in their co-hosted event series on China’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI)*.  The BRI is an economic and foreign policy initiative, through which China endeavours to establish a network of intercontinental trade and infrastructure projects, with an aim to forge new economic corridors between China, Eurasia, and beyond. Entitled “What does China’s BRI mean for Luxembourg?”, the seminar focused on the opportunities for the finance sector in Luxembourg under the BRI, and emphasised the importance of grasping the ambition, width, and depth of the initiative.

     

    In his welcoming speech, Jeannot Erpelding, Director of International Affairs at the Chamber of Commerce of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, noted the on-going promotion of the BRI amongst the Luxembourg business community, and outlined the key China-Luxembourg government and business exchanges thus far in 2017. Most notably, he mentioned the visit to China by Xavier Bettel, Luxembourg Prime Minister, accompanied by Pierre Gramegna, Minister for Finance, and François Bausch, Minister of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, in June this year on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Luxembourg.

     

    Continuing the welcome remarks, Dirk Dewitte, CHINALUX, President, outlined the previous seminars of the event series, noting that it’s been a challenging task to define the BRI throughout the series, as it has continued to develop and increase in scope since its launch in 2013 by Chinese President Xi Jinping. He stated that despite any confusions on the definition and scope, what has been clear throughout the event series is the BRI is a very ambitious initiative.

     

    Next, Bo Ji, Assistant Dean of Global Executive Education & Chief Representative for Europe at Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB), delivered his presentation on the topic of the impact of the BRI to European financial sectors.** He reiterated Dirk Dewitte’s comment about the BRI’s definition, and argued the BRI could become the largest infrastructure project to date. Moreover, he discussed the importance of understanding one element of the BRI in particular, that is, “connectivity”, noting that the BRI currently involves over 65 countries, which account for 29% of global GDP. Additionally, the Chinese government anticipates its trade with the countries along the BRI routes will exceed US[103].5 trillion per year within the next decade.

     

    A second key message in Bo Ji’s presentation was understanding the importance of the BRI for the Chinese government, as highlighted at China’s 19th NPC National Congress last month. More specifically, the BRI is strategically important for the Chinese government from a geopolitical and global leadership perceptive. Bo Ji then presented his thoughts on Luxembourg’s role under the BRI, within the context of the potential impacts to Europe more generally, namely for commercial banks, private banks, the fund industry, and the stock exchange.

     

    Following Bo Ji’s presentation, Sascha Bremer, Luxembourg for Finance, Market Intelligence Advisor, led the panel discussion, and brought the views of senior representatives and industry players in the Luxembourg banking, fund, stock exchange, and FinTech sectors on the potential opportunities under the BRI to the forefront.

     

    Lyu Ke, Bank of China Luxembourg, Deputy Head of Corporate Banking & Director of Chinese Corporate and Acquisition Finance Division, noted the support of and for Chinese banking in Luxembourg within the context of BRI cooperation. Similarly, Yves Maas, Luxembourg Bankers' Association (ABBL), Chairman, noted that Luxembourg offers a complete ecosystem for financial services, and as such is the ideal hub for Chinese banks to enter the European market and beyond.

     

    Michael Pechner, Luxembourg Stock Exchange, Chief Commercial Officer, expressed that Luxembourg and the Luxembourg Stock Exchange can potentially boost BRI finance, for example, by offering access to investors, credibility, transparency and reliability. He noted that given the track-record of Luxembourg, for example in the supporting of the internationalisation of the RMB, it’s clear Luxembourg can play an important role for the BRI. Similarly, Camille Thommes, Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry (ALFI), Director General, noted that Luxembourg has been a front runner in supporting many initiatives. He also echoed Bo Ji’s reference to “connectivity”, stating that Luxembourg connects the world, and indeed has an interest to act as a connecting hub.

     

    Turning the focus to FinTech, Ning Wang, PingPong Europe, Co-CEO & PingPong Financial Group Companies, President, explored the importance of FinTech for the BRI, and called for Luxembourg to be the next Hangzhou. When asked whether he views Luxembourg, or his company and other companies in Luxembourg, as playing a role in the BRI, he responded, “yes, absolutely, that’s why I’m here.”

     

    Delivering a concluding speech, Pierre Gramegna, Minister for Finance, expressed that we are still not fully understanding the width and depth of the BRI. He presented the long-term approach for the BRI, and added that the logistics, ICT and finance sectors will be key to the success of the initiative. Most importantly, the Minister noted that the importance of the BRI for the Chinese government was illustrated when the initiative was written in the constitution of the Communist Party of China at the National Congress last month. The BRI is a “generational matter”, and is here stay for the long-term.

     

    The Minister also outlined that Luxembourg have a strong relationship with China, and a long-time friendship, noting his visits to China this year. He shared key insight into his engagement with the Chinese Finance Ministry, who have expressed they are eager to deepen cooperation in the implementation of the BRI, and that there will be continuing exchanges on the initiative. It was within this context that the Minister summarised that it is clear that Luxembourg will play an important role in the future success of the BRI, “not only for China and not only on the silk road, but also in Europe and in particular Luxembourg.”

     

    The seminar concluded with a networking lunch, bringing together the speakers and participants, and offering an opportunity to continue discussions in an informal setting.

     

    Press Articles:

    Press Articles:   Le Quotidien: La Voix d'un Développement Ambitieux

    Lëtzebuerger Journal: Une route, des ambitions 

    Luxembourg Wort: China's Belt and Road Initiative and Luxembourg's financial centre

     

    * Full Event Series: Throughout the course of the China's Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) Event Series (formerly referred to under the now less commonly used English translation of "One Belt One Road"), CHINALUX and the Chamber of Commerce of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg have endeavored to introduce and explore the opportunities for Luxembourg under the initiative, with events following the launch highlighting opportunities and experiences in the Luxembourg logistics, ICT and finance sectors.  

     

    **Presentation Slides: Please email Bo Ji to request a copy of the slides for his presentation “Impact of Belt & Road Initiative to European Financial Sectors”: boji2025(at)gmail.com 

     

    2017-11-10-OBOR-ChinaLux-PG-2 

    Jeannot Erpelding, Director of International Affairs at the Chamber of Commerce of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, delivers his welcome speech.

    Copyright: Chamber of Commerceof the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

     

    2017-11-10-OBOR-ChinaLux-PG-14

    Pierre Gramegna, Minister for Finance, delivers the concluding speech.

    Copyright: Chamber of Commerceof the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

     

    2017-11-10-OBOR-ChinaLux-PG-8

    Panel Discussion - left to right: Sascha Bremer, Luxembourg for Finance, Market Intelligence Advisor; Lyu Ke, Bank of China Luxembourg, Deputy Head of Corporate Banking & Director of Chinese Corporate and Acquisition Finance Division; Yves Maas, Luxembourg Bankers' Association (ABBL), Chairman; Ning Wang, PingPong Europe, Co-CEO & PingPong Financial Group Companies, President; Michael Pechner, Luxembourg Stock Exchange, Chief Commercial Officer; Camille Thommes, Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry (ALFI), Director General.

    Copyright: Chamber of Commerceof the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

     

    Bo Ji Minister Gramegna 

     

    Left to Right: Ms. Zhujun Xie, CHINALUX, Vice-President; Amanda Yeung, CHINALUX, Vice-President; Bo Ji, Assistant Dean of Global Executive Education & Chief Representative for Europe at Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB); Pierre Gramegna, Minister for Finance; Jeannot Erpelding, Director of International Affairs at the Chamber of Commerce of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg; Dirk Dewitte, CHINALUX, President.

    Copyright: Chamber of Commerceof the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

     

     

     

     

    Written on Monday, 13 November 2017 00:00 Read 51 times
  • What does China’s Belt & Road Initiative mean for Luxembourg? - Q&A with Amanda Yeung

     

    This week we sat down with Amanda Yeung, China-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce (CHINALUX) Vice President, to discuss the upcoming seminar “What does China’s Belt & Road Initiative mean for Luxembourg?” taking place on the 10th of November, 10:00-13:30, at the Chamber of Commerce of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The seminar will be the fourth, and final, event in the China’s Belt & Road Initiative Event Series.

     

    What is the Belt & Road Initiative?

    China’s Belt and Road Initiative (“BRI”; also formerly referred to as One Belt, One Road (“OBOR”)) is an ambitious economic and foreign policy initiative. Through the BRI, China endeavours to establish a network of intercontinental trade and infrastructure projects, with an aim to forge new economic corridors between China, Eurasia, and beyond.  

    Launched in September 2013 by President Xi Jinping when he called for the development of a Silk Road Economic Belt and a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, the BRI is arguably one of the most significant, and largest, development initiatives in modern history.

     

    What is the China’s Belt & Road Initiative Event Series?

    The China’s Belt & Road Initiative Event Series is run in partnership by the Chamber of Commerce of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and CHINALUX.

    Starting with a launch event almost exactly one year ago now, we began by introducing the aims and ambitions of the BRI. The launch kicked off with speeches by Mr. Carlo Thelen, Director General of the Chamber of Commerce, and the Honorable Huang Changqing, Chinese Ambassador to Luxembourg, followed by an introductory presentation to the BRI, and a panel discussion on the potential involvement of Luxembourg under the BRI with leading experts from the Luxembourg logistics, ICT and finance sectors.  

    Since, we have held “deep-dive” seminars on the BRI topic to identify the expectations and opportunities for Luxembourg, specifically those relevant to the logistics, ICT and finance sectors. The logistics and ICT focused seminars took place earlier this year, and on the 10th of November 2017 (full details here) we will hold the finance focused seminar.

     

    What questions are you hoping to address?

    During the seminar on the 10th of November, we will tackle the question of what does China’s BRI really mean for Luxembourg, specifically within the context of the opportunities for the finance industry.  

    Secondly, we wish to explore in more detail the role of various Luxembourg finance industry players under the BRI.

     

    Who have you invited to speak about the opportunities for the Luxembourg finance sector?

    We will hear views from senior representatives and industry players in the fund, stock exchange, banking and fintech sectors from Luxembourg on the potential opportunities during the panel discussion, which will be moderated by Sascha Bremer, Luxembourg for Finance, Market Intelligence Advisor. The panellists will be as follows:

    - Mr. Yves Maas, Luxembourg Bankers' Association ("ABBL"), Chairman            

    - Mr. Camille Thommes, Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry ("ALFI"), Director General          

    - Dr. Lyu Ke, Bank of China Luxembourg, Deputy Head/Director Corporate Banking    

    - Mr. Michael Pechner, Luxembourg Stock Exchange, Chief Commercial Officer        

    - Mr. Ning Wang, PingPong Europe, Chief Business Officer & Chief Financial Officer

    We have also invited seasoned speaker and leading expert on the BRI, Mr. Bo Ji, Assistant Dean of Global Executive Education & Chief Representative for Europe at Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB). Mr. Ji will provide a presentation on the topic of the impact of the BRI to the European financial sectors, setting the context and scene for the discussions to follow, and no doubt raising and discussing some integral questions surrounding the BRI with the seminar participants.

     

    What key messages do you hope the seminar participants to take home?

    It’s our aim that the participants of this seminar will take home an understanding of the BRI, as well as its implications for Luxembourg, and what this means for the finance industry.

     

    What do you hope to learn from this seminar yourself?

    From an aid, development and infrastructure perspective, the connection between Luxembourg’s finance industry and the BRI are clear. Luxembourg was the first European founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a development bank established in 2015 that was initiated by the Chinese government, and which is dedicated to supporting infrastructure projects in the Asia-Pacific. Indeed, at the launch event of this event series, Mr. Carlo Thelen expressed that Luxembourg has long been identified as a reliable partner of China, and through its AIIB membership will continue its commitment to aid and development mechanisms, in particular those in the Asia-Pacific region.

    Furthermore, in Europe we are also seeing developments, for example, the announcement of the China-EU Co-Investment Fund, a new strategic cooperation between the European Investment Fund and the Silk Road Fund - a Chinese state-owned investment fund dedicated to the BRI - earlier this year.  

    What isn’t as well-known or as clear is the potential flow-on of opportunities within the context of the growing investments as a result of the BRI, namely in infrastructure – from land, air and freight, to e-commerce and telecommunications. What does this mean for the key players in the finance industry in Luxembourg? What are the Luxembourg funds / stock exchange / banking / fintech players doing in relation to the BRI? What are we are already doing in Luxembourg, and what should we be looking to do? In particular, this is what I am looking forward to hearing the panel discuss on the 10th of November.  

    Finally, like my colleagues and friends at ChinaLux, I’m of course very eager to hear from Minister Gramegna on what the BRI means for Luxembourg in his concluding speech. No doubt it will be an excellent “wrap-up” to this BRI event series!

     

    Participation to this event is free of charge, however registration is compulsory. Please visit the CHINALUX website for more details.

     

    Written on Thursday, 02 November 2017 13:11 Read 172 times
  • 5G Networks & Satellite Communications under China’s Belt & Road Initiative: Luxembourg as a local & global player for Automated Driving
    5G Networks & Satellite Communications under China’s Belt & Road Initiative: Luxembourg as a local & global player for Automated Driving

    On 16 October 2017, Chamber of Commerce of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the China-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce (CHINALUX) held the third event in their co-host event series on China’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI)*, an intercontinental trade and infrastructure project focused on forging new economic corridors between China and Eurasia. Entitled “China’s Belt & Road Initiative - ICT: Automated Driving in Luxembourg with 5G networks and satellite communications”, the seminar focused on opportunities for the ICT sector in Luxembourg under the BRI. Specifically, the seminar emphasised the importance of telecom infrastructure as an essential element of the initiative, and took a specific look at the role of 5G networks and satellite communications for automated driving in Luxembourg. More than 110 participants attended the event.

     

    In his welcoming speech, Jeannot Erpelding, Director of International Affairs at the Chamber of Commerce, outlined the key, recent economic and diplomatic engagements between China and Luxembourg. Mr. Erpelding noted the recent missions to China in September this year – the Chamber of Commerce Trade mission entitled “Belt and Road”, and the financial mission headed by Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna – and highlighted Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel’s visit to China in June this year, accompanied by Pierre Gramegna and Minister of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure François Bausch, on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the diplomatic relationship between China and Luxembourg. In particular, he noted that during the meeting between Premier Bettel and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Xi Jinping stressed both sides should deepen bilateral relationships under the framework of the BRI. It was within this context that Mr. Erpelding emphasised the important role of ICT under the BRI, specifically Luxembourg’s market-leading ICT sector, as well as introduced the strategic study on 'the third industrial revolution’. The study was initiated by the Chamber of Commerce of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and IMS Luxembourg, with the support of the Ministry of the Economy, with an aim to make the existing economic model more sustainable and interconnected for future generations by collaborating with ICT, energy and transport as part of an intelligent network.


    Following, Jean-Marie Spaus, coordinator of the IPCEI initiative on High Performance Computing (HPC) and Big Data enabled Applications at the Ministry of Economy Luxembourg, introduced HPC and big data in Europe, and outlined these developments with reference to the innovation strategy of Luxembourg. Mr. Spaus presented the aforementioned points within the context of the BRI, highlighting that the BRI will involve a vast network of railways, roads, pipelines, ports, as well as telecom infrastructure – herein which lies an important link to and opportunity for Luxembourg. He finished by noting that the realisation of the grand vision of the BRI will require close international collaboration across the public and private sectors.


    Turning the focus to autonomous driving, Joost Ortjens, head of the Automotive Sector Development, Luxinnovation, provided context to the discussion that followed by providing an overview of the Luxembourg automotive industry, and noted recent developments towards internet and self-driving cars. Mr. Ortjens expressed that there are huge potential opportunities related to the automated driving sector in Luxembourg and the Greater-Region. He then explained the road map towards automated driving, introduced the objectives of the cross border digital testbed for automated vehicles, and outlined the Mobility Innovation Campus progress.


    Paul Schockmel, Vice-President of Strategy, Business Development and Marketing, IEE, presented the mega trends for the future development of the global automotive industry. He began by outlining the challenges faced by the industry, from climate change, air quality, cost and profitability, and economies of scale, to changing consumer profiles, global population growth, and urbanisation. He then discussed how he foresees the development of automated driving, and the integral role of big data treatment due to autonomous vehicles creating huge data flow. He summarised by noting the industry will need to adjust to reflect growing global influences and developments, infuse advanced technologies, and establish new models for cooperation.


    Karel Sotek, Product Line Manager, Huawei Technologies, introduced 5G solutions for automated driving. He began by describing recent developments in 5G evolution and use-cases, and explained that future autonomous driving related machine decisions request more and precise sensing information. Most interestingly, Mr. Sotek introduced the importance of global and local content provision. He also outlined the EU Commission “European Pre-Deployment C&AD Project”, presented several solid use-cases test results, and finished by presenting Huawei’s wireless roadmap for automated driving.


    Alexander Geurtz, VP, Strategic Business Innovation, SES, followed by introducing satellite communication solutions for automated driving. Most importantly, Mr. Geurtz stated that automated driving presents a significant opportunity for satellite communications technology. Specifically, the unique features of satellite communication (ubiquity, mobility, broadcast and security) can have a tremendous benefit to automated driving.


    Then, Claude Rischette, head of the frequencies department at Luxembourg's telecoms regulator ILR, delivered his presentation on spectrum related trends towards C2C-Communcations and 5G. Following presentations related to the ongoing 5G activities in Europe, Mr. Rischette emphasised that 5G will play a key role in the development of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). Furthermore, he noted that ITS is on the agenda of the next WRC-19 (World Radiocommunication Conference) in 2019. The objective of WRC-19 will be the global harmonisation of ITS Band that are already harmonised across the EU, US, Canada and China.


    Peter Sodermans, Senior Adviser Digital Lëtzebuerg – a Luxembourg Government initiative, Coordination Infrastructure group, followed by moderating a panel of experts on the topic of “digital connectivity and automotive innovation: shaping a large-scale cross-border testbed for automated driving”. The panelists – Jean Schiltz, External Consultant Smart Mobility, Directorate Sustainable Technologies, Luxembourg Ministry of the Economy; Karel Sotek; Claude Rischette; and, Alexander Geurtz – drew on the aforementioned topics of Luxembourg’s innovation strategy, the opportunities arising through the cross-border testbed for automated driving in Luxembourg and the Greater-Region, as well as the 5G and satellite readiness plan to support automated driving.


    After the panel discussion, Dirk Dewitte, President, CHINALUX, delivered a closing address in which he highlighted the role of telecom infrastructure under the BRI, noting how automated driving is an excellent example of the role of said technology globally, as well as locally for Luxembourg. Mr. Dewitte closed by inviting the seminar participants to join the upcoming seminar in the event series focusing on opportunities under the BRI for the Luxembourg finance sector, which will take place on 10 November.

     

    The participants were then welcomed to a networking cocktail to conclude the event.

     

    * Throughout the course of the China's Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) Event Series (formerly referred to under the now less commonly used English translation of "One Belt One Road"), CHINALUX and the Chamber of Commerce of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg have and will continue to endeavor to introduce and explore the opportunities for Luxembourg under the initiative, with events following the launch highlighting opportunities and experiences in the Luxembourg logistics, ICT and finance sectors. To hear about the upcoming events, please sign-up to the CHINALUX mailing list (china-lux.lu/enewsletter), and watch the events announcements from CHINALUX and Chamber of Commerce of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg for more details.

    Written on Wednesday, 25 October 2017 08:30 Read 282 times

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