CityU, Tsinghua, UNECE agreement anticipates ‘One Belt One Road’
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City University of Hong Kong (CityU), Tsinghua University in Beijing and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) signed an agreement on 20 January in Geneva to advance Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) within China’s One Belt One Road initiative.
This initiative aims to improve connectivity between China and Europe through Central and Western Asia along both the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt and the ocean-based Maritime Silk Road.
This endeavour will require massive investment in infrastructure, and PPPs are expected to play a key role in mobilising resources.
The agreement was signed by Professor Horace Ip Ho-shing, Vice-President (Student Affairs), CityU, Professor Yang Bin, Vice President of Tsinghua University, and Mr Christian Friis Bach, UNECE Executive Secretary.
“We have an exceptional pool of experts in capital financing in Hong Kong, a vibrant world city, and Public-Private Partnerships have historically played an important role in developing Hong Kong’s infrastructure,” Professor Ip said. “All this together with CityU’s College of Business’ expertise across disciplines such as transport logistics, supply chain management, business, economics and finance, provides an excellent platform to support this partnership.”
As part of the cooperation agreement with UNECE, CityU and Tsinghua are joining forces to establish an International PPP Specialist Centre of Excellence for Public Transport Logistics charged with developing the best international practices in public-private partnerships in the field of transport logistics, and delivery of PPP training especially in the Greater China region.
The Centre leverages the complementary strengths of the College of Business in business knowledge and transport logistics, and the School of Public Policy and Management at Tsinghua University in public sector and infrastructure planning.
The concept of the PPP Specialist Centre was first generated in a meeting in July 2015 between Mr Geoffrey Hamilton, Chief, Cooperation and Partnerships Section, Economic Cooperation and Trade Division, UNECE, and Professor Way Kuo, President of CityU.
An initial MoU between UNECE and the National Development and Reform Commission of China signed in August 2015 elaborated CityU's role in the Centre.
“The development of international standards and best practices for Public-Private Partnerships in the Transport sector will help countries along the historic Silk Road, and also globally, to attract investments in much needed infrastructure. The UNECE also looks forward to cooperating with China on developing PPP standards and on transport and trade facilitation procedures to support the ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative,” said Mr Bach.
The newly established Centre has obtained funding support from Asian Capital Resources (Holdings) Limited. According to the Dean of CityU’s College of Business Professor Yan Houmin, the first action taken within the partnership would be an extensive training programme in Shenzhen, China on UNECE’s PPP best practices and standards.