APBF explores Digital Silk Road opportunities

Hong Kong – Policy Makers, academics and business leaders from 53 member states of United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific Sustainable Business Network (ESCAP) debated on April 10-11 on how to nurture the region’s start-up ecosystem at this year’s Asia-Pacific Business Forum (APBF), to drive for sustainable development.

The two-day event co-hosted by Cyberport and UNESCAP in Hong Kong explored how private sector-led innovation, technology and financing can promote sustainable growth across the region.

Over 50 speakers included thought leaders from the ESCAP, as well as elite industry figures from Infosys, Macquarie Group Asia, Fung Group, BD International Technology Group, HSBC, Bank of Asia, Chong Sing Holdings, KPMG, Google, along with ministers and academia shared their views across topical issues of financing, AI, impact entrepreneurship, risk reduction, sustainable manufacturing, smart energy, social inclusion and more.

A focal point of the event was the insights on how regional trade development, digital innovations, big data hub facilitation and the redefinition of supply chain push forward the Digital Silk Road, where regional countries will work together in the areas of expanding broadband access, encouraging e-commerce and improving regulatory framework to create a well-connected and strong digital economy to realise the Belt and Road initiative.

United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the ESCAP, Dr. Shamshad Akhtar said, “Technology and innovation coupled with modern financial services, including green financing and new financial technologies, will be critical to close key development gaps in the Asia-Pacific region.”

“Although Asia Pacific spans across a myriad of cultures and countries, today’s digital technologies transcend its geographical boundaries to make what once seemed impossible a reality. Cyberport will continue to foster digital transformation among Hong Kong companies, leveraging digital technology and the ‘Digital Silk Road’ initiative to bring innovation and sustainable development to these countries,” explained Dr. Lee George Lam, Chairman of Cyberport and Vice Chairman of the UNESCAP Business Advisory Council.