Projects RH

A practical approach to funding and support for projects

A practical approach to funding and support for projects

At Projects RH when we work with our clients, we look at building a single point of truth for where we believe they will be and why investors should look at an investment. Our first step is to build a five-year (60 month) spreadsheet of how the business works.

The Belt and Road (B&R) projects have had successes and failures. A practical approach for funding and support is needed. Projects should be viable, profitable, and in national interest to ensure prosperity and efficiency. The environment should be protected, and assets used efficiently. Not all projects will succeed, but taking a practical approach and focusing on long-term benefits can achieve a better outcome.

Ten Years!

It is difficult to believe that we are attending the 10th Annual Belt and Road conference (B&R) hosted by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC). It is good to see many familiar faces, but also new faces and feel the sense of excitement that comes when deals are in the making.

Our Managing Director Carmenza Hoyos and I attended the second conference add while now physically here, for three years remotely due to the impact of Covid, have attended the last 9 events.

Fortunately for Projects RH, our week in Hong Kong not only involves attending B&R but also meetings with colleagues, friends, clients, and potential investors. This rich mix of people gives us varying perspectives on Hong Kong and how it is changed and probably will continue to evolve.

Hong Kong magic

B&R shows that Hong Kong remains a critical centre for investment, professional services, insurance, and funding; a place where advice can be received from expatriates who have worked in the local environment for decades. Equally important, however, is that the heartbeat of Hong Kong measures events occurring in the mainland and that currently China is looking for opportunities in investment which are mutually beneficial.

We do see the role of Hong Kong changing and that it is re-engineering its marketing to reflect the current capacity of the China industrial machine. What Hong Kong is almost uniquely able to do is to add value between this machine and the demands of many other nations.

One of the recurring themes today in the presentations was to counter the view that technology will reduce labour demand. What was said by representatives from a number of countries was that their total labour demand was rising, and believed they had talented young people, but they needed training.

The road to take

The Belt and Road (B&R) projects have gained both praise and criticism over the years. While some have provided critical infrastructure to improve the lives of millions, others have ended in failure. As people reflect on the projects, there is a clear need for a practical approach to funding and support. Most projects must be commercial, able to service debt and provide a return on capital. This ensures that projects proceeding are in the national interest for both the recipient and the provider. Prosperity and efficiency should be the focus of the projects, with an appropriate use of available assets and increased reduction of pollution and protection of the environment. We must keep in mind that not every project will be successful, but by taking a practical approach and focusing on the long-term benefits, we can achieve a better outcome for everyone involved.

At Projects RH the issue of carbon credits remains close to our hearts and whilst we wish to discuss green funding, most of the people in the booths representing institutions are major banks and we’re unable to engage in any meaningful discussion.

Despite the events of the last few years and political issues which we choose not to be involved with, there is an undeniable fact which lies at the economic significance of Hong Kong that today: it is the gateway to the second largest economy in the world and in many senses the one which can have the greatest impact on our clients.

Movers and shakers

At the B&R Summit, there is a special feeling of energy in both the Business Matching and the Project Presentation centre. It is something far more important than conference memorabilia. It is also significant for the fact that, as you traverse the conference halls, you run into old business associates and potential clients both triggering a sense of opportunities. Equally important is the people who reach out to Projects RH with the opportunities at seeking places to invest their client’s money. In this marketplace environment, Carmenza and I are already booked in for meetings for a day and one-half after the conference finishes both with people who have contacted us online and those we have met. The limitation of face-to-face meetings is that we are booked to go to Sydney.

As always B&R has significant people making presentations willing to challenge orthodoxy in their assessment of what is going on and hence the current thinking of the investment markets. This freedom of thought and discussion is refreshing and mind opening as we prepare information for clients seeking to raise money in both the equity and debt markets.

Reflecting a view that B&R continues to be a valuable place for us to meet not just new friends and old acquaintances, but that we also had the opportunity to meet with a potential supply to one of our clients based in the United States and with a new funder who confirmed their interest in supporting infrastructure in Central and South America. Hopefully tomorrow others will continue.

HKTDC’s local hero

From a Project RH perspective it would be remiss of us not to express our gratitude to Bonnie Shek the HKTDC Director for Australia and New Zealand. Bonnie continues to promote opportunities associated with Hong Kong and most recently has matched one of our American clients with a potential manufacturer for a healthcare machine. Bonnie brings a rich array Hong Kong company seeking to do business with Australia and we’re always happy to assist where we can. For Projects RH what has been Important over the last five years is that Bonnie continued to service the Australian & New Zealand community by networking and keeping us abreast of opportunities coming to us from Hong Kong. This culminates in reminding us we should come to B&R, and that only one business connection may make all the difference to one of our clients. Thank you, Bonnie, this happened today.

See you later in part 2

Tomorrow, we return for the final day of the formal conference. For about another week we will do online matching between businesses, service providers and potential investors. For Projects RH, of course we are here, and will spend time revisiting our network before we return home.

For Carmenza and I the B&R Summit remains a critical week in our calendar which we know at the beginning of the year to allocate to be in Hong Kong. When we reflect on the benefits of this week each year in Hong Kong, we know we will be back.

By Paul Raftery – CEO, Projects RH

I’d love to hear from you on this important topic!

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