By Shereen Shabnam
Oswald Wong – Champion of One Belt One Road
Being a capital entrepreneur from Hong Kong, Oswald Wong, President & CEO of China International Development and Investment Corporation Limited, feels privileged connecting Hong Kong and UAE for serving the rest of the world. Oswald is particularly excited about the Chinese national strategy “One Belt One Road”, aims to link over 60 countries to enhance cross-border trade and investment with the ultimate objective of cultural exchange and economic improvement.
Oswald’s success thrives on teaming up with various Chinese state owned enterprises, partnering with foreign conglomerates supported by overseas trade bodies and local government agents. He is a champion of China’s “One Belt One Road” national policy that will enhance the bilateral investments resulting capital inflow between countries. This makes the global trade of products and services, employment ratio increase for low-income countries, and capital gain from asset value appreciation to the investors.
Oswald believes the infrastructure on ground in China and across partner countries will be the biggest draw for investors in the upcoming 5 years. With sharp business mindset and being a knowledgeable Hong Kong based entrepreneur, Oswald utilizes the global financial and human capital to cooperate with international partners benefiting from the Chinese globalization national policies such as “One Belt One Road” Initiatives, which will play a crucial role in crafting contemporary trade, economic and political relations.
According to Oswald, the intention of the One Belt One Road initiative is to establish a commercial presence in different regions by being the leading investors of mix-purpose properties, utility infrastructure, sport related and natural resource related industries.
Oswald sees a strong connection between Hong Kong and the GCC region. Hong Kong is strategically located commercially and geographically to Mainland China offering business opportunities and local knowledge to overseas investors; while UAE is the major hub with well-developed capital element that cover the “One Belt One Road” countries.
As two of the world’s most business-friendly areas, Hong Kong and UAE, with strong public administration, offers a strong market for consumer goods and business services, free market policies and seamless flow of information.
As a seasoned investment guru, Oswald believes the multilateral plans for cooperation proposed, the cultural exchange and increased tourism will bring business opportunities to all countries that become part of the economic corridor to create social harmony that only comes from economic stability and prosperity.
Oswald has more than 10 years’ capital raising and project development management experience geographically working across Mainland China, GCC countries and Levant, Africa and North America. The One Belt One Road initiative is hence a dream come true for him as he has always worked in decision-making management roles by directly being involved on the fund raising procedure and leading business operations and project teams for overseeing the delivery of mega projects include mix-used and hospitality properties, infrastructural developments like solar power station, sewerage treatment, etc. and industrial projects.
Oswald maintains that by deepening bilateral and multilateral cooperation, we will see more trade, connection and exchange of resources, which ultimately will lead to more sustainable economic growth and development in energy, finance, technology, telecommunications, logistics, and transportation sectors.
According to him, the network of road and rail routes planned and supporting infrastructure projects will benefit everyone in the area spanning from Xi’an in central China, through Central Asia, Moscow, Rotterdam and eventually reach Venice.
As a project, this initiative supports foreign policy and trade ambitions of governments, built on mutual respect and trust. It will filter into commerce, tourism, and transport adhubs, with wealth generation and build strong ties between nations.
China has allocated $40 billion to the Silk Road Fund and the One Belt, One Road is a reliable project to be part of. Oswald believes that planning and committing to an investment in a solid project is beneficial but it is always wise to diversify and expand the investment portfolio across different income streams.
Getting a higher return is, in principle, dependent on good risk control and how to leverage the capital invested. Before going into an investment venture, Oswald always asks investor if they are using bank borrowing as the only funding source or having over 20 different structural financing sources as the Corporation. Ensuring positive cash flow results in better opportunities on low-to-market-value acquisition and development.
Oswald believes we should plan for failure as this gives a much clear-cut vision on the goals to be set for saving and investing. The goals can be geared towards reducing debt, saving money for an investment, increasing investments and thinking about health and wellness, education or fulfilling a personal hobby.
He adds, “For the development projects that we participate in, we get involved on the fund raising procedure by utilizing over 20 different structural financing sources. We lead the business operations and project teams by overseeing the delivery of mega projects that include mix-used and hospitality properties, infrastructural developments like solar power station, sewerage treatment, etc. and industrial projects.”
Oswald believes getting involved in international trade is beneficial as trade is an integral part of economies and businesses around the world. He feels lucky to be a Hong Kong based enterprise and benefit from the affiliate companies with over 30 years’ trading experience in over 120 countries. The intelligence of global sourcing results bring the development cost down by offering the best-to-value products and services from each and every nation to his clients.
Oswald believes that trade finance is an important tool for the smooth flow of international trade. It helps businesses venture into new markets. Stay in constant touch with banks as they are in a position to provide trade finance products and services to mitigate various risks associated with new ventures.
Oswald recognises that success comes from how you position yourself when participating in the global economic re-structuring process and how you utilize each and every nation’s policies and on swapping the nation’s resources as required. The ultimate aims will always confer benefits on society.
“We recognise the importance of using local manpower and expertise to achieve ongoing, sustainable growth. We are experiencing more interest from foreign investors looking to expand and establish a commercial presence not only in Hong Kong but for using our expertise for their international investments.”
Oswald reiterates that capital shall have no geographical border. With the Chinese government implementing the “One Belt One Road” initiative, it will be an open buffet for international capital to share the monetary benefit. He feels that the financial innovation and renovation strategies can make the developments he participates in to be a self-stainable financing with ultimate results of minimizing the portion of self-capital contribution and maximizing the portion of borrowing between 90% to 95%.
Focus is the key to succeed and the only channel to realize the way to minimize the investment risk. Minimizing the investment risk results in a higher chance to increase the borrowing portion.
With the world becoming more investment savvy, having access to information readily on their smart devices, we anticipate the next few decades will see significantly more growth as governments continue to enhance their country’s business environment through international trade and investment.
“One Belt One Road” initiative highlights China’s existing natural and industrial resources and Oswald hopes the international community comes on board.