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Steering Committee on Population Policy convenes second meeting

     The Steering Committee on Population Policy (SCPP) chaired by the Chief Secretary for Administration held its second meeting today (February 26).

     Following on from the discussion at its first meeting on January 18, the SCPP reviewed the objectives of population policy and identified key issues and challenges for further study.

     Members opined that a sustainable population policy should serve both economic and social needs, and that it should be broadened to include non-economic objectives, such as promoting the well-being of individuals and social inclusiveness and harmony.

     In pursuit of these policy objectives, members suggested that the SCPP's work should focus on a number of key areas. These include strengthening families and encouraging marriage and childbirth; attracting more women, elderly and youth into the labour market via family-friendly measures and flexible retirement arrangements; enhancing the mix and skills matching of our workforce to support economic development; enhancing social integration of new arrivals and ethnic minorities; and early planning for our ageing society on areas including asset management, elderly-friendly living environments, portability of benefits and development of a silver hair market.

     Members also noted that the imminent challenges associated with a fall in the workforce after 2018 and the possible return of children born to non-local parents (Type II children) needed to be tackled as a matter of priority. To replenish our workforce, consideration could be given to attracting more talents from outside Hong Kong. There was a need to better forecast Type II children's demand for our education and other services and consider how best this demand could be addressed without undermining the interests of local students.

     Many of the above issues require consensus-building in the wider community. To this end, the SCPP plans to launch a public engagement exercise later in the year to enable the public to better understand the depth of our demographic problems and collect public views on the above important topics.

Ends/Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Issued at HKT 19:45


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