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Policy Address: Attracting talents, enterprises to boost competitiveness
     The Chief Executive, Mr John Lee, used his maiden Policy Address today (October 19), to outline the Government's strategies to compete for enterprises and talents to strengthen the city’s competitiveness.
     Mr Lee's initiatives include setting up an Office for Attracting Strategic Enterprises (OASES) and a Top Talent Pass Scheme as well as enhancing existing talent admission schemes.
     "Hong Kong has advanced infrastructure in both hardware and software, a sound legal system and top-notch talents from all over the world," Mr Lee said.
     "An open and diversified metropolis where old and new styles meet, Hong Kong is also an appealing city embracing both Chinese and Western cultures."
     Mr Lee unveiled an array of initiatives to attract enterprises and talents. They include:
* establishing OASES, led by the Financial Secretary, for attracting strategic enterprises from the Mainland and overseas by offering them special facilitation measures and one-stop services;
* establishing a Talents Service Unit, led by the Chief Secretary for Administration, for formulating strategies to recruit talents from the Mainland and overseas and co‑ordinating relevant work, as well as providing one-stop support for incoming talents;
* setting up Dedicated Teams for Attracting Businesses and Talents in the Mainland Offices and overseas Economic and Trade Offices (ETOs) of the Government to proactively reach out to target enterprises and talents and persuade them to pursue development in Hong Kong;
* setting aside $30 billion from the Future Fund to establish the Co-Investment Fund for attracting enterprises to set up operations in Hong Kong and investing in their businesses;
* launching the Top Talent Pass Scheme to widely entice talents to pursue their careers in Hong Kong;
* enhancing existing talent admission schemes to better attract talents; and
* allowing eligible incoming talents to, upon becoming permanent residents, apply for a refund of the extra stamp duty paid for purchasing residential property in Hong Kong.
     "The OASES to be established within this year will be tasked with attracting high-potential and representative strategic enterprises from around the globe, particularly those from industries of strategic importance, such as life and health technology, artificial intelligence and data science, financial technology, and advanced manufacturing and new energy technology," Mr Lee said.
     The proposed Co-Investment Fund, Mr Lee said, would consider co-investing in individual projects of the target enterprises, taking into account their potential of driving the industry development in Hong Kong.
     The Government will also waive the requirement of applying for an employment visa for more visitors participating in short-term activities in Hong Kong.
     With innovation and technology (I&T) being a core development focus of the Government, Mr Lee said the Government would enlarge the talent pool for the tech sector. Additional measures to be rolled out include:
* providing special facilitation measures to attract top‑notch I&T talents to bring with them their businesses or research and development outcomes to Hong Kong;
* enhancing the Technology Talent Admission Scheme by lifting the local employment requirement, extending the quota validity period to two years and expanding the coverage to more emerging technology areas;
* building more accommodation facilities for I&T talents; and
* expanding the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Internship Scheme, so as to offer local I&T internship opportunities to university students studying STEM programmes overseas or at the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) campuses established by designated local universities.
     To be more proactive in reaching out to target talents and enterprises, the Chief Executive said the functions of Mainland Offices and overseas ETOs of the Government would be expanded to include dedicated teams that would enhance promotion of Hong Kong in Mainland and overseas markets.
     Many sectors in Hong Kong are facing manpower shortage, such as residential care homes, construction and transport sectors, Mr Lee said, adding that relevant bureaux would listen to the views of the sectors, and put forward solutions having regard to the situation of individual sectors.
     To expedite Hong Kong's progression into an East-meets-West centre for international Cultural exchange, as set out in the National 14th Five-Year Plan, the Chief Executive highlighted the need to foster creative talents and attract leading lights in arts and culture from around the world to come to Hong Kong.
     The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts is exploring ways to nurture arts and cultural talents for Hong Kong and the GBA, and to establish a new campus in the Northern Metropolis and raise the proportion of non-local students.
     "Also, to establish a thriving and diversified arts, cultural and creative ecosystem, we will continue to attract more talents in and outside Hong Kong to pursue their aspirations here," Mr Lee said.
Ends/Wednesday, October 19, 2022
Issued at HKT 14:19
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