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LCQ14: External promotion work on attracting talents to Hong Kong
     Following is a question by the Dr Hon Tan Yueheng and a written reply by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Chris Sun, in the Legislative Council today (November 23):


     Regarding the external promotion work on attracting talents to Hong Kong, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) of the total number of overseas talents admitted to Hong Kong through the Immigration Department's various talent admission schemes in each of the past three years, and whether the Government has assessed if such schemes have achieved the expected effectiveness; if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

(2) whether it has formulated promotion programmes and set targets for the work being carried out overseas to attract talents, and whether it has evaluated the effectiveness of such work; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

(3) apart from the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices overseas and on the Mainland, whether other offices of the Government overseas and on the Mainland have been involved in promoting the various talent admission schemes; if they have, of the details, and whether the Government will give such offices more relevant functions in the future; if they have not, the reasons for that?



     Having consulted the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau, the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau and the Immigration Department (ImmD), the consolidated reply to the question raised by the Dr Hon Tan Yueheng is as follows:

(1) Currently, overseas talents (excluding Mainland talents) come to Hong Kong mainly through five admission schemes, namely the General Employment Policy (GEP), the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS), the Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates (IANG), the Admission Scheme for the Second Generation of Chinese Hong Kong Permanent Residents (ASSG), and the Technology Talent Admission Scheme (TechTAS). The number of applications approved under respective schemes in the past three years is tabulated as follows:
Admission scheme 2020 2021 2022
(January to September)
GEP 14 617 13 821 9 502
QMAS (Note 1) 85 144 89
IANG 1 029 1 104 1 095
ASSG 37 39 32
TechTAS (Note 2) 41 29 12
Note 1: The approval number denotes the number of quotas allotted.
Note 2: The approval number denotes the applications made to the ImmD for employment visa/entry permit for eligible persons from companies with quotas allotted.

     The main thrust of the Government's manpower policy is on nurturing local talents, complementing by attracting outside talents, to enrich the local talent pool for meeting the needs in social and economic development. In the past three years, due to the impact of the global epidemic which has seriously impeded the entry of overseas talents to Hong Kong, the approval figures under various admission schemes have dropped significantly compared to the numbers before the epidemic. They could not really reflect the effectiveness of respective schemes.

(2) and (3) The Government has been promoting Hong Kong's strengths and opportunities through the Mainland Offices, overseas Economic and Trade Offices (ETOs) and Invest Hong Kong's overseas offices, trawling talents from around the world to come to Hong Kong for development. Relevant departments actively adopt different means and channels, such as meetings, online platforms, social media and electronic communications, to promote various talent admission schemes and attract talents from all sectors. Relevant departments have also been promoting the schemes by hosting or participating in different events, such as promoting Hong Kong's advantages and encouraging talents to come to Hong Kong for development in business conferences, as well as introducing employment opportunities in Hong Kong to students and graduates through seminars in universities.

     The Chief Executive announced in the 2022 Policy Address various talent attraction measures, including expanding the functions of Mainland Offices and ETOs by setting up Dedicated Teams for Attracting Businesses and Talents in 17 Mainland Offices and ETOs within this year, to proactively reach out to target enterprises and talents, and to liaise with the world's top 100 universities to promote various schemes. In collaborating with the work of the Talents Service Unit to be established by end-2022, the Dedicated Teams will provide talents who are interested in coming to Hong Kong with information and assistance, with a view to proactively attracting quality talents to Hong Kong for development. The Government has set performance indicator on trawling for outside talents, with the aim to admit at least 35 000 talents annually with an intended duration of stay of at least 12 months through the talent admissions schemes from 2023 to 2025.
Ends/Wednesday, November 23, 2022
Issued at HKT 11:05
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