Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Monday, May 20, 2024

Hong Kong and its GBA peers should complement each other while competing for talent

Hong Kong and its GBA peers should complement each other while competing for talent

Hong Kong’s unique advantages including stronger international connectivity, greater conveniences and many freedoms are the envy of other cities but it can’t rest on its laurels.

Last week, I was finally able to set foot on the other side of the border for the first time in three years.

It was an opportunity to tour major cities in the Greater Bay Area and feel the entrepreneurial passion of so many young people flocking to this land of opportunity from all over the country – Hong Kong included, even amid the pandemic.

I joined a media delegation visiting Guangzhou, including Nansha district at its southern tip, designated as the “new engine driving high-quality development” for Guangdong’s more than 2,200-year-old provincial capital.

Shenzhen is one of nine mainland city in the Greater Bay Area.

On a journey that also covered Shenzhen and Dongguan, a pleasant surprise for me was running into a young woman who used to take my class while studying for her master’s degree at Hong Kong’s Baptist University, where I taught part-time at its communications school.

Inconspicuous and shy when I knew her six years ago, she has now become a confident manager of global media and branding at Shenzhen-based BYD, the world’s biggest electric vehicle maker.

In Dongguan, 75km from Shenzhen with a population over 10 million and an average age of 34 years, I met a graduate from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology who had set up his robot design and manufacturing business there.

His role model was apparently senior alumnus Frank Wang Tao, founder of DJI, the world’s largest commercial drone manufacturer. Quite a number of the young man’s peers and juniors are joining the Greater Bay Area too, launching their start-ups at the same Dongguan innovation park.

The two young people I ran into had one thing in common: both were mainlanders who studied in Hong Kong but opted to build their careers up north in the thriving bay area cities. However, they treasured their time in Hong Kong and were truly grateful to China’s most internationalised city for opening their eyes and broadening their minds.

Hong Kong’s failure to retain more of these bright mainland students it has trained, along with the loss of its own young talent seeking more opportunities overseas, adds to the perception that the city is in a sorry state, having been hit by the double whammy of social turmoil and Covid-19 restrictions in recent years.

But dwelling on this alone is narrow-minded thinking. Under the “one country, two systems” governing policy for Hong Kong, the city’s stronger international connectivity, greater conveniences and many freedoms, including the free flow of information and capital, are the envy of the other side. During our tour, using a VPN was a must to access overseas networks.

That is quite telling. The bay area, consisting of nine cities plus Hong Kong and Macau, has three different currencies, tax regimes and legal systems. Competition and poaching talent from one another is unavoidable.

However, Hong Kong’s unique advantages don’t allow it to rest on its laurels without redefining its new role. Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po’s latest revamped Capital Investment Entrant Scheme is a timely initiative, but the high-growth areas for investment have yet to be finalised even though they are a must for investors to secure the right of abode.

Here, perhaps, is a more direct and timely way to enhance Hong Kong’s attractiveness: a total lifting of the city’s mask mandate. There is no mask requirement on the mainland for outdoor activities, but its need for a compulsory online “black” health code before crossing the border remains an inconvenience for now.

While Hong Kong and its bay area peers have different advantages and weaknesses, a critical first step is to enable easier movement of people to allow the freer flow of talent. It will benefit everyone.


Related Articles

Hong Kong News
It's always the people with the dirty hands pointing their fingers
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
'I am not your servant': IndiGo crew member, passenger get into row over airline meal
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
BMW driver…
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.