Yesterday, we broke down key points of Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee’s policy speech. One topic he spoke on that’s super relevant right now revolves around attracting talent back to the city. Many residents have chosen to leave the city for rival financial hubs like Singapore in the past few years, and Hong Kong’s population dropped 1.6% in mid-2022. To stay ahead in finance and tech, Lee just announced new approaches for drawing in talented professionals.
Already, Lee’s government wants to set aside US$3.8 billion to bring in businesses. Another incentive is the new Top Talent Pass Scheme, which would allow foreigners who earn around US$318,000 or more and graduates from the world’s top universities who have at least three years of work experience to get a pass “for exploring opportunities in Hong Kong.” Plus, foreigners who enter Hong Kong on a talent visa become permanent residents and buy a home can get a refund on the stamp duty usually attached to these purchases.
“We must be more proactive and aggressive in competing for enterprises and competing for talent. Apart from actively nurturing and retaining local talent, the government will proactively trawl the world for talent,” “We must be more proactive and aggressive in competing for enterprises and competing for talent,” Lee said during his policy address.
“You are only trying to attract new blood, but you do not try to stop the bleeding,” said Chinese University political scientist Ivan Choy, referring to Lee’s approach of attracting foreign talent over retaining local talent.