Attracting Talents to Hong Kong: Impact and Opportunities


Youth I.D.E.A.S. 06

Society and Livelihood

Attracting Talents to Hong Kong: Impact and Opportunities

22 December, 2015



With the transformation of Hong Kong into a knowledge-based economy, the demand for talent has increased. In addition to this, the challenges posed by an ageing population and declining fertility rate are further exacerbating the ardent demand for qualified and skilled specialists.


The government of Hong Kong has implemented admission schemes through which professionals and entrepreneurs can attract talented people to work in Hong Kong. According to the Immigration Department’s statistics, 51,827 non-local talented people were approved to work in Hong Kong under these admission schemes in 2014. The average annual growth rate of these admission schemes has also risen by 8.3% in the past 10 years.


“Talent” here refers to a person who possesses the specialist skills, knowledge or experience to meet Hong Kong’s needs and enhance its global competitiveness. This means that talent is not limited to having professional qualifications, a high level of education or earning a relatively high income.


Given the externally oriented and open nature of Hong Kong’s economy, talent attraction helps to both boost the country’s competitiveness and drive sustainable economic growth and employment. However, there are some social issues involved with importing talent, including strains on resources, threats to job prospects and cultural conflict. This study is designed to examine these aspects.


This study is based on poll interviews with young people across Hong Kong, as well as on individual interviews with both local and imported talents. It aims to create an in-depth understanding of these people’s attitudes and viewpoints regarding talent attraction. Experts and scholars in this area were also interviewed, in order to analyse the opportunities created by importing talent and the impact it has on local youth.


Based on these interviews, this report provides suggestions regarding three aspects of the talent attraction: increasing training to help local youth to become competitive, enhancing measures on admission schemes in order to increase Hong Kong’s competitiveness and attract talent, and promoting harmonious contact between local and imported talents, in order to consolidate the virtue of mutual respect.



  1. Hong Kong is suffering from a human resources mismatch that hinders it from turning around its economy.
  2. Young people believe that importing talent enhances human capital, but also affects their own job prospects. The government has an irreplaceable role to play in striking a balance between local and imported talent in recruitment processes.
  3. Importing talent has its value, but it also causes social issues. The impacts of talent retention might have fallen most heavily on the young people of Hong Kong.
  4. The mobility of talent is high. Aside from increasing incentives and improving quality of life, the most important aspect of attracting or retaining talent in Hong Kong is to inform the talent of the ways in which Hong Kong is full of opportunities.
  5. Young people have a more positive attitude to talent from overseas than from mainland China.
  6. Currently, the demand for imported talent is determined by the need of the local market. Such talent is needed mainly in financial services and trading industries, which provide less room for Hong Kong to develop new industries.



  1. Enhance local training.
  2. Enhance admission schemes.
  3. Promote harmony between local and imported talent.