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【China’s Foreign Trade】To Promote the Communication of Talent in the Greater Bay Area
(2019-02-26 15:16)

The opening of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong High-speed Railway improved the connectivity of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area by shortening the driving time between the three areas within one hour, and injected new momentum into regional economic development. As a central city of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Hong Kong has established closer connections with the mainland through the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and high-speed railway, and unlocked new potential for the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative. Under the current international environment of competitiveness, to build a world-level Bay Area with great vigor and vitality requires the fostering of a positive environment for talent both in China and abroad, in which their ingenuity and expertise flow freely. 

 

The CCG (Center for China and Globalization) issued the Report on Talent Development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area on December 13 of 2018. The CCG chairman Wang Huiyao said at the issuing ceremony that this report is the first analysis report of talent in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and its major significances include that it will promote talent flow and communication within the bay area, advance talent coordination and integration, increase attractions for global talent and support economic development of the bay area. 

 

Cluster of high-end innovation resources in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area 

 

The report shows that in 2017 the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area ranked first among the global bay areas in terms of port container throughput, airport passenger volume and foreign trade volume. It will surpass the Tokyo bay area and the New York bay area in terms of GDP value in 2022. The economic fundamentals and comprehensive industry chain have provided a basis for talent development in the region. The industries are complementary between each other and the proportion of the third industry is increasing steadily. CCG deputy chairman and Secretary-general Miao Lv said that Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau all boast rich educational resources and a group of world-level labs and research institutions. The combination of educational research and industry practices will create favorable environment for the attraction of talent and the growth of start-ups.

 

The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area has convenient traffic and solid port infrastructure. The rich medical resources and a strong team of professional medical talent, as well as premium cultural and education resources, provide good living conditions for talent. Local policies have also encouraged the introduction of talent and the invitation of business investment. The free trade zone has become a pilot area for human resource policy practices. 

 

Meanwhile, this report also shed light on the challenges to human resources development of the bay area. Lack of high-end talent, lack of original innovation and low levels of human resources conversion are three major issues. It is estimated that the proportion of people receiving higher education among the whole population is 26.18% for Hong Kong, 25.19% for Shenzhen and 15.74% for Dongguan. Also, the conversion rate for the technological innovation results is low. The contribution by innovation talent to the industry development is relatively small and capacities for exporting and introducing technology still needs further improvement. The lack of cooperation among Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau has set limits to talent flow.   

 

Miao Lv said that the challenges mainly include: first, the conflict of tax systems affects the cluster of talent in the bay area. Compared with Hong Kong and Macau, the tax rate of the mainland is high, which will affect the innovation businesses of talent from Hong Kong and Macau. The inconvenience of entry and exit services has also affected talent flow of the bay area. Meanwhile, the lack of public service has affected the living conditions of local talent. The inconsistency in the social welfare system and medical standards between Hong Kong, Macau and the mainland has caused the phenomenon of brain drain. In the aspect of social insurance, the residents of the three areas receive unequal treatment, blocking talent flow within the bay area. Finally, the lack of technological cooperation is also still an issue. The connections of companies of the Pearl Harbor Delta region shall be enhanced and the integration of industry and research needs to be strengthened. 

 

Fang Zhou, director of the Research Center of “One Country, Two Systems”, said that the bay area could enjoy a low tax rate and protected intellectual property rights in Hong Kong, have the strong technological and industrial prowess of Shenzhen, and the industrial fundamentals of the whole Pearl River Delta region. Thought shall be given to how to attract international high-end talent to the bay area. Meanwhile, it shall consider the uniqueness of “one country, two systems”, as this is related to talent flow and the arrangement of supporting policies. He took Hong Kong as an example, since Hong Kong has special advantages in the introduction of financial talent, but its industry structure is unbalanced that the manufacturing industry is weak. On top of that, local costs of living are relatively high. Fang said that it is hopeful that the talent could flow among the three areas, but it is important to study supporting policies in connection with taxes, medical services, social welfare and education.  

 

Improve the soft environment for talent development of the bay area 

 

The report suggests that it is necessary to build Hong Kong into a center for the Maritime Silk Road. It shall develop innovation-led talent and attract more high-level talent to work in Hong Kong through the cooperation in Belt and Road construction, the promotion of large infrastructure programs and the industry cooperation. To collect optimal resources and establish coordination mechanisms, Hong Kong will strengthen its supply-side reform, improve its talent cooperation system and increase attraction for more talent. 

 

Zhao Baisong, CCG standing director and founder of Hawkins Medical Research Institute Company, said: “The most important thing to attract talent is to let talent play their strengths. The core competency of the great bay area is technology. We shall rely on the cluster of talent and technological innovation to let talent play their part. I think that Hong Kong shall play a leading role by combining capital and technology. The talent may not live in Hong Kong and they could choose to live in the bay area, but they can enjoy the capital benefits of Hong Kong. This will become a huge attraction of the bay area.”  

 

The report also provided policy recommendations in talent mechanism innovation, talent vehicle upgrading, talent introduction and talent development cooperation. The policy measures include: establish pilot zones for talent and create complementary effects of the different areas; establish a communication center for overseas Chinese and offer visa exemption for overseas Chinese; follow the visa-free policy of Hainan Province and loosen control on the entry by overseas talent; implement working holiday policy and expand talent introduction channels; implement global elite employment program and make the talent introduction more accurate and systematic; advance talent flow program for Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau and promote talent cooperation among the three areas; loosen employment limits for overseas students in the bay area and stimulate their innovation prowess; loosen the internship and employment obstacles for mainland students in Hong Kong and Macau and implement co-development of talent; enhance cooperation among Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau and establish a university for the bay area; follow the taxation policy of Hong Kong and lower tax rate for talent from Hong Kong, Macau and foreign countries; cancel exit-entry permit for travelling to and from Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao; explore citizenship test policies for overseas talent and promote pilot experiment of talent identity conversion; promote mutual recognition of talent qualifications in the bay area; promote mutual recognition of “social insurance + medical service + education” benefits and integrate service channels; build up an international financial service center in the bay area and facilitate capital flow and connectivity; facilitate the application by high-end foreign talent for permanent residence in China at foreign countries. 

 

Miao Lv said that the financial sector has always been the strong sector of Hong Kong. It shall keep its core competency by attracting the best financial talent, studying financial innovation and improving financial services. It shall also give play to its financial research and management experiences and leading development concepts, to integrate with the rich land and labor resources of the mainland, to create development space for Hong Kong’s manufacturing sector and provide great support for the talent development and innovation. 

 

 

 

 

From China’s Foreign Trade,2019-2-22 

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