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Exchange of talents between Hong Kong and the Mainland


Date of Sitting: 9 January 2002

Asked by : Hon Ng Leung-sing
Replied by : SEM

Question :

It has been reported that in the light of the new situation arising from China's accession to the World Trade Organisation, Mainland financial institutions are planning to employ talents from Hong Kong and Macau so as to enhance their competitiveness. Regarding the exchange of talents between Hong Kong and the Mainland, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. whether it plans to set up a Guangdong-Hong Kong human resources information exchange centre ('exchange centre') to complement and promote the exchange of talents between the two places; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

  2. as the Administration has indicated that the difficulty in verifying the background of the Mainland organisations offering employment has to be resolved before the exchange centre can be set up, whether the Administration has considered other alternative solutions, such as reminding the users of the information released by the exchange centre to verify such information by themselves;

  3. of the details of other difficulties involved in the setting up of the exchange centre; and

  4. whether the Guangzhou Economic and Trade Office of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government to be established this year will actively promote the exchange of talents between Guangdong Province and Hong Kong; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?


Madam President,

(a) & (b)

The Government does not have any plan to set up a Guangdong-Hong Kong human resources information exchange centre. The cross boundary job market is currently served by private employment agencies, which have provided a prompt, responsive and cost effective service to their clients. Recruitment talks and recruitment exercises are frequently organised on both sides of the boundary. A recent survey by the Census and Statistics Department revealed that over 190 000 Hong Kong residents worked in the Mainland in the 12 months preceding April 2001. All but 13.6% of them worked in Guangdong. It is clear from this figure that there is currently an active exchange of talents between the two places. There is no need for a separate publicly-funded human resources information exchange centre at this stage.

To assist those who are interested in taking up employment in the Mainland, the Labour Department plans to establish a special web page in its interactive Employment Service Website which will provide the following information :-

(i) the contact telephone numbers and addresses of employment agencies registered in Hong Kong having business in Mainland China and their fields of specialization. The Labour Department will conduct a survey on all the 1,300 registered employment agencies currently operating in Hong Kong to collect this information;

(ii) first hand experience and views on employment opportunities in Mainland shared by the Human Resources Managers of the Hong Kong Institute of Human Resources Management who have prior experience working in the Mainland; and

(iii) information on the Mainland's employment-related regulations gathered by the Office of the HKSAR Government in Beijing, including the procedures for applying for employment permit and temporary residence and the taxation system.


Apart from the difficulty in verifying the background of Mainland organisations offering employment and the genuineness of the job offers, the setting up of a human resources information exchange centre entails regular updating of information, including the rules and regulations of working in various provinces, cities and areas in the Mainland. In view of the variety of practices adopted by different provinces, cities and areas in the Mainland, to ensure that the information collected is up-to-date at all times will be a labour-intensive process.


The Government is preparing for the establishment of an Economic and Trade Office (ETO) in Guangzhou. Tasked with fostering closer economic and trade links between the HKSAR and Guangdong Province, the ETO will seek to strengthen economic and trade liaison between the two places, enhance understanding between the two governments, provide better support to Hong Kong enterprises, encourage bilateral investment, and promote Hong Kong. If required, the ETO will assist the relevant Government departments in taking forward initiatives on the exchange of human resources by, for instance, facilitating contact and information exchange under the auspices of promoting economic and trading ties. Furthermore, if any Hong Kong companies or investors have any suggestions regarding the exchange of human resources, the ETO will also help to refer them to the relevant departments in both administrations for reference and follow-up action.

Last revision date: 09 January 2002
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