Hong Kong youths chasing dreams in Greater Bay Area

By Zhang Pan

The prospering Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area is getting more and more attractive for young talents from Hong Kong.

Nearly 1,100 graduates from Hong Kong universities have been hired in mainland cities in the Greater Bay Area under the Greater Bay Area Youth Employment Scheme launched by the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) in 2021.

The scheme aims to encourage and support enterprises with businesses in both the HKSAR and the Greater Bay Area to hire Hong Kong university graduates and station them in the area’s mainland cities.

A total of 689 among the nearly 1,100 graduates chose to work in Shenzhen, Guangdong province.

A recent KPMG report indicated that the willingness of Hong Kong respondents to relocate to other Greater Bay Area cities has consistently increased each year, reaching 72 percent in 2022 from 52 percent in 2019.

Besides, the HKSAR government has also launched a Funding Scheme for Youth Entrepreneurship in the Greater Bay Area under the Youth Development Fund, which aims to provide capital subsidy to about 230 youth start-ups involving more than 800 young people and render entrepreneurial support and incubation services to more than 4,000 young people.

Pun Chi Ho is a young entrepreneur from Hong Kong who currently runs an HD visual and acoustic technology company that employs over 100 people in Shenzhen.

“The HDMI, wireless control and intelligent speech products of our company have been exported to 13 countries,” said Pun, who had already started two companies in Hong Kong before he went to Shenzhen. The man is quite optimistic about the future of the Greater Bay Area.

“The future of Hong Kong is inseparable from the national development. The Greater Bay Area is exactly an opportunity for the special administrative region to integrate itself into the national development,” said Tommy Yuen, Commissioner for the Development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area under the HKSAR government.

He said young people are the future of national development and the HKSAR government will keep supporting the youths of Hong Kong to work in mainland cities in the Greater Bay Area.

Bright industrial and career prospects, convenient transportation, as well as broader horizons are all important reasons for Hong Kong talents to work in other cities in the Greater Bay Area.

“You see rapid changes in every city in the Greater Bay Area. It took over an hour to travel between Shenzhen and Hong Kong, but now it only costs less than 20 minutes by the high-speed railway. A ‘one-hour’ circle has taken shape, and it brings me a sense of belonging and makes me proud,” said Cai Jialin, a Hong Kong employee of the Chinese tech giant Tencent headquartered in Shenzhen.

Cai, born in 1997, is responsible for youth development and charity affairs in the company. Through the exchange activities he organized, he has gained an increasingly deeper understanding of the Chinese mainland.

Jason Choi, President of the Sunwah Global Youth Innovation Center in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, is working to bring more entrepreneurs from Hong Kong and Macao to the Greater Bay Area.

Choi came to work in Guangzhou’s Nansha district less than a year ago. He said Nansha district is a great choice for young people from Hong Kong, as it has piloted many favorable policies and offered a number of special funds.

The Sunwah Global Youth Innovation Center has so far attracted over 20 Hong Kong enterprises and business associations.

Complementary advantages are what drive the integrated development of the Greater Bay Area. “The mainland, especially Shenzhen, enjoys a prominent advantage in human resources, and it has a complete ecological chain. As an international city, Hong Kong is able to make products global. Together, these two advantages will accelerate the development and launch of products,” said Pun.

The Hong Kong entrepreneur said he would present the potential of the Greater Bay Area to more young people from Hong Kong and attract more young talents from the special administrative region to the Greater Bay Area, so as to make the Greater Bay Area a world-class bay area.

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