Authorities in Hong Kong have taken steps to attract fintech specialists who can support its economic development. The government of the Chinese region has prepared a list of needed professions from several related fields, including distributed ledger technologies and asset management.
Hong Kong Updates Immigration Policy to Attract Fintech Professionals
As part of new efforts to underpin Hong Kong’s development as a “high value-added and diversified economy,” the government of the special administrative region of China is now moving to facilitate the immigration of “quality people” from around the world. To do that, Hong Kong authorities have drafted a “Talent List” of 11 in-demand professions, a number of which belong to the fintech industry, and intend to publicize it under the banner “Hong Kong. Talent Hub – Unlimited Opportunities.”
In an announcement published on its website, the government notes that the list highlights specific professions needed most for Hong Kong‘s economic development. Beside waste treatment specialists, engineers and naval architects, the city wants to attract foreigners with expertise related to the crypto and blockchain space. According to the notice, Hong Kong is interested in fintech professionals and innovation and technology experts in fields like distributed ledger technologies (DLT), or blockchain, data engineering, including mining and analytics, artificial intelligence and robotics, cyber security.
Authorities are also eager to invite experienced professionals in asset management, including trust fund management, as well as legal experts specializing in resolving international financial and investor-state disputes and lawyers with knowledge in cross-border transactions from investing or host states. Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, Chief Secretary for Administration and Chairman of the Human Resources Planning Commission has been quoted saying:
Hong Kong welcomes talents from all over the world with valuable skills, knowledge and experience to work here, bringing their talent into full play and further developing their careers. The promulgation of the Talent List is one of our major initiatives to enhance our competitive advantages in attracting international talents, creating cluster effects, stimulating the development of local talents and propelling Hong Kong forward.
No Prior Employment Arrangement Required
The authors of the official announcement have also pointed out that immigration facilitation will be provided to eligible persons through Hong Kong’s Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS). Its current annual quota is 1,000. Foreign nationals approved under QMAS are free to settle in Hong Kong. People with professions included in the Talent List will not be required to have secured in advance an offer from a local employer.
Detailed information about the scheme is available on the Talent List’s dedicated page and the website of the Immigration Department. Authorities are already accepting applications from eligible individuals with the qualifications included in the list, which has been prepared after consultations between the government and the stakeholders. The document will be updated on a regular basis to reflect the changing needs of Hong Kong’s economy.
The news about the Talent List initiative in Hong Kong comes amid an escalating crackdown on the crypto sector in mainland China. After banning coin offerings and crypto-yuan trading last year, and recently targeting crypto-media and venues hosting events in the space, Chinese regulators have also announced intentions to curb payments to overseas crypto exchanges. Their latest efforts to restrict crypto-related activities involve the big three of the Chinese internet – Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent.
Do you think Hong Kong is attractive to fintech professionals? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.
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Author: Lubomir Tassev