Hong Kong is ramping up its blockchain profile and, as a result, has announced that it will be needing more industry professionals to support its DLT focus in the years to come through a new employment program.
A “talent list” has been issued by The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in which it states that it needs “quality people from around the world in a more effective and focused manner to support Hong Kong’s development as a high value-added and diversified economy”. Among the 11 professions on the new list are those with DLT skills.
This isn’t really surprising given the new focus on innovation and technology China’s Administrative Region, given a recent push that’s seen the promotion of blockchain in the public arena through generous grants to its local universities of USD 20 million for blockchain and fintech research.
Education is not the only area to benefit from this heightened interest in new financial tech in Hong Kong, as a government-led cross-bank cooperation project was announced recently, thought to be the largest of its kind globally. It will include UK banking giant HSBC and Standard Chartered PLC. Other banks involved are said to be one of Australia’s big four, ANZ, and four Asian banks, BOC Hong Kong Holdings, Hang Seng Bank, Bank of East Asia Ltd and Singapore’s DBS Holdings Ltd.
The new scheme designed to build on these recent developments. The Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS) will have an annual quota of 1,000 applicants, although it is unclear exactly what percentage of these will be connected to fintech. Applicants will have the advantage under the scheme of settling in Hong Kong without a specific job offer, enabling them to come to Hong Kong, then seek employment in their specialized sector.
The Chief Secretary for Administration and Chairman of the Human Resources Planning Commission, Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, wants to target internationally bred skills and talent. He commented:
“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… stimulating the development of local talents and propelling Hong Kong forward.”
The fact that DLT know-how has been listed as a required skill is a positive outcome for the industry in the region given China’s continued prohibitive stance regarding cryptocurrency-related activities.
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