International talents – More good than harm to Hong Kong
6A,Wong Wai Chi,Peter
Due to globalization, it has become increasingly prevalent for Hong Kong companies and the government to hire international talents whose skills meet a certain standard of excellence. For instance, the former Chief Executive Officer of Ocean Park was an American. Hiring international talents indeed brings some benefits to Hong Kong while critics are arguing that this act has deprived local people of upward social mobility. Is it really worth hiring international talents?
To commence with, introducing international talents to Hong Kong can deal with the problem of labour shortages. The labour supply of Hong Kong is shrinking in the view of the ageing population. At present, one out of eight Hong Kong people is aged 65 or above and there will be a shortage of 170000 workers by 2027 according to government statistics. Alarmingly, the problem of labour shortages will persist to deteriorate further in the future since the marriage rate and birth rate is still declining. There are already severe shortages in a few areas like doctors in public hospitals. Therefore, it is essential to import labour from around the world. Hiring international talents can directly increase the labour supply and help deal with this problem. With more labours, economic growth can be increased and with this, a higher income can be obtained, allowing Hong Kongers to afford more goods and hence increasing their quality of life.
Apart from this, the competitiveness of Hong Kong can be enhanced through hiring more international talents. Through policies like ‘Quality Migrant Scheme’, talents from all around the world can be encouraged to immigrate to Hong Kong. Foreign workers can showcase their great variety of talents to the locals and the locals can learn from them. To illustrate this, engineers from Finland can show their innovative technology. In the long term, having acquired more skills, local workers can have a higher competitiveness and Hong Kong can provide better products and service, increasing the competitiveness of Hong Kong as well.
Despite the aforementioned virtues, people are condemning the surge in international talents, claiming that it is actually harming the social mobility of locals. A hundred years ago, people were often promoted from within their companies. However, nowadays, it is apparent that the fresh graduates cannot compete with the experienced foreign employees. Therefore, high positions in companies might be occupied solely by overseas workers and locals remain in lower position, having less income and opportunity to climb up the social ladder.
To add fuel to the fire, there is no one that can replace these foreign employees after they leave Hong Kong because all of our locals have not had the chance to practice and they cannot meet the requirements of working in high positions. This harms the long term development of Hong Kong’s society.
The importing of international talents irrefutably causes some harm to locals and if the government does nothing to help, locals may think the government only values economic growth and does not care about her citizens, which may cause hatred toward government if the problem becomes exacerbates. Thus, it is of pivotal importance that they government should try their best to ensure local people are not neglected. To begin with, the government ought to provide more job training for locals. If locals are trained, their competitiveness can be enhanced so they have a chance to compete with those international talents, in turn increasing their social mobility. Moreover, the government ought to restrict the number of talents they import. They should not hire internationally to the extent that all job opportunities are taken by foreigners.
All in all, although hiring international talents may bring some negative impacts to locals, these challenge can be mitigated if the government tries her best and pursues targeted policies. With more international talents, Hong Kong can be more internationally cosmopolitan and economic growth can increase.