Shenzhen and Guangdong new landing spots for civil servants

Top News | Staff reporter 12 May 2021

Hong Kong has agreed with the Shenzhen and Guangdong governments for its civil servants to be posted across the border, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has told state media.

And Lam said she "welcomes mainland civil servants to come to Hong Kong for exchange too," adding that the agreements will be signed soon.

Similar arrangements were earlier signed with the Beijing and Shanghai governments and Hong Kong will turn its focus to the Greater Bay Area, Lam said on a CCTV program.

"By letting civil servants to be posted in cities like Shenzhen and Guangdong, they can have an in-depth understanding of how things run in the mainland cities, especially those within the Greater Bay Area," Lam said.

She said some mainland civil servants have already come to Hong Kong in recent years.

Lam hoped Hong Kong can contribute and benefit from the development of the bay area, for which the SAR can help attract international businesses.

The bay area can also help solve Hong Kong's livelihood problems. More elderly people now wish to go to the mainland after retirement because they can stay at bigger houses, according to Lam.

She rejected "indefensible claims" that the bay area will hollow out Hong Kong, pointing out that many talents raised in the city would need a bigger market to show their skills.

"Hong Kong has a population of 7.5 million. We have trained a large number of lawyers and accountants every year as well as university students. We need to find a larger market for them to show their skills and the Greater Bay Area is the market we are looking for," Lam said.

She admitted many Hongkongers do not have a "positive view" of the bay area and that the SAR government will need to spend more effort on its promotion.

Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip Tak-kuen told lawmakers last month that the SAR is exploring with its mainland counterparts how to facilitate posting of civil servants on the mainland.

Authorities are also mulling a requirement for new civil servants to finish a training course in the mainland within their three-year probation period before they can turn into permanent staff.

The Civil Service Bureau said around 380 civil servants from the mainland and 140 from Hong Kong have participated in exchange programs since 2002. The tours last around four weeks, covering various areas, including infrastructure development, urban planning, environmental protection and trading.

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December 2021

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