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Students join industrial, commercial and professional delegation to visit Fujian

Yesterday, I led a delegation to begin a visit to Fujian. The delegation consists of nearly 100 representatives of the local industrial, commercial and professional sectors. They were joined by more than 10 university students at different levels of study, from associate degree to doctorate. As far as I know, this is the first time that our students have joined the visit of an official Hong Kong delegation. The students' travelling expenses were sponsored by the Hong Kong Federation of Fujian Associations.

These students, mostly from local tertiary institutions, are pursuing studies in a wide range of academic disciplines. As our country is the world's second largest economy, Hong Kong students stand to benefit a lot from gaining a better understanding of the Mainland while studying in terms of broadened horizons and better career chances after graduation.

This morning, these students went to the Fujian-Hong Kong Economic and Trade Cooperation Exchange Meeting. It was the first time that they had attended this kind of meeting to listen to the personal experiences of entrepreneurs.

I chatted with these students at lunch today. One of them asked me how I would deal with the depreciation of university degrees and employment difficulties of degree holders as the number of university graduates continues to increase.

I told him that there were voices in the community suggesting that we should limit the number of university students, which I thought was a passive way to tackle the issue. A more active approach is to widen the career pathways of our young people. The reason why I frequently visit the Mainland, including Beijing, is that I want to enable Hong Kong to capitalise on the Mainland's vibrant economy through the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement and other policies, thus creating more employment and career development opportunities for Hong Kong people. In this way, our graduates will have brighter career prospects.


January 24, 2014