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Expanding Hong Kong's capacity to help young people realise their dreams

To promote economic growth and development, a society must fully capitalise on opportunities outside its boundary. How could Hong Kong's industry thrive in the past 30 years? How could Hong Kong's professional services flourish in the past 20 years? Wasn't it by working hard to tap into markets outside Hong Kong?

Among these markets, the Mainland is very attractive not only because of its rapid development and tremendous business opportunities, but also because of the continuous stream of liberalisation measures offering Hong Kong early, preferential access to various market sectors previously closed to the outside world.

It is said that chance favours only the prepared mind. I agree, but I want to add that chance also favours the positive mind.

This morning, I visited the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone and attended the opening ceremony of the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Youth Innovation and Entrepreneur Hub. The Hub is operated by the Qianhai Authority, the Shenzhen Youth Federation and the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups to help Hong Kong's young entrepreneurs start innovative businesses.

A few days ago, on December 4, the Shenzhen Municipal Government announced in Beijing a new action plan for enhancing Shenzhen-Hong Kong co-operation in the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone. Under this action plan, Qianhai will be open to Hong Kong, with at least one-third, or over 9 million square metres, of its land to be assigned to Hong Kong-invested companies.

Qianhai will also launch a pilot scheme under the framework of CEPA to offer national treatment to eligible Hong Kong-invested companies.

As for human resources, professionals qualified to practice in Hong Kong will be allowed to provide direct professional services for enterprises and residents in Qianhai upon registration with the Qianhai Authority or relevant government departments. Tertiary students in Hong Kong will be encouraged to undergo internships in Qianhai. Also, the Qianhai Authority and its enterprises will employ Hong Kong residents and exchange staff with Hong Kong's statutory bodies.

I hope that you will fully capitalise on opportunities outside the territory to enhance your career development, as well as the economic development of Hong Kong.

December 7, 2014