Top students to get stint in finance in Shanghai
Top-rated Hong Kong university students are Shanghai-bound for a six-week study tour, the first of a series planned by the government under a deal to improve financial co-operation between the two cities.
The 22 students from nine universities will undergo a four-week work placement at the Shanghai offices of well-known financial institutions.
During the visit - described by one student as great opportunity to see whether Shanghai is really catching up with Hong Kong as a finance hub - they will also visit such establishments as the China Banking Regulatory Commission and the Shanghai Futures Exchange.
The training and exchange of top finance workers is one of four areas to be strengthened under the Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Advancing Hong Kong-Shanghai Financial Cooperation, signed in 2010.
'The scheme will provide a chance for students to get to know about the financial systems and institutions,' Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Professor Chan Ka-keung - whose bureau is organising the exchanges - said at a launch ceremony yesterday.
Universities used various means to choose the participants.
At the University of Hong Kong, business faculty students with the highest grade point average were nominated to undergo a round of interviews and were picked on such criteria as language proficiency.
Polytechnic University student Kelvin Wong Ngan- fun, whose mother is from Sichuan and who will work at Standard Chartered Bank, said media frequently reported how Shanghai was catching up with Hong Kong.
'Working in financial institutions will be a great opportunity to see for myself whether these reports are true or not.'
City University student Wendy Lam Wan-ting, placed at Hang Seng Bank, saw it as, 'a great opportunity to undergo a completely different working style and culture'.
Riana Chan Lai-lok from Baptist University said she wanted to contribute to the development of China, having been influenced by her father, who lived through the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s and 70s and believed 'knowledge was power'.
While recognising the opportunities, Wong said he would look out for himself.
'Human rights are very important,' he said. 'I'll give up any opportunity or personal interest if there is anything that poses a threat to my safety on the mainland.'