HK needs your talent, Tsang tells Harbin technical students

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 July, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 21 July, 2008, 12:00am

Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen told university students in Harbin yesterday that they were welcome to pursue their careers in Hong Kong - even though the city might not have the openings they are looking for.

'If you want to go to Hong Kong to develop your career after graduation, you are welcome,' Mr Tsang said during a meeting with eight students at the Harbin Institute of Technology, which is famous for science and engineering.

Mr Tsang and more than 100 businesspeople are visiting three provinces in the northeast - Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning - to learn about business opportunities in the region.

The institute showcased its technologies, including research work carried out for the Chinese space programme, for the delegation.

Mr Tsang told the Harbin students that the greatest challenge for Hong Kong's future development was a lack of talented workers to draw on.

Lau Ow, a student from Hong Kong who was among the group that met Mr Tsang, has just finished a four-year undergraduate degree in metronic engineering in Harbin.

He said he was honoured to meet Mr Tsang but had decided to work in Shanghai instead of Hong Kong.

'I thought about working in Hong Kong but it doesn't have the related businesses, such as motor manufacturing factories or a mechanical engineering factory,' the 25-year-old said, adding that this was one of the reasons he had chosen to study in Harbin.

He said the quality of life was better in Hong Kong, but that he wanted to help the mainland with the reforms it needed. 'It is my dream to help China's industrial development and to build its own brand,' he said.

Apart from visiting the school, Mr Tsang and the delegation also visited the Harbin Turbine Company and FC Packaging - a factory owned by Hong Kong businessman Lo Foo-cheung - to explore the business environment.

As one of the first Hongkongers to invest in Harbin, Mr Lo said Heilongjiang's proximity to the far east of Russia was an advantage for firms looking to get into the Russian market.

Heilongjiang was a suitable place for high technology, agriculture, and resource-related business like the oil and gas industries, he said.

One member of the delegation, HSBC chairman Vincent Cheng Hoi-chuen, said he wanted to explore the potential for private equities projects and establishing bank branches in Harbin and Changchun .

Another member, Annie Wu Suk-ching, vice-chairwoman of Beijing Air Catering, hoped the Heilongjiang government could provide offices for Hong Kong businesses in cities such as Qiqihar and Jiamusi, allowing them to meet local officials or business partners.

The group leaves for Changchun, the second stop on the trip, today.