Hong Kong leader gives mainland-Chinese based students upbeat message on their prospects

Leung Chun-ying urges students to take advantage of country’s “Belt and Road Initiative” and Greater Bay Area integration scheme for Pearl River Delta

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 June, 2017, 9:53pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 June, 2017, 10:58pm

Career prospects for Hong Kong students would be better than for the previous generation, the city’s leader reassured teenagers in a sharing session in which he urged them to embrace the opportunities brought about by Beijing’s global trade strategy.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, whose term ends in two weeks, promoted Beijing’s “Belt and Road Initiative” and Greater Bay Area integration scheme for the Pearl River Delta at a youth forum in Shenzhen held by a pro-Beijing business association.

“No matter how well you studied in engineering, what can you do? You could help printer companies to fix printers and lift companies to fix lifts,” Leung said, describing Hongkongers’ career development in his generation around 30 years ago. “But now you can build railways, bridges and tunnels ... not only in Hong Kong but all over the world.”

The audience consisted of hundreds of Hong Kong high school students studying in Guangdong province.

Responding to a student’s question on how the country’s strategic plans related to them, Leung stressed that every university student with their different majors would be able to find his or her own role in the plans.

Leung added that Hongkongers did not need a visa to work on the mainland, but such documents were required for mainland youngsters to stay in Hong Kong.

The vice-chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference also expressed hope that teenagers from both places would learn from each other and seek closer interaction.

The youth forum – with the theme of chasing dreams in China – was part of a series of activities held by the Hong Kong Chinese Importers’ and Exporters’ Association to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the city’s handover.

Three young Hong Kong entrepreneurs who started businesses in Shanghai and Shenzhen shared their experiences, encouraging students to grasp opportunities and pursue their dreams.

One of them, Fanny Ng, chief executive officer of a wedding planning company called Chao Groups, talked of how she decided to take up beauty and styling courses after a job application to McDonald’s was rejected when she was a teenager.

She later pursued her career as a stylist across the border. In 2015, she set up her own company, which arranged the high-profile wedding of celebrities Huang Xiaoming and Angelababy in the same year.

“My friends thought I was silly .. when I started my career on the mainland,” Ng recalled, adding people needed courage and determination to succeed.