The city of Chongqing has shortlisted eight Hong Kong candidates for three government posts in its first attempt to recruit civil servants from the city.
Party Secretary Wang Yang told a Hong Kong media delegation that the municipality was holding talks with the candidates, although he was not sure if all the three posts, with an annual salary of 120,000 yuan each, would be filled this time.
'Personally, I am not too concerned about the results. As a new municipal leader, I pay more attention to the process.'
He said even if Chongqing could not find appropriate candidates for the posts in this round of recruitment, or if the candidates could not adapt to the new environment, the attempt to hire Hong Kong citizens was a valuable experiment for the inland municipality.
Mayor Wang Hongju said that Chongqing was eager to attract professionals from Hong Kong.
He said the municipality was also holding talks with Hong Kong companies to set up schools in Chongqing.
'There are more and more expatriates living in Chongqing and the living standard of Chongqing residents is rising. The middle class is also expanding and they all want their children to receive good education, especially a combination of western and eastern education.'
Chongqing held a fair in Hong Kong last November to recruit professionals in the financial, manufacturing and tourism sectors.
Meanwhile, Mr Wang defended Chongqing's decision not to join the Pan-Pearl River Delta Regional Co-operation Framework Agreement, saying the existing framework had offered enough room for co-operation.