A proposed scheme to import unlimited mainland hi-tech talent could help curb unemployment, according to a government adviser. The University of Science and Technology's Dr Francis Lui Ting-ming said he and several members of the Government's taskforce on unemployment thought that the scheme would create jobs, especially for low-skilled workers. 'If more talent decides to come to Hong Kong, their presence will help encourage new industries here,' he said. 'Even if some local workers do not know much about the new skills, there will still be new jobs created. 'In countries such as the US and Singapore, which attach considerable importance to the importing of high-class talent, experience has shown that their economies flourished as a result.' Li Fung-ying, general secretary of the Hong Kong & Kowloon Federation of Trade Unions, one of the three employee representatives on the taskforce, worried the opposite might be true. 'How does the scheme work? Will it affect local people's chances of finding employment?' she said. 'With the expansion of the workforce including returning and overseas migrants - some of them professionals - it will be interesting to see how a balance can be struck between them and the new policy.' She feared the scheme might worsen unemployment and lead to fierce and unhealthy competition. But Secretary for Security Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee insisted the new scheme would be different from other labour importation schemes. 'Its aim is to attract mainland talent, who are not only of high calibre but can also help Hong Kong to develop its added-value economy,' she said. 'This is why we won't impose a quota and limitation on the scope of sectors, so that better returns can be achieved.' Ms Ip also dismissed the suggestion that the scheme would simply create a new short-cut for mainlanders who wanted to settle in Hong Kong permanently.