LOCAL professionals should consider working on the mainland, a top adviser to Tung Chee-hwa said yesterday. Executive Council Convenor Leung Chun-ying said there were too many professionals in the SAR because of the rapid expansion of university education in recent years. Mr Leung will lead a delegation of professionals to Beijing on Wednesday to discuss the possibility of allowing more Hong Kong professionals to practise in mainland China. Many mainland firms currently like to recruit Hong Kong accountants. Lawyers and insurance agents are also lobbying mainland authorities to allow them to open up businesses on the mainland. But because of differences in the academic and legal systems, many professional qualifications awarded in Hong Kong are not recognised over the border. Mr Leung said the rapid expansion of tertiary education and the return of students after studying overseas had led to the increase in the number of professionals. The result of this oversupply was lower pay, said Mr Leung, who cited the case of lawyers offering to lower conveyancing charges to below $200 a flat in bidding for Housing Authority jobs. 'People can benefit from the drop in charges in the short run, but it will have a deep negative impact on the overall quality and integrity of the profession,' he said on RTHK's radio programme Hong Kong Letter. 'After 20 years [since China's open-door policy], Hong Kong has become the strongest base of professionals on the mainland,' he said. 'Hong Kong professionals understand the Chinese situation, with proficiency in English and Chinese [Mandarin], and thus are the best interface by which China links up with foreign countries.'