About half the local professionals surveyed in an online poll expect their China-related workload to increase in the next two years, reflecting the mainland's growing demand for specialised managerial-level talent to cope with its rapid economic development. According to the Continuing Professional Development Alliance's second annual survey of trends and challenges affecting Hong Kong professionals' move to the mainland, 56.6 per cent of 214 respondents said they believed the proportion of their work related to mainland business would rise in the next two years. Asked about their number of working days on the mainland, 46.7 per cent said they expected them to increase, while 52.8 per cent said the number would remain the same. Only 9 per cent currently spend more than half of their working days a year on the mainland. 'However, mainland professionals are becoming more competitive in terms of salary levels, educational level, their familiarity with China laws and regulations, and their understanding of the local context in which the enterprises are operating,' said alliance chairwoman Virginia Choi Wai-kam. In the survey, conducted between late April and last month, a quarter of the respondents said at least half of their work duties related to the mainland. Phillip Baldwin, chief executive of the Hong Kong Institute of Chartered Secretaries, said that as the mainland economy develops, professions that promote strong corporate governance will be needed the most. 'Professional services are in high demand as more mainland companies list in Hong Kong. Companies providing corporate services are opening offices in China, as there is a lot of business in both China and Hong Kong,' Mr Baldwin said. 'But senior managers are definitely spending more time in China.'