Shanghai has attracted 1,733 of Hong Kong's highly skilled workers since the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement between the mainland and Hong Kong took effect in 2003, Xinhua reported yesterday. Most of these Hongkongers are from the real estate, consultancy, finance, hotel and tourism sectors. More than 90 per cent are in their 30s and 40s with valuable experience, according to figures from the Shanghai Manpower Bureau. A majority work in senior management positions with higher salaries than most of their mainland colleagues. About 66 per cent work for foreign companies, while 25 per cent work for private mainland firms. About 7 per cent work in state-owned enterprises. Since 2003 the Shanghai government has launched several campaigns aimed at luring skilled workers from Hong Kong. Senior municipal officials advertised 1,015 positions at an employment fair at the convention centre in October 2003. They also set up a Hong Kong office to promote manpower exchange between the two cities. Hong Kong-based headhunter Wang Xiaoyan said the number of Hongkongers desiring a Shanghai job had been on the rise. 'The candidates usually have a very good impression of Shanghai and feel excited about going there,' Ms Wang said. 'They believe Shanghai has the best business environment on the mainland.' Property manager Emily Lo, 25, is among the hundreds of Hongkongers who have fallen in love with the city. She sees it as a vibrant international hub full of opportunities for young people. 'It is no less modern than Hong Kong and has huge potential to develop further,' Ms Lo said. 'I find it a good place to gain mainland experience.' Last year she applied for a job in the Shanghai branch of her Hong Kong-based property firm. 'I joined [the Hong Kong firm] mostly because it offered the opportunity to go north.' Ms Lo earns twice as much as her mainland colleagues in similar positions. Hong Kong's inflow of mainland professionals, meanwhile, seems to be far greater than Shanghai-bound workers. The city imported 5,656 mainland professionals last year, up 21 per cent on 2005.