A key government advisory body has endorsed proposals to significantly relax immigration policies to attract overseas talent and set up an agency to lure professionals. The report by the Commission on Strategic Development's task group on attracting talent is the first step towards the government considering a comprehensive policy to attract executives. It comes in response to urgent calls by the business community. The report stresses that attracting talented people worldwide is vital to ensuring Hong Kong's 'world city' status. It urges the government to engage relevant professional bodies 'to adopt a more liberal attitude to the admission of overseas professionals to work in Hong Kong' and advocates more training programmes for local people. It recommends a pilot scheme be introduced, allowing bosses to recruit executives from the upper-middle level and above, professionals and highly skilled workers without the need to meet existing restrictions. For example, providing proof that the job could not be readily taken up by the local workforce should be waived, the report says. The Quality Migrant Admission Scheme should also expand its remit to include 'entrepreneurship' and should target creative talent in the arts, sport and cultural sectors, as they are in demand in Hong Kong. Overseas Chinese should be specifically targeted as a source of talent. A dedicated agency to monitor the execution and promotion of the policies should also be considered. Chief executive of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce Alex Fong Chi-wai welcomed the report as a good first step. 'Improving the flow of international talent is always welcome,' he said. But Mr Fong warned: 'The devil lies in the details', adding that he would reserve judgment until he saw a concrete policy. The chamber has warned that the lack of a comprehensive policy is undermining Hong Kong's status as an international city.