Nothing is more important to an economy than its people. Amid an increasingly globalised market environment, everyone is trying to attract the best from overseas. The case for Hong Kong to do so is even stronger. Prompted by a fast ageing society and a shrinking workforce, we need to swing our door wider. That the chief executive has made it a highlight in this year's policy address is to be commended. The city's population is growing by an annual 0.6 per cent to reach 8.47 million by 2041; but the labour force will decline from 3.71 million in 2018 to 3.51 million in 2035. Unless we can bring in more foreign talent, the new arrivals from mainland under the one-way permit system will be the only way to mitigate the impact. The government's pledge to recruit talent and professionals in a more proactive way is to be welcome. The new category for the second generation of Hong Kong parents overseas has struck the right chord in that the children may still maintain close family ties here and want to capitalise on the opportunities available in the region. In return, the city can benefit from their skills and experience. Keen global competition for talent means those of the best calibre will pick and choose the place that suits them most. That makes enhancing our attractiveness all the more important. The living environment, work benefits, education for children and civil liberties - they are all crucial factors for consideration. To the surprise of many, the government has scrapped the money-for-residency scheme. Introduced in 2003 as a way to boost the ailing economy, the Capital Investment Entrant Scheme became a magnate for well-off mainlanders with obscure foreign nationalities. Most tried to take advantage of the city's visa convenience rather than doing real business and investment. A government review of the scheme found that most of the 25,000 approved to stay have not obtained a Hong Kong identity card, suggesting they have no intention to make Hong Kong their home. After more than a decade, the scheme no longer serves its purpose and is rightly put to an end. The overhaul will not be complete without speeding up the importation of skilled labour. The talent list mooted by the government has understandably aroused worries of fewer jobs for locals. But protectionism is hardly the right recipe for success. Should some professions be found to be short of talent, we should not hesitate to look beyond our border.