Ethnic minorities in Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s ethnic minorities can be a bridge to emerging economies and help promote the city overseas

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 July, 2018, 8:00pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 July, 2018, 8:00pm

Your correspondent Randy Lee correctly pointed out (“Why Hong Kong’s ethnic minority jobseekers fail to find white-collar posts”, July 8) that those from the minority communities find it difficult to secure office jobs. He is also right that the government has stepped up efforts to offer supportive measures and help them join the civil service. I believe that ethnic minority Hong Kong residents not only have great potential to join the government, but also local enterprises, and take part in the promotion of Hong Kong overseas, especially in their countries of origin.

Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po in his budget address in February last year said that the government plans to set up Economic and Trade Offices (ETOs) in India and the United Arab Emirates, as well as four other countries.

Watch: Hong Kong’s ‘hero’ policeman encourages ethnic minorities to join civil service

Our local ethnic minority populations are well-versed in the cultures of both their home countries and of Hong Kong. In fact, the Hong Kong government has been hiring overseas employees to support the operation of its ETOs. This is because they know their countries best and can communicate with their counterparts well. Hong Kong’s ethnic minorities can also make good use of their dual identities, given their deep understanding of the city. They can be the bridge between their home countries and Hong Kong.

Chinese is the biggest hurdle for Hong Kong’s ethnic minority jobseekers, can someone help?

Also, even though they may not be skilled at written Chinese, a lot of them are proficient in Cantonese oral communication. As English is the main language for business and administration, they should not face huge difficulties when handling issues regarding commercial relations between Hong Kong and other economies.

If ethnic minority workers can be given more opportunities to participate in large local and national economic plans, it will hopefully help other Hong Kong enterprises learn to value their unique skills and provide them more job opportunities.

Anson Chan, North Point