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Paul Chan

‘Quality opportunities’ on the way for Hong Kong youth through more diversified economy, finance chief Paul Chan says

In blog post, senior official also praises city’s new job-shadowing scheme for giving him and fellow ministers deeper understanding of next generation’s goals

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 29 July, 2018, 7:15pm
UPDATED : Monday, 30 July, 2018, 9:07am

The finance minister has vowed to help Hong Kong’s young people “find quality opportunities” and pursue their goals by promoting a more diversified economy.

In a post on his official blog on Sunday, Paul Chan Mo-po also hailed the government’s new job-shadowing scheme for giving him and fellow ministers a deeper understanding of young people’s thinking and aspirations.

The job-shadowing programme, called ‘Be a Government Official for a Day’, is aimed at giving students a better understanding of the work of top officials. It also allowed officials to exchange views with young people directly.

Apart from Chan, Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah, as well as the chiefs of 13 other bureaus, also took part.

Two secondary-level students identified in a video on Chan’s blog as Vicky and Kitty were selected to shadow Chan last Friday to witness a typical day at work for the man in charge of the city’s finances.

In the clip, the two girls were shown attending at least five events, starting with a morning briefing between Chan and his aides at 8.30am and ending with a 5.15pm meeting Chan held with government economists.

It also included a consultation session with various groups regarding the upcoming policy address, which is to be delivered by Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor in October. But the duo were visibly more excited when accompanying Chan to the opening ceremony of the Ani-Com fair at the Convention and Exhibition Centre.

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“The two students looked very excited, and got absorbed in the atmosphere, games and performances of the cosplayers,” Chan wrote. He acknowledged that animation and computer games played an important part in Hong Kong’s creative industry.

He also noted that he had approved an injection of HK$1 billion (US$127 million) into the city’s budget in a scheme called CreateSmart Initiative to strengthen support for developing such industries.

“I also stressed the need to promote diversifying the economy to let young people with different goals, interest or ability … find quality opportunities to develop themselves.”

Officials have described the programme, now in its first year, as in line with the “new style of governance” that the chief executive promised last year during her election campaign. Lam had pledged to “connect with young people” and give them more opportunities to “participate in public affairs”.

The scheme attracted applications from more than 1,100 secondary students. Of these, 34 were selected to shadow the city’s top officials.