Hong Kong’s chief executive on Wednesday unveiled plans to resurrect the fortunes of the business hub, hoping to attract international expertise to the city.
John Lee gave a first political speech focusing on both reviving the economy and maintaining security.
“Over the past two years, the local workforce has shrunk by about 140,000,” he said. “In addition to actively nurturing and retaining local talent, the government will proactively scour the world for talent.”
Three years ago, huge and at times violent democratic protests were followed by a sweeping crackdown on dissent and some of the world’s toughest coronavirus pandemic rules, many of which remained in place long after the reopening of rival hubs.
The city is expected to end the year in the midst of a recession and has seen its budget deficit soar.
Lee’s speech offered a plan to reverse the recession.
Among the measures announced was a new HK$30 billion ($3.8 billion) investment fund to attract foreign businesses.
The city will also give preferential treatment to “top talent”, described as people who earn HK$2.5 million or more a year and graduates of the world’s top 100 universities who have relevant work experience.