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Guangdong policies support youth from Hong Kong, Macao

By ZHOU MO in Shenzhen, Guangdong | China Daily | Updated: 2022-05-17 09:52
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Victor Lo Wai Tak (left), a 29-year-old entrepreneur and farmer, works together with his friends and business partners on their farm in the city of Jiangmen, South China's Guangdong province. [Photo/CHINA DAILY]

Guangdong province's supportive policies targeting Hong Kong and Macao youths are "comprehensive, practical and innovative", and will attract more of them to "go north" to the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Hong Kong youths said.

The province in South China launched detailed policies this month to support youths from Hong Kong and Macao to work and set up businesses in the GBA.

According to a government document, Hong Kong and Macao youths will be provided with mentorship services to help them develop their careers in the GBA and better integrate into the Chinese mainland.

A group of Hong Kong and Macao mentors with more than three years of work and life experience on the Chinese mainland will be hired to provide help for young people from the two special administrative regions who are willing to work in nine Guangdong cities of the GBA.

A grassroots work subsidy of 3,000 yuan ($442) per person will be granted to qualified youths who have graduated from universities within no more than two years and work in micro and small enterprises, individual businesses and social organizations, or take up government posts at the grassroots level.

Subsidies will be offered to those working in micro and small enterprises or flexibly employed in the form of social insurance.

For Hong Kong and Macao entrepreneurs who set up businesses on the mainland part of the GBA, subsidies will be offered to support their entrepreneurship, ease rental burdens, facilitate loans and promote training.

"The rules of enabling mainland government departments to purchase entrepreneurial services from Hong Kong and Macao organizations is an innovation and an optimization of previous policies," said Yip Hing-wah, co-founder and CEO of Gungho Space, an incubation base with operations in Foshan and Zhongshan.

He believes the policies will also encourage more enterprises to hire young people from Hong Kong and Macao.

Interest among Hong Kong youths to develop their careers in the mainland cities of the GBA is growing, although the enthusiasm has somewhat been dampened by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has limited the cross-border flow of people as they need to quarantine before entering the mainland, he said.

Yip advised the government to consider launching a credit system, in which credits can be accumulated based on the time the youths come and their duration of stay in the GBA. "This will encourage youths to come earlier and stay longer," he said.

Ho Yiu-wai, CEO of Shenzhen-based tech startup Shu Tang Information Technology, said the policies show that "the country really cares about the development of Hong Kong and Macao youths and is moving to offer them opportunities".

"With these policies, businesses can save labor costs and hire more young people from Hong Kong and Macao, which will in turn increase their understanding of the mainland and promote their integration into the nation's development," he said.

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