Hong Kong Includes Blockchain Experts on Talent List for Preferred Migrants

As part of an update to the territory’s migrant policy, the government of Hong Kong has published a new document titled the ‘Talent List of Hong Kong’. Its stated purpose is aimed at attracting quality people from around the world in a more effective and focused manner to support Hong Kong’s development. The Talent List has been formed as part of a joint effort between local and international governments in “extensive consultation with [industry] stakeholders.” Experts in Distributed Ledger Technology and experienced Fintech professionals are included among the 11 listed professions.

What is the Talent List?

Hong Kong has determined the most important professions needed for the territory’s economic development and has listed what it considers are the 11 most highly sought after skills for potential migrants.

“In order to attract relevant world talents to Hong Kong, immigration facilitation is provided to eligible persons under the Talent List through the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS) within its existing annual quota of 1 000,” reads the introduction to the Talent List. “Successful applicants under the QMAS are not required to have secured an offer of local employment for settlement in Hong Kong. For applicants who meet the specifications of the respective profession under the Talent List, bonus marks will be given under the General Points Test of the QMAS.”

Some of the notable talents include (emphasis added):

  1. “Experienced professionals in Fintech;”
  2. “Experienced data scientists and experienced cyber security specialists;”
  3. “Innovation and technology experts in, but not limited to, the following fields: (i) pharmaceutical and life science/biotechnology; (ii) data engineering (e.g. data mining/data analytics), artificial intelligence, robotics, distributed ledger technologies, biometric technologies and industrial/chemical engineering, etc.; and (iii) materials science/nanotechnology;”

The Chief Secretary for Administration and Chairman of the Human Resources Planning Commission, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, said,

“Hong Kong welcomes talents from all over the world with valuable skills, knowledge and experience to work here, bringing their talent into full play and further developing their careers. The promulgation of the Talent List is one of our major initiatives to enhance our competitive advantages in attracting international talents, creating cluster effects, stimulating the development of local talents and propelling Hong Kong forward.”

Hong Kong’s Cryptocurrency Industry

Hong Kong is home to one of the largest cryptocurrency markets in the world. Despite suffering some setbacks this year from local cryptocurrency exchange hacks, the territory has remained focused on becoming an international blockchain hub while taking regulatory action designed to protect investors in the space.

In July, Hong Kong’s Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced testing for the world’s largest government-backed blockchain-based trade finance platform, done in partnership with 21 banks, including HSBC and Standard Chartered.

The HKMA also formed a Fintech Co-operation agreement recently with the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of the Abu Dhabi Global Market to enhance fintech collaboration between the two authorities.

“We are pleased to establish a closer relationship with the FSRA so that both authorities could better support financial innovation in our jurisdictions,” said Chief Fintech Officer of the HKMA Nelson Chow. “ADGM’s commitment to the pursuit of innovation resonates strongly with Hong Kong’s ambitions. The co-operation between the HKMA and the FSRA would strengthen the two authorities in their respective roles and initiatives in fintech. We are particularly pleased to start a dialogue with FSRA on the opportunity to build a cross-border trade finance network using distributed ledger technology.”

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