On Thursday, the government of Hong Kong published its first Talent List aimed at attracting “highly skilled” experts in 11 different fields, including fintech, DLT, and cyber security, from around the world. The move designates the government’s intention to “support Hong Kong's development as a high value-added and diversified economy.”
According to the press release, Hong Kong will facilitate successful applicants under the Talent List through the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS). The QMAS has an annual quota of 1,000 people. The Chief Secretary for Administration and Chairman of the Human Resources Planning Commission, Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, said:
“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."
While Hong Kong continues taking regulatory actions towards digital currencies and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), stating that the new technology “comes with risks,” it seems to have set sights on becoming an international blockchain hub.
Last month, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced the launch its own blockchain trade finance solution with 21 banks in August, aiming to substantially reduce paperwork, costs, and security risks for participants.
In June, the HKMA signed a fintech collaboration agreement with the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of the Abu Dhabi Global Market “to start a dialogue on the opportunity to build a cross-border trade finance network using [DLT].” That month, Alibaba subsidiary Ant Financial trialled its first blockchain remittances, sending a transaction in three seconds between its AliPayHK app in Hong Kong and Filipino payment app GCash.
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Business School (HKUST) recently received a $20 million research grant to improve the security capabilities of electronic payment systems earlier this month.
Additionally, the HKUST in partnership with the University of Hong Kong are planning to explore blockchain technology applications, and discuss the possibility of Hong Kong’s transformation into a global fintech hub.