Research Projects

Rethinking Hong Kong’s Human Resources and Competitiveness

Principal Investigators
  • David Faure, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Helen F. Siu, Yale University
  • Richard Y.C. Wong, The University of Hong Kong
Project Description
Hong Kong Mobile: Making a Global Population

In 2004, the 2022 Foundation invited Helen F. Siu (Anthropology, Yale University), the Institute’s then Honorary Director, to lead a team to examine Hong Kong’s human resources and competitiveness. The project aimed to use hard data to examine soft issues, to link the humanities to social sciences, and to use basic research to address professional concerns.

The principal investigators reported to the 2022 Foundation in August and November 2004, followed by a luncheon in January 2005 with the then Chief Secretary, Donald Tsang. In May 2005, they were invited to present key findings in a CEO conference organized by the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce. The presentation was later developed into a 148-page interim report that the Institute published in October 2005, with great public interest and media coverage.

Since the publishing of the interim report recommending accelerated circulation of human resources to replenish Hong Kong’s ageing labor force, we have observed changes in the government’s population policies and social planning. This include enhanced immigration schemes to attract overseas talents, the reduction of bureaucratic barriers for border crossing, making certain social benefits for Hong Kong residents portable, and considering education subsidy for the children of Hong Kong residents living in Shenzhen.

In January 2006, the project’s concluding conference attracted not only academics across the tertiary education sector but also executive and legislative councilors, civil servants and business professionals. All twelve members of the team presented their findings on Hong Kong’s historical positioning as “a space of flow,” focusing on changing markers for a fluid population, recent barriers to social mobility and the city’s dynamic cultural capital. There has been extensive coverage of the project in the media, including the South China Morning Post and Yazhou Zhoukan. An edited volume, Hong Kong Mobile: Making a Global Population was published by the Hong Kong University Press in 2010.