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Govt keen to attract Nobel prize & Olympic medal winners in talents promotion drive

2021-11-10 03:16     BY Tony Wong    Comment:0

The local government is launching a 45-day public consultation today on the setting-up of a new legal system to attract non-local talents from all over the world, such as Nobel prize and Olympic medal winners, with the aim of supporting its drive to build a more diversified local economy.

Similar to the government’s current specialist immigration scheme – which has been in force since 2005, the government is now proposing that the new talents programme will grant temporary residency to particularly gifted people ready to move to Macau. 

The current specialist immigration scheme, which is run by the Macau Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM), grants temporary residency to non-locals who are managers, specialists or other kinds of professionals and have been hired by local employers.

The proposed programme, which was announced yesterday, also aims to support Macau’s development of four new sectors, namely “big health”, modern finance, cutting-edge technology, and culture and sports.

The proposed talents scheme consists of three categories of talents, namely High-end Talents Programme, Excellent Talents Programme, and High-class Professionals Programme.

The government is proposing that the High-end Talents Programme will include Nobel prize winners and Olympic medallists.

A press conference about the public consultation was held yesterday at the World Trade Centre Macau in Nape. The public consultation will end on December 24. A public session will be held on November 22 on the fifth floor of the World Trade Centre Macau. In addition, three sessions for representatives from community associations, public entities and government-appointed consultative bodies will be held during the consultation period.

The press conference was hosted by Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Elsie Ao Ieong U, who is the vice-chairperson of the government’s Talents Development Committee, which Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng chairs.

The Talents Development Committee, which was established in 2014, is a government-appointed consultative body tasked with advising the government on measures to promote the training of talents and highly-qualified professionals in Macau. The committee consists of senior government officials, as well as distinguished individuals from civil society appointed by the chief executive.

Addressing yesterday’s press conference, Ao Ieong underlined that promoting adequate economic diversification is an important task demanded by the central government for Macau. The General Plan of the Development of the Guangdong-Macau In-depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin stipulates that the development of Hengqin aims to serve Macau’s drive to develop an adequately diversified economy, the policy secretary noted.

Ao Ieong acknowledged that Macau’s economy is heavily reliant on just a few sectors, adding that the city’s economic diversification drive should be promoted in a gradual way and in phases. She said that with the development of Hengqin’s Guangdong-Macau In-depth Cooperation Zone, Macau will have the potential to develop four new sectors, namely “big health”, modern finance, cutting-edge technology, and culture and sports.

‘Big health” is a concept developed by the central government aiming to deliver a full range of health services that cover the entire care continuum, with an emphasis on health management and chronic disease management.

Ao Ieong also acknowledged the outflow of a large number of local talents, which she said was partially caused by favourable measures by other countries and regions to attract particularly gifted professionals. 


‘Urgent need to import talents’

In response to the intensifying level of competition around the world for attracting talents, Ao Ieong said that there is an urgent need for Macau to establish a sophisticated system on the import of talents.

According to the public consultation document, the government has identified a number of existing problems in its current system and mechanism that hinder Macau’s ability to attract talents from elsewhere, namely a lack of clearly-defined measures, a lack of an open and transparent assessment system, the amount of time it takes to assess cases and applications, a lack of clearly-defined types of talents that Macau needs, and a lack of measures that support the needs of imported talents for them to live here.

According to the consultation document, the government is proposing the setting-up of a new commission tasked with assessing cases and applications submitted under the proposed talents programme and coming up with suggestions to be submitted to the chief executive for a final decision.

The consultation document proposes that in addition to its current functions, the Talents Development Committee will be tasked with additional tasks, such as carrying out measures under the proposed talents programme and studying polices that help to attract talents from outside Macau. 

According to the consultation document, the government is proposing that the import of talents under the future system will be overseen by the Public Security Police (PSP), the Talents Development Committee, and the proposed new commission (tentatively named Talents Assessment and Suggestion Commission), before the applications are finally decided by the chief executive.

According to the consultation document, PSP officers will first assess applications in line with the police’s functions, such as whether the applicants have reached the minimum required age of 21 for the programme, whether they have a criminal record and whether have been barred from entering Macau.

The applications will then be submitted to the Talents Development Committee, which will make assessments in line with official criteria and standards such as academic and other qualifications and work experience.

After its assessments, the Talents Development Committee will draft a preliminary list of candidates that will be submitted to the Talents Assessment and Suggestion Commission – which will consist of senior officials, distinguished individuals from civil society and renowned experts.

According to the consultation document, the Talents Assessment and Suggestion Commission will assess the preliminary list submitted by the Talents Development Committee. The commission will assess the applications by considering to what extent the applicants would benefit Macau’s development. The commission will come up with a final list and propose the list to the chief executive for his or her final decision and approval.


3 categories

According to the consultation document, the proposed High-end Talents Programme will cover those with extraordinary achievements or skills, which are widely recognised around the world. The document says that the introduction of these type of talents could increase Macau’s international image and reputation and help the training of local talents.

The government is proposing that the proposed High-end Talents Programme will cover those who have won prizes recognising their achievements, such as Nobel prize winners, Olympic medallists, and other international prizes. The programme will also cover other individuals such as renowned experts or scholars “at national level”, and those who have made important contributions in their respective professions or sectors.

The government is proposing that the High-end Talents Programme will not have a limitation on the number of approved applicants

According to the consultation document, the proposed Excellent Talents Programme will cover “leading figures” who perform excellently in their respective professions or sectors.

The proposed High-level Professionals Programme will cover experienced professionals that Macau lacks for its sustainable development. The government is proposing that Macau should introduce those working for the four new sectors in the first phase of the programme, before importing professionals for various other sectors.

According to the consultation document, applicants for the High-end Talents Programme and the Excellent Talents Programme will not need to have been hired locally, while applicants for the High-level Professionals Programme must find a local employer before their application can be assessed. 

There will be a limitation on the number of applicants for the Excellent Talents Programme and the High-level Professionals Programme. The government is proposing an initial quota of 1,000 per year for the two programmes combined.


Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Elsie Ao Ieong U addresses yesterday’s press conference at the World Trade Centre Macau in Nape about the government’s public consultation on the proposed setting-up of a new legal system on the import of talents. Photo: GCS


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