On 6 January, the Hong Kong Coalition of Professional Services (“HKCPS”) held a forum on the Government’s latest public consultation exercise on population policy (the “Forum”). The Forum addressed aspects of population policy development that relates to professionals, and was conducted by way of panel discussion and an open-floor discussion session. The panel included guest speaker, Chief Secretary for Administration Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor; President Ambrose Lam, and leading representatives of the Hong Kong Institute of Architects, the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers, the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors, and the Hong Kong Medical Association. Ms. Bonnie Chan, Chair of the Young Solicitors’ Group ( “YSG”) of the Law Society, acted as moderator.
The Forum covered several topics: diversifying the structure of Hong Kong’s economic base; encouraging young people to take up vocational training; attracting foreign professional talent and labour; promoting productivity amongst the elderly; and boosting family formation and fertility rates.
President Ambrose Lam affirmed that the Law Society adopts liberal policies that recognise foreign lawyers practising foreign law in Hong Kong, and conducts the Overseas Lawyers Qualification Examinations to ensure the admission of high calibre foreign lawyers as Hong Kong solicitors. He noted that the level of liberalisation must be appropriate to local needs and capable of supervision by existing regimes. Comments from the floor echoed that the Law Society has actively contributed to civic education of core social values (eg. the rule of law) in its school outreach programs. The Law Society aims to be an active agent in the community and to continue assisting the integration of new immigrants in society.
Hong Kong is undergoing rapid demographic changes with an aging population, declining fertility rate, longer life expectancy and a steady increase of new immigrants. These factors can create tremendous social, economic and political impact on every industry and profession. As shown in the Forum, professionals can contribute substantially to population policies.
Committee Member, YSG