Hong Kong prides itself as an open and international city with a level playing field for all. If we really want to be a world class city like New York, London or Toronto, we would need to demonstrate our tolerance and be receptive of people coming from diverse backgrounds. Literally we need to put our money where our mouth is, not just pay lip service to it but guarantee it by law. Hong Kong is a very multiracial society. We have many kinds of Chinese alone: Hong Kong Chinese, Mainland Chinese and other overseas Chinese. Hong Kong is also home to a very diverse range of communities from the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Nepal, Pakistan, Britain, Japan, Europe, America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, Korea, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, not to mention Jews and Indians from Shanghai! Many Indian and Jewish families came to Hong Kong as refugees from Shanghai and other major cities in China, the same way that many Chinese families did. The racial diversity provides a unique value. It is our link to our trading partners and strengthens Hong Kong as the global trader. More than 2,000 multinational companies maintain regional offices or headquarters in Hong Kong. These multinational firms have played important roles in Hong Kong's economic development. Similarly Hong Kong's homegrown companies have become increasingly global. Eliminating racial discrimination is not only fair, it makes good business sense. Many companies in the world have diversity policy. An example of the benefits of workforce diversity can be demonstrated in the story of the rise in fortunes for a telecom company (CTI) in Hong Kong. About four years ago, this company saw an opportunity to expand its business in Canada because of the vast number of Hong Kong people who had imigrated to Canada. The company's marketing strategy included leaflets in Chinese and, for new customers, a promise to deliver moon cakes during the Mid-Autumn Festival to relatives back in Hong Kong. The...
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