HONG KONG - China"s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and the Netherlands on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to mark the establishment of a bilateral Working Holiday Scheme for young people of the two places.
The agreement was signed by the HKSAR government"s Secretary for Labor and Welfare, Law Chi-kwong, and the Consul General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Hong Kong, Annemieke Ruigrok.
Law said, "Apart from broadening their horizons, this scheme provides an opportunity for young people in Hong Kong and the Netherlands to gain living and working experience in a foreign culture."
Ruigrok hailed the MoU as a sign of the excellent shape of friendly relations between the Netherlands and Hong Kong. She encouraged young people to make full use of the opportunities provided by the scheme. "This will lead to a deeper understanding of each other"s cultures, which will further strengthen our relations, today and in the future," she said.
The scheme with the Netherlands is Hong Kong"s 13th working holiday scheme. Since 2001, Hong Kong has established working holiday schemes with New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, Germany, Japan, Canada, South Korea, France, Britain, Austria, Hungary and Sweden. So far, more than 85,000 Hong Kong youths have benefited from these schemes.
The working holiday scheme between Hong Kong and the Netherlands will commence operation on Jan 1 next year. Under the scheme, youths from each side will be able to apply for a visa, which will allow them to stay in the Netherlands or Hong Kong for up to 12 months. During the period, they may work to finance their stay or study short-term courses. There will be an annual quota of 100 from each side.