Yangpu acts to lure top foreign talent

The district is seeking advice from expatriates to help it to do so. It is already promising better services to entice more foreigners to work in Yangpu.
Cai Yaofang / Ti Gong

A bird's eye view on the Xinjiangwan Town Cultural Center where various services are offered to foreign residents living nearby.

Yangpu District on Wednesday invited about 100 expatriates to a meeting, pledging to offer them better services as part of its effort to bring in more overseas professionals.

The district government aims to showcase its "international vision" to the invited senior company officials, diplomats, industrial leaders and entrepreneurs from overseas, the district government said.

The gathering was held ahead of the mid-Autumn Festival that falls on October 4 this year in an international community service center in Xinjiangwan Town.

"Yangpu will pose a more open gesture to promote its international development," said Li Yaping, deputy director with the district. "It aims to become a scientific and innovation center with global influence as well as a national base for entrepreneurship," Li told the guests.

To achieve that goal, the district first aims to attract more international companies to set up their regional headquarters in Yangpu, apart from those already based in the northern district like Siemens, IBM, Henkel, Nike and KFC, she said. Senior officials of these companies were present.

More overseas educational and medical institutes will be built to offer services to an increasing number of foreigners to live or work in Yangpu, she added.

Negotiation is under way for an English-language international school to open a campus in the district.

Construction has started on a campus for German and French schools in Yangpu to meet the rising demand of expats for quality education for their children.

The 50,000-square-meter Shanghai Eurocampus, supported by the governments of both nations and the Yangpu District, will open in 2018 to offer education from kindergarten through high school for 2,000 German and French-speaking children.

Shanghai is the biggest investment destination in China for over 2,000 German and French companies. Most of them are living and working in Yangpu, according to the district government.

Jiahui Health, a joint venture health group, has also opened the first international hospital in the district.

Wang Xiuyuan / Ti Gong

Chinese residents performed traditional dances to their foreign neighbors at a gathering ahead of the mid-Autumn Festival.

"Yangpu is a nice place that makes me feel peaceful," said Georges Billard, a French freshman from Bordeaux at Fudan University. Yesterday, he represented an international football team in Yangpu to exchange team flags with a Yangpu football team.

"We hope to play with more soccer teams and exchange with our local counterparts," Billard said.

Abbes Hiri from Algeria said he has benefited from an employment policy offered by the Yangpu government that foreign graduates like him do not need working experience to get employment in Yangpu.

"The district government knows how to treat valuable foreign talent and make us free to innovate," Hiri said. He plans to open a startup company in Yangpu and now serves as a volunteer at a library in the Xinjiangwan community.

The effort is part of a citywide trend for downtown districts to attract foreign professionals, including returning Chinese to live and work in the city.

Xuhui District has has built about 2,000 low-rent apartments along Huangpu River to accommodate professionals — with the lowest rents at 1,800 yuan (US$273) a month.

In neighboring Hongkou District, the government has managed to shorten the process for highly skilled foreigners applying for work permits to just four days.

Wang Xiuyuan / Ti Gong

About 100 senior company officials, diplomats, industrial leaders and entrepreneurs from overseas are present the meeting.

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