Foreign top talent to get equal treatment

Li Qian
The city had introduced a raft of new policies with the aim of improving the business environment for foreigners.
Li Qian

The Pudong New Area has emerged as the pioneer in the country in granting favorable policies to overseas professionals to give them equal treatment as local people as part of the area’s 20 newly-released policies aimed at improving the business environment and fostering development. 

Under the new rules, top foreign professionals, with permanent residence cards, will be able to set up technology companies and start a limited liability partnership at the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, which was only open to Chinese citizens so far. 

They can also enjoy the same favorable policies as local startups under the new policy set released by Pudong’s market watchdog.

“They can benefit from a series of favorable policies related to fundraising and going public,” said Wu Weiping, director of the Pudong Market Supervision Administration. “We can introduce more ‘foreign brains’ to help better develop Shanghai FTZ.”

Top foreign professionals are classified as award winners, renowned scholars, and elites in their fields, among other categories. Their status have to be recognized by the city government or the Pudong government.

The FTZ was the first to allow scientists and research institutions to register their medical inventions and instruments without having their own factory and production line. The policy was drafted in December. Officials yesterday said they will get the policy started as soon as possible.

Another highlight of the new policies is a simplified administration process. 

Firms established by Chinese citizens and registered at the FTZ are allowed to open branches using one business license.

“Previously, it cost us at least three to four workdays to go through the procedures to be licensed as a branch. But now, we just need to tell officials and they put it on record,” said an official of the Shanghai Fushang Intellectual Property Agency.

Shanghai aims to create a more friendly environment for companies by 2035 under an urban construction plan published last week. By then, the number of annual overseas visitors to the city is estimated to reach 14 million, while the population of foreigners living in Shanghai will hit 800,000. 

Shanghai has around 170,000 foreign residents at present.

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