A professional highland built on a foundation of talent
Pudong has long been a melting pot of innovation and at the cutting edge of business, industry and commerce. It has been home to 1.37 million professionals of all trades, including 36,000 from overseas. The new area introduced five Nobel Laureates, 90 top academics from home and abroad and has 219 experts included in China’s “Thousand Talents Program.”
But it is still not enough. Pudong wants to do more and has unveiled a clear strategy to attract and retain more outstanding talent from across the world to build a “highland” for professionals by 2020.
To reach this goal, a set of 35 policies has been released by the Pudong human resources bureau.
It is the first time the new area has granted permanent residences to not only prestigious overseas research fellows but also to their work pals. The policy is being piloted in the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone. Thanks to this new policy, at most six full members of a research group, focusing on studies essential to China’s next generation development, such as artificial intelligence, software and integrated circuits, can obtain permanent residences or green cards.
Previously, only the group leader enjoyed the privilege while his or her teammates have had to renew their visas on a constant basis.
Additionally, best performing overseas graduates, who have worked in the city for three years are now entitled to apply for permanent residence.
Shanghai allows regional headquarters of transnational companies, investment companies and foreign-funded research and development centers, which are registered in Pudong’s Zhangjiang and the Shanghai FTZ, to employ graduates from leading foreign universities, with or without work experience.
The newly established Administration of Overseas Talent offers a one-stop service for skilled workers from abroad. The administration makes the processing of work permits to foreign workers more efficient. It is responsible for handling applications for Chinese permanent residence permits as well as testing out innovative methods for streamlining administration services.
Overseas talent recruited by universities and research institutes are allowed to work part-time for companies operating in the FTZ.
Favorable policies for talent
Meanwhile, top overseas talent, with permanent residence permits, can enjoy the same favorable policies as local startups if they set up technology firms in the FTZ.
As Shanghai is accelerating the expansion of Zhangjiang High-Tech Park to create a “science city,” talent who work for the key facilities in the core area of Zhangjiang were given priority access to permanent residence.
Pudong also widened the approval for Chinese-foreign joint cooperatives in running education and training facilities and simplified the approval procedure for the establishment of online training facilities.
A service counter for top talent has been established in Pudong. The introduction of world-class talent will be fulfilled case by case.
Pudong has implemented seven projects focusing on leading figures, supportive roles and young talent who are dedicated to major strategies, industries or work in key areas to promote the cultivation of talent and provide them adequate incentives.
Seven platforms focusing on the innovation and entrepreneurship, including the Pudong International Talent Harbor, are being built at the same time to provide talent a broader space for their development.
The talent harbor in central Zhangjiang is expected to become an institution with the capability to allocate global human resources.
It will become a public institution to introduce talent and support innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as a talent service hub with the best experience, the highest efficiency and the best service.
At present, the talent harbor is surrounded by Zhangjiang Laboratory, Tsung-Dao Lee Institute and the national quantum center. The regional headquarters of COMAC, IBM, Baidu and Alibaba are also in the vicinity.
The next step is to strengthen and improve the service to create five platforms featuring public services and institutions for talent, exchange activities for high-level talent, the publicity and exhibition of talent as well as the online service for talent.
Maintaining a city’s success over the long term is also about creating an inclusive urban society, where everyone can flourish through work and leisure.
Hence, Pudong has mapped out a plan to build 9,000 flats in Zhangjiang to better serve professionals from out of towns and will offer them rent subsidies. It plans to prepare 150,000 condos in the next three years to accommodate more talent.
Building more apartments
The first phase construction of apartments for rent will be launched at Sunqiao. As part of the future international community, it occupies an area of 65,000 square meters. A total of 1,226 well-furnished condos will be available after the construction is completed.
Subway and bus lines will run through the Zhangjiang science city to connect office buildings, renovated factory houses and innovation parks for startups. More expressways to link to Shanghai’s railway stations, airports and downtown areas have been planned.
At least 18 international schools and 10 foreign-run health care centers are among other public facilities which will be built to serve residents, most of whom are scientists, research fellows, senior executives and their families.
The science city will be surrounded by a greenbelt. Continuous paths for walking and cycling along the Chuanyang River, small parks and public plazas will be built within the area.
It aims to attract 500 renowned scientists and experts by the end of 2020. Over 20,000 professionals from abroad and overseas graduates will work in Zhangjiang by then, according to the Pudong government.