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Chengdu fishes for the world's top professionals

By Huang Zhiling in Chengdu | China Daily | Updated: 2017-04-26 08:12

Chengdu fishes for the world's top professionals

Two exhibitors from the Czech Republic assemble a jet at a trade fair in Chengdu, Sichuan province, in October 2013. [Photo by Yu Ping/For China Daily]

The Shuangliu district of Chengdu in Sichuan province plans to become home to top professionals in international trade, finance and law from different parts of the world, to meet the needs arising from its inclusion in the China (Sichuan) Pilot Free Trade Zone.

It will rely on headhunters to hire such talent, offering each professional an annual salary of nearly 2 million yuan ($290,550), said Jiang Liwang, chief of the General Office of the Administrative Bureau of the Shuangliu section of China (Sichuan) Pilot Free Trade Zone.

On April 1, the unveiling ceremony for the China (Sichuan) Pilot Free Trade Zone was formally held in Chengdu. The zone consists of two parts: Chengdu in western Sichuan and Luzhou in southern Sichuan.

The Sichuan FTZ covers nearly 120 square kilometers, with 100 sq km in Chengdu and the rest in Luzhou. Of the Chengdu part, more than 34 sq km are in Shuangliu.

Wei Shuangdan, a policewoman with the Gongxing Town Police Station in Shuangliu, was transferred to the government service center of the Shuangliu part of the free trade zone more than two weeks ago. She will serve as the chief representative of the Shuangliu District Public Security Bureau in the Government Service Center.

She landed the coveted job thanks to her proficiency in English. She had passed the English Majors Band 8, the highest-level test for English learners in China.

"I graduated from an institution of higher learning a decade ago and seldom spoke English as a policewoman. I lamented my English major was useless," Wei said.

Her story reflects the shortage of professionals in the Sichuan FTZ, particularly in Shuangliu, one of the most advanced regions inthe zone. According to sources in the Sichuan provincial government, the Luzhou section of the FTZ is also considering wooing top professionals from different parts of the world.

The zone's Chengdu section has advantages like airport and railway transportation and the Luzhou section has a port connecting the Yangtze River to the East China Sea.

The Chengdu section will stress development of the modern services sector, high-end manufacturing, high-tech and airport-dependent economy. The Luzhou section will emphasize shipping logistics, port trade, equipment, food and beverage manufacturing, said Tang Limin, chief of the General Office of the Sichuan provincial government.

An inland province known for its inaccessibility in ancient times, Sichuan is the most advanced region in western China, thanks to the implementation of China's reforms and opening-up policies in the late 1970s and its go-west strategies adopted at the turn of the 21st century.

Most of the world's Fortune 500 firms have set up offices in Sichuan and the province has more foreign investment than any other region in western China.

"The unveiling of the China (Sichuan) Pilot FTZ will have a lasting influence on the province's economic, cultural and social fabric," said Yao Yi, president of the Institute of Economics, part of the Sichuan Provincial Academy of Social Sciences.

The FTZ means a new round of reform and opening up to the outside world. Benefits of its reform are expected to liberalize trade and investment, Yao said.

The FTZ also means two way free flow of top talent and capital, said Yao, adding systems have to be in place to spur more trade and higher investment.

The Sichuan Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau headquartered in Chengdu has formulated 10 inspection and quarantine systems to facilitate trade. This will shorten the quarantine time for special products such as blood to three days at most. The validity of the certificate of quarantine approval will be extended from three to 12 months.

It has started to process applications online for products to be processed, according to Ma Dongmei, an information officer with the administration.

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