Fujian seeks Taiwan's talent

Updated: 2012-01-13 08:06

By Tan Zongyang and Hu Meidong (China Daily)

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FUZHOU - The eastern province of Fujian is trying to lure more professionals from across the Taiwan Straits to lead the construction of the Pingtan experimental development zone, a top official said on Thursday.

The government will continue to implement favorable policies to make Pingtan attractive to talented people, said Su Shulin, governor of Fujian province, when he delivered the annual government work report at the ongoing Fujian People's Congress annual session in Fuzhou on Thursday.

Pingtan, the area on the mainland closest to Taiwan, launched a new program to lure overseas talent for intellectual support in its goal to follow in Shenzhen's footsteps to become the next economic powerhouse.

Over the next five years, Su said the program is expected to attract 1,000 professionals from Taiwan and 1,000 high-caliber people from both home and abroad to work and live in Pingtan. In addition, a new university specialized in marine studies and related subjects will be added to train local talent.

Pingtan includes China's fifth-largest island, and last November a high-speed ferry went into service between Pingtan and Taichung, shortening the travel time across the Straits to about two and a half hours.

The central government approved Pingtan's development plan in 2011, which has set the goal of transforming Pingtan from a county-level island to a hub city with a population of 800,000 by 2030. The plan utilizes the island's proximity to Taiwan much in the same way Shenzhen's development benefited from nearby Hong Kong.

But unlike the creation of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone in the 1980s, which relied mostly on developing labor-intensive industries, Pingtan aims to initially focus on high-tech industries at the upper end of the industrial chain.

"Because Pingtan's development plan is ambitious and in line with an international standard, the new program will bring us more overseas human assets to help ease the shortage of talent," said Wu Pingyun, a local official in charge of inviting and managing talent in Pingtan.

Wu said technology professionals and skilled workers are in great demand because Pingtan has already drawn many high-tech enterprises, especially from Taiwan, to set up shop.

Li Mingfu, chairman of the Xielli (Pingtan) Group Co, a semiconductor manufacturer in Pingtan, said that Taiwan is the first place where he will look for high-end professionals.

"Taiwan has taken the lead in the industry and thus has an abundance of talented people," he said, adding that he did not think it would be difficult to lure them to Pingtan.

China Daily

(China Daily 01/13/2012 page5)