Government keen to attract foreign talent to boost workforce

By Liu Xiangrui ( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-12-25 07:48:25

Government keen to attract foreign talent to boost workforce

Zhang Jianguo, director of the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs.[Photo provided to China Daily]

China is seeking to attract more foreign talent during the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) as well as to create a better environment for foreigners seeking opportunities in China, according to Zhang Jianguo, director of the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs.

President Xi Jinping has held three meetings with foreign experts and emphasized China should be a country that learns from others and uses talent without prejudice against their origins or backgrounds.

Premier Li Keqiang holds a discussion panel with foreign experts working in China ahead of every Spring Festival. He also meets foreign experts who have won the nation's Friendship Awards annually to listen to their suggestions for China's economic development.

Earlier this month, advice on China's new Five-Year Plan (2016-20) was sought by the Cabinet from top international economists along with their Chinese counterparts at a seminar held by the National Development and Reform Commission. The seminar was attended by Premier Li.

It was the first time that the State Council had invited domestic as well as foreign experts to give advice on the preparation of a five-year plan.

The joint efforts are aimed at ensuring that the new development blueprint matches the reality of local conditions.

Such sessions show that the central government attaches great importance to foreign talent and foreign-experts affairs, Zhang says.

He says his administration has been sticking to the nation's general development strategies, actively promoting international exchanges and attracting intellectual resources, making remarkable progress in the past few years.

Meanwhile, figures show that the foreign experts' talent and educational backgrounds are more diverse and they are more intellectually advanced.

The number of high-level experts introduced to China has grown, and distribution of foreign intellectual resources is improving in terms of both industries and regions, Zhang says.

"The system for the introduction of foreign talent and intellectual resources is more mature as relevant policies and laws are carried out and a market-oriented mechanism is taking shape," Zhang says.

In recent years, the Chinese government has given a lot of value to foreign experts' suggestions as a means of policy consultation.

In January, the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs and the Research Office of the State Council jointly held a special seminar to seek advice from foreign experts for the State Council's annual government report.

"The move is unprecedented, and it shows the Chinese government's open and inclusive attitude, as well as its willingness to learn from others," Zhang says.

In 2012, the administration also launched the Foreign Experts Recommendation Symposium, which has served as a think tank for the Chinese government.

The participants' contributions at the symposiums have been collected and made into formal reports which have submitted to the nation's top leaders and relevant ministries to be used as reference for policymaking.

In 2015, the administration submitted 10 batches of foreign experts' suggestions, covering topics like alleviating financial risks, green development, efficient use of energy and healthcare reform, to the nation's top leaders and relevant ministries as references for their policymaking.

"We will further enhance the mechanism to encourage more foreign experts to give suggestions to help the government improve its administrative capability," Zhang says.

The symposium is held in a different place each year. For example, this year it was held in the Ningxia Hui autonomous region in Northwest China.

"We hope in this way we can help the foreign experts learn more about the culture and traditions of China, but more importantly, about the social and economic realities of different parts of China."

On Oct 1, the administration started providing complimentary newspaper copies of China Daily to foreign experts in China to help them better understand the country. The move has been welcomed by the experts, according to Zhang.

Zhang wants to thank all the foreign experts who have contributed to China's development, and send them his warmest greetings for Christmas and New Year on behalf of the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs.

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