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Senior positions offered to expats
( 2004-01-07 09:58) (China Daily by Zou Huilin)

Shanghai municipal government is considering offering high-ranking positions to foreigners who have experience of working in foreign governments or for big-name companies.

Foreigners that meet the requirements will be hired as advisors in the initial phase, said Huang Weimao, chief of the international co-operation department of the personnel bureau.

Such foreigners, who must pass strict tests set by the municipal government, may work as advisors for the Municipal Development and Restructuring Commission in the initial phase, Huang said.

As staff members, qualified foreigners may be hired in the short term for positions that will be designated for them in the long term, Huang said.

Positions to be offered will be from the level of division chief up to deputy directors of bureaux. Hiring foreigners for higher positions is not being considered yet.

Analysts said competition among Chinese cities for outside skills is likely to urge local authorities to consider hiring foreigners sooner than generally expected.

Huang vowed Shanghai will lead other cities including Beijing and Guangzhou in the introduction of overseas personnel.

According to current plans, the municipal government will open governmental positions to overseas Chinese for the first time.

More than 300 posts in local governments will be available for overseas Chinese by 2005.

While offering the positions to overseas Chinese professionals, the city also welcomes high quality professionals from Hong Kong who want to pursue their career development in Shanghai.

Shanghai has offered 1,015 posts on the Hong Kong human resource market after signing the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland.

Officials in charge of recruiting skilled people from Hong Kong said up till now, they have received more than 2,000 applications with resumes.

Meanwhile, page views on the website which provides all the details of these posts have exceeded 100,000 per day.

The first 11 people from Hong Kong have already settled down in the city and the second group of 33 have signed contracts with their employers.

Fu Minsheng, one of the Hong Kong residents who have settled down here, said the city offers better career development opportunities as it is growing at a tremendous speed.

"The living standard here is almost like that in Hong Kong. I find it easy to adapt to Shanghai's environment,'' he said.

The Hong Kong professionals, as well as the overseas Chinese professionals working in the city, enjoy the same treatment Shanghai citizens have in terms of their lifestyle, work and social security, according to the Shanghai Labour and Social Security Bureau.

Sun Luyi, director of the Shanghai Municipal Personnel Bureau, believes more professionals with international perspectives working in Shanghai will help the city become one of the world's leading cities as soon as possible, for it is able to adapt to economic globalization.

The city will open its door wider to professionals from all over the world, with human resource administration departments busy designing campaigns to attract professionals and top-level graduates.

After winning the bid for World Expo 2010, professions related to the exhibition industry "are still in great need,'' including architecture, project management and interpretation, said Sun Luyi.

The demand for professionals in the financial, logistics, advanced manufacturing and urban planning sectors is also on the rise.

"The need coincides with the aim to build Shanghai into an economic, financial, trade and shipping centre,'' he said.

Though Shanghai has many top universities that provide many quality graduates annually, it still requires more professionals familiar with international practices.

Shanghai launched a big project on August 31, 2003 to attract more than 10,000 overseas Chinese professionals. The first part is to provide 1,600 posts by 2005.

Many will have educational and working backgrounds in the world's major cities such as New York, London, Paris and Tokyo.

Among the 1,600 positions, over 20 per cent are at the middle level and above posts in the local governments.

"If comparing the 1,600 posts this year (2004) with those offered to the talents in the previous years, the major change is that most posts are in the State-owned enterprise sector,'' Huang said.

The positions in State-owned enterprises will make up over 15 per cent of the total.

More than 50,000 Chinese professionals who received an education aboard had settled down in the city by 2003, 2,600 of whom had set up more than 2,400 companies with a combined investment of US$400 million.

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