Shenzhen eyes top overseas talent

By Chen Hong (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-08-15 07:11

SHENZHEN: The government of this southern boomtown bordering Hong Kong plans to hold job fairs in North America, Europe and Australia next year to attract top professionals.

Although the move has not been well received by some residents, it has gained the support of overseas returned Chinese and human resources organizations.

"It's very positive. It is a goodwill gesture by the government toward foreigners, especially Chinese people working or studying abroad. It will also help companies attract quality candidates," Ouyang Hui, director of the talent research center of, told China Daily.

William Zheng, a special counsel with US law firm Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, said the government of Shenzhen has created a good opportunity for companies.

"A growing number of Chinese companies are setting up subsidiaries abroad or acquiring foreign companies. They are in great need of senior foreign executives who are not only good at business, but also know the local accounting rules and laws," Zheng said.

The Chinese-American began working in China in 2003.

"Government-sponsored job

fairs have more impact on foreign communities and attract top professionals, more so than individual companies," he said.

According to the Shenzhen office for introducing foreign talents, the city has held job fairs in the United States, Canada, Europe and Hong Kong since 1992. It was the first Chinese mainland city to hold such fairs.

"The fairs have proved successful in attracting overseas professionals," Yin Shaowen, deputy director of the office, said.

The number of overseas returned Chinese surpassed 10,000 in June this year, Yin said. Some of them have set up companies in the city with start-up funds from the government.

"To encourage these people, the government raised the start-up fund for a single project from 150,000 yuan ($20,000) to 300,000 yuan early this year," Yin said.

According to official figures, the city has attracted more than 150,000 overseas technicians and executives in the past 20 years. In the past two years alone, 72,000 have settled in the city.

Mayor Xu Zongheng said the government would soon launch a series of campaigns to make the city a most attractive destination for foreign professionals.

(China Daily 08/15/2007 page5)

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