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Guangdong woos worldwide talent
( 2003-12-29 09:57) (China Daily by Zheng Caixiong)

South China's Guangdong Province may be drained dry of enough talented job seekers to sustain its remarkable economic growth, officials fear.

The province's officials have turned their eyes on the world's talent pool, hoping to compete with Beijing and Shanghai on an equal footing in attracting people to come to Guangdong.

Part of their strategy is a new Residence Card, or "green card" system, designed to attract professionals, as well as investors from outside the mainland, Tan Zhangqiu, director-general of the province's personnel bureau, said yesterday.

Based on Guangdong's good living standard, working environment and its geographical position, Tan believes the province with prosperous cities in the Pearl River Delta can become a prime destination for international expertise, including compatriots from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao.

The prosperous province, one of China's economic powerhouses, is targetting people in industries such as logistics, bio-engineering, automobiles, electronics, information technologies, petrochemicals and finance, officials said.

According to a new regulation, issued in November, overseas individuals granted a green card in Guangdong Province will not have to give up their overseas permanent residences or nationalities.

Apart from the right to vote and to stand for election, all overseas people who have been granted green cards in Guangdong enjoy the same privileges as locals.

That includes medical care, housing, children's education, purchase of houses and cars, driver's licences and welfare.

In the previous years, only local residents who had a household registration, or, hukou, in the province could enjoy such privileges.

The green cards have time limits of six months, one, three and five years. And holders can apply for extensions on their cards when their cards expire.

Relevant province departments, bureaux and units have been required to combine their efforts to better serve green card holders, Tan said.

And last month, Shenzhen which borders Hong Kong - took the lead in the province to grant green cards to 10 overseas people.

Shenzhen's green card holders have included mainly Chinese scholars and scientists returning from abroad, as well as managers of local foreign-funded companies and joint ventures.

More than 250,000 overseas personnel, including compatriots from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao are now working in Guangdong Province.

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