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Shanghai high-ranking posts offered to foreigners
( 2004-01-07 00:08) (China Daily)

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

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

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 added.

Positions offered will range from the level of division chief to deputy director of bureaus. Hiring foreigners for higher positions has not yet been considered.

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

Huang vowed Shanghai will lead other cities, including Beijing and Guangzhou, in introducing overseas skills.

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

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

Officials in charge of recruiting skilled workers from Hong Kong said that until now they have received more than 2,000 applications.

Meanwhile, page views on the website that provides the details for these posts have exceeded 100,000 hits 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 employers.

Fu Minsheng, one of the Hong Kong residents who has 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.

Hong Kong professionals, as well as overseas Chinese professionals working in the city, enjoy the same treatment Shanghai citizens receive in terms of life, work and social security, according to the Shanghai Labor and Social Security Bureau.

Sun Luyi believes more professionals with an international perspective working in Shanghai will help the city become one of the world's leading centers soon for it is able to adapt to economic globalization.

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

After winning the bid for the World Expo 2010, professions related to the exhibition industry "are still in great need,'' including architecture, project management and interpretation, according to Sun Luyi, director of the Shanghai Municipal Personnel Bureau.

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 center'' said Sun.

Although Shanghai has many top universities supplying 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 phase will provide 1,600 posts by 2005.

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

Among the 1,600 positions, over 20 percent 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 percent of the total.

Insiders believe such brave changes highlight the city's confidence in improving the governmental administration and management of State-owned enterprises.

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.

Lu Min, director of the Yangtze Delta Human Resource Office attached to the personnel bureau, added: "The challenges put forward by globalization will push us to enhance the level of regional economy.''

The office's function is to further promote the exchange of high-level human resources in the Yangtze Delta, including Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces.

Wang Xiaoliao, deputy chief of HR development department of the bureau, said the city is implementing some policies related to human resources development to stimulate the economy in the delta region.

Recently, more than 50 postdoctoral talents from Shanghai's seven universities have signed agreements with 70 private companies in Zhejiang Province. They will provide technologies for 30 projects in these enterprises.

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