Li prom­ises to ease way for tal­ented for­eign­ers

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHAO SHENGNAN zhaosheng­nan@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

Pledg­ing stepped-up mea­sures to ben­e­fit tal­ented for­eign­ers on Tues­day, Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang made no se­cret of China's de­sire to draw more tal­ent from over­seas as the na­tion deep­ens its re­form and open­ing-up.

China will lower the thresh­old for for­eign­ers to come to the coun­try and stream­line pro­ce­dures for them to in­vest and start busi­nesses here, Li told more than 60 for­eign ex­perts from 32 coun­tries at the Great Hall of the Peo­ple in Bei­jing.

The coun­try will of­fer more in­ter­na­tional prod­ucts and ser­vices for them, mak­ing China a promis­ing land for tal­ent in var­i­ous ar­eas to in­no­vate and suc­ceed, he said in the meet­ing held by the State Ad­min­is­tra­tion of For­eign Ex­perts Af­fairs. Li also promised a sim­pler visa pol­icy and an eas­ier path to a per­ma­nent res­i­dency per­mit, or green card, in China.

The meet­ing be­tween Chi­nese lead­ers and for­eign ex­perts has be­come a muchan­tic­i­pated event be­fore the Chi­nese Lu­nar New Year, which falls on Feb 19 this year. Tues­day's meet­ing marked the sec­ond such gath­er­ing for Li since he took of­fice. He has called a num­ber of times in the past for sim­pli­fied pro­ce­dures to fa­cil­i­tate for­eign­ers' work and life in China.

The num­ber of for­eign ex­perts in China has in­creased from fewer than 10,000 at the end of the 1980s to about 530,000 at the end of 2011, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial fig­ures. Since China be­gan is­su­ing green cards in 2003, it has granted about 500 to for­eign ap­pli­cants an­nu­ally. The United States, by com­par­i­son, is­sues about 1mil­lion a year.

"China should try to adopt a more pos­i­tive, proac­tive and open pol­icy to at­tract in­ter­na­tional tal­ent, and an ef­fi­cient for­eign tal­ent man­age­ment sys­tem is cru­cial," said Yrjo Kalervo So­ta­maa, pro­fes­sor emer­i­tus at the Uni­ver­sity of Art and De­sign Helsinki, in Fin­land.

"For re­cruit­ing for­eign tal­ent, em­ploy­ers and the mar­ket should play a de­ci­sive role. The main con­tri­bu­tion of gov­ern­ment is to cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment and pro­vide ser­vices," said So­ta­maa.

Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang

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