Returning overseas Chinese bolster district’s goal
After living in New York for nearly two decades, investor and financier Zhang Wen sold his IT company and returned to China to help the local government set up an industrial park for companies that make LED chips.
He also set up Enraytek Optoelectronics Co Ltd in 2011 and Summit Capital Equity Investment Fund Management (Shanghai) Co Ltd in 2013.
It took Zhang three years to get the business park up and running in Lingang New City in Pudong.
The park boasts a full industrial chain where the chips are designed, manufactured, packaged and applied.
“I chose Pudong because it is the best place in China to amass high technology, talented staff and capital quickly,” said Zhang, who invited some friends from the US to work in the research and development laboratory of his LEDmanufacturing firm.
“Pudong is full of multinationals and advanced technology from around the world. It also provides a convenient business service environment, which attracts entrepreneurs and investors from everywhere,” said Zhang.
The 41-year-old Harvard graduate majored in IT and used to work as a private equity lawyer. But it was in his capacity as an experienced investor that he came to Shanghai four years ago to help set up the industrial park.
The former Wall Street investor found that a number of industries in China were struggling to get financial support, which was impeding their growth.
Now he is seeking high-tech projects to level up the innovative abilities of local enterprises. One that he is involved with offers men customized 3D scanning services for fitted suits.
Zhang is one of many Chinese who have returned from overseas to find Pudong a perfect fit as it tries to build a pool of highly talented financial workers.
As of 2013, 240,000 financial professionals were working in the area, accounting for 60 percent of those in the city, according to a research paper released by the Pudong Financial Service Bureau this year.
Over 20,600 are Chinese who have returned from overseas. Since 2007, Pudong has held annual meetings to attract overseas Chinese entrepreneurs like Zhang to invest or work in the area.
Talented human resources are the key factor that will decide the future success of Lujiazui financial area, Pudong’s de facto downtown, according to local government officials.
Jian Danian, the deputy district chief of Pudong, compared high-caliber financial personnel to an “invisible Shanghai Tower” in a recent article carried by the Xinmin Evening News. He was referring to the almost-finished building in Lujiazui that now ranks as the nation’s highest skyscraper at 632 meters.
“Many overseas Chinese like me who already have a green card in the US are thinking about the ways in which they can contribute to the motherland,” Zhang said.
China has not issued many green cards compared to countries like the US but recent gestures from the central government suggest there is growing interest in making them more widely available.
“I expect Pudong will continue to attract many talented professionals, so it will be even more convenient to live and work here,” said Zhang. The merging of Nanhui district
into Pudong was approved. The 28.78-sq-km China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone was officially launched in Pudong. The State-run Shanghai Gold Exchange established China’s first international board in the
free trade zone.