Re­turn­ing over­seas Chi­nese bol­ster dis­trict’s goal

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By YU RAN in Shang­hai yu­ran@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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.

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