Ex­pat as­so­ci­a­tion opened in Pudong

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By ZHOU WENT­ING in Shanghai zhouwent­ing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Thirty out­stand­ing ex­pa­tri­ates from var­i­ous in­dus­tries in Shanghai, and who are also res­i­dents of Pudong New Area, be­came the first batch of mem­bers of the Pudong Overseas Youth As­so­ci­a­tion (POYA) dur­ing its un­veil­ing cer­e­mony on Aug 17.

POYA, founded by the Pudong New Area In­ter­na­tional Ex­change Cen­ter and the Pudong Youth Fed­er­a­tion, is a plat­form with which for­eign­ers can use to learn more about Chi­nese cul­ture, sci­en­tific in­no­va­tions and the lat­est lo­cal poli­cies.

Cul­tural events, work­shops, sem­i­nars and other themed ac­tiv­i­ties will be or­ga­nized reg­u­larly for th­ese for­eign tal­ent to meet and net­work, said Jiang Wei­wei, di­rec­tor of Pudong New Area In­ter­na­tional Ex­change Cen­ter.

The 30 mem­bers are all aged un­der 45 and they hail from 19 coun­tries and 28 com­pa­nies or in­sti­tu­tions in Shanghai. There are more than 72,000 for­eign­ers liv­ing and work­ing in Pudong.

“The first batch of 30 mem­bers are long­time res­i­dents of Pudong and are in­flu­en­tial in their own fields, most of which are Pudong’s pil­lar in­dus­tries,” said Jiang.

Jiang ex­pressed hope that POYA’s mem­bers can be­come am­bas­sadors of Shanghai’s ex­pat com­mu­nity and at­tract more peo­ple who share in the en­thu­si­asm of de­vel­op­ing Pudong.

Chen Xi, chair­man of Shanghai Pudong Youth Fed­er­a­tion, said they had con­sid­ered set­ting up such an as­so­ci­a­tion as early as a year ago, hav­ing re­al­ized that the ex­pat com­mu­nity in the city has been grow­ing rapidly.

“Th­ese ex­pats have con­trib­uted greatly to the de­vel­op­ment of Pudong and we hope they will en­joy a good life here. We hope that this plat­form can im­prove the in­ter­ac­tion be­tween mem­bers of the ex­pat fam­ily in Pudong and the lo­cal com­mu­nity,” said Chen.

Ivan Mishunin from Rus­sia, a pro­fes­sor of piano at Shanghai Con­ser­va­tory of Mu­sic who has been in Shanghai for 10 years, said he ex­pects to be able to make more friends with other ex­pats from dif­fer­ent fields via POYA.

One of first ini­tia­tives by POYA in­volves clean­ing up a beach in sub­ur­ban Shanghai later this year. Jiang said that mem­bers are ea­ger to demon­strate their strong sense of re­spon­si­bil­ity to en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion.

An­drew Bol­stein, vice-pres­i­dent of oper­a­tions at Shanghai Dis­ney Re­sort and a resident of Pudong, was nom­i­nated as the pres­i­dent of the as­so­ci­a­tion.

“My first trip to Shanghai was in 2002 and the changes I have wit­nessed from then to now is sim­ply un­be­liev­able. My two chil­dren have thrived in the city and have had the chance to see the di­ver­sity of cul­tures and the ex­cite­ment of not only China but ev­ery­thing else that’s com­ing here,” said Bol­stein.

“The as­so­ci­a­tion is re­ally some­thing that we should be very ex­cited to be a part of and participate in. Hope­fully, we can make a dif­fer­ence in the city,” he added.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

For­eign mem­bers of Pudong Overseas Youth As­so­ci­a­tion (POYA) learn about Chi­nese tea dur­ing their first gath­er­ing in Shanghai. There are more than 72,000 for­eign­ers liv­ing and work­ing in Pudong.

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