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[China Daily] Talent flows when city offers benefits

Last updated :2017-06-13

Source: China Daily 2017-06-13
By Zheng Caixiong in Guangzhou

Guangzhou has become a major destination for talent after the city launched a special "green card" program last year, official data suggest.

The city government said on Monday that it had issued 1,560 of its so-called talent green cards as of the end of March, including 68 to citizens of the United States.

The cards entitle residents from China or abroad to the same rights and services as locals, such as permanent residency, being able to purchase property or cars, sending their children to public schools, and enjoying the same employment and healthcare benefits.

The capital of Guangdong province launched the initiative on June 1 last year as part of an effort to attract outside talent to reinforce sustainable economic growth.

Cards were issued to 165 people from 11 countries and regions as well as 368 people from Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Shenzhen, according to the city. Foreign applicants are not required to first hold a permanent resident permit.

Guangzhou aims to attract more than 2, 300 talented people annually from home and abroad for sustainable economic development. To that end, it established a number of industrial development parks and incubators for outside talent to start businesses and generate technological innovations.

Liang Yucheng, a professor of social sciences and humanities at Sun Yat-sen University, predicted the green card program will help Guangzhou further expand Sino-foreign scientific cooperation and exchanges.

Companies where these people work will benefit when the workers are relieved of the need to spend money and time in applying for visas and work permits and going through exit and entry procedures, he said.

"The talent green cards will help Guangzhou further improve its competitiveness,” he said.

Liang predicted the Guangzhou talent pool would grow steadily in the coming months
.

In addition to US citizens, 37 residents from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan were also granted green cards. Those were followed by Canada with 15 people and Australia with 11.

The growing number of talented workers coming from outside the city indicates that Guangzhou remains a major destination for Chinese, the authorities said.

Wang Ting contributed to this story.