Foreign firms embrace Party branches

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China Daily, June 28, 2011
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The number of foreign enterprise employees in Beijing who have joined the Communist Party of China (CPC) had increased to 2,832 by the end of 2010, officials said at a symposium marking the 20th anniversary of Party branches established in foreign businesses in the capital city.

In 1991, only 51 foreign enterprise employees in Beijing were members of the Party.

A total of 109 Party branches have been established in foreign businesses of the capital city, said Guo Song, Party chief of Beijing Investment Promotion Bureau, which before 2003 was called Beijing Foreign-invested Enterprises Service Center.

But Guo did not reveal how many foreign enterprises have Party branches.

However, it was not always easy to make contact with foreign businesses. At the outset, foreign companies showed the center a cold shoulder.

"It was very hard to set up a Party branch in foreign-owned companies, because they were afraid that the Party branch would affect their personnel management," said Guo.

In 1991, the center visited Tianjin to learn from its experience of how to start Party membership in foreign businesses.

Later on, an association was founded to contact top executives of foreign companies. Meanwhile, the center began to provide employees of foreign companies with training in financial affairs and tax.

Guo said more and more bosses accepted Party branches when they saw the benefits the branches could achieve for their enterprises.

In 1996, 31 branches were set up in 268 foreign businesses, and by year's end the number had soared to 96, involving 1,235 Party members.

Guo said Party membership of foreign businesses has entered a new era as foreign companies become more open to Party branches. At the same time, he said, Party branches must benefit the company and its employees.

He Nanlin, Party chief of Scitter Group Co, said the establishment of House of Foreign-business Employees by the bureau led to great progress because it provided a place where Party members could learn and discuss everything about the CPC.

Party branches have been playing an important role in developing foreign businesses, Party chiefs at the symposium agreed.

Nie Xiaomin, first Party chief of New Dong'an Co, owned by Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd, did a lot of personal research into cost-saving and contributed significantly to cost control at his company.

Last summer, another senior Party member in the company, Xu Hongbo, worked seven straight hours to stop water pouring out after a fire hydrant exploded.

Party branches work with trade unions for better wages for employees.

At New Dong'an Co, the Party branch chief also presides over the trade union. Last summer, the company planned to cancel the hot weather subsidy. Its Party branch chief, Di Jianmin, persuaded senior executives not to proceed with the plan.

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