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“Foreign Talent” to Join in Shanghai’s Decision-making
Shanghai will import talent from abroad to join its key government decision-making bodies. Currently, over ten departments including the Shanghai Economic Committee and the Personnel Bureau, among others, have made contact with some 26 overseas experts.

According to Shanghai-based Jiefang Daily, engaging foreign experts to act as decision-making consultants to the government is a major policy shift for the local authorities. Indirectly, this shift in policy demonstrates the government’s determination to speed up the process of establishing Shanghai as the most important international economic, financial, trade, and shipping center within the region.

Previously, Shanghai only engaged foreign experts to take part in work relating to technology and administration, and confined them to traditional fields such as culture and the economy. Now, macro-economic strategic developers, city planners and administrators, and specialists in the service sectors such as financiers and insurance experts, international trade experts, shipping experts, hospitality and tourism experts, as well as bio-technologists and electronic and IT professionals have all become the focus for advice. The permissible working fields for “foreign consultants” have been expanded to include technology and administration for government decision-making bodies.

To participate in the government decision-making bodies, foreign consultants should possess high-level international qualifications. Shanghai has set a high standard for foreign experts joining their “decision-making stratum”: These professionals must be acknowledged authorities within their fields and have rich experiences in cross-cultural and transnational capital management and operations.

For example, the “decision-making consultation expert” to the Shanghai Bureau of Intellectual Property Rights is one of the founders of the international intellectual property rights organization and senior expert for international property rights laws.

Foreign consultants joining the government decision-making stratum demonstrate Shanghai’s increasing devotion to “borrowing foreign brain power,” and inviting foreign experts to participate in modernization. Nowadays, there are about 50,000 foreign experts coming to Shanghai every year for both short-term and long-term contracts in various fields.

To encourage foreign experts to contribute their wisdom, the Shanghai Personnel Bureau has opened a special website (www.oversea.21cnhr.com), and established an overseas talent registration database. A portal for attracting talent from abroad is also under construction, with the Paris Liaisons Office starting business in September and America and Germany liaison offices to begin later this year. These links will help distribute foreign talent throughout Shanghai. Many district and county governments in Shanghai will also list their agendas in an effort to encourage “foreign advisors” to participate in their decision-making processes.

(china.org.cn by Li Xiao, September 26, 2002)

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