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New Office Promotes Free Flow of Talent

The Shanghai branch of the Shanghai and Hong Kong Office for Professionals' Exchange and Cooperation Service was launched in the city yesterday, the Shanghai Personnel Bureau said.

The office was set up following a plan to recruit professionals, issued during Mayor Han Zheng's visit to Hong Kong last month, vowing to promote free flow of professionals between the two cities.

Cooperating with its Hong Kong counterpart, the Shanghai branch will be mainly responsible for publicizing job data and offering consultation, registration and other personnel services to professionals from the island.

"The launch of the office marks the start of cooperation in professional exchanges between the two cities," said Lu Min, the bureau official.

Last month, Shanghai offered more than 1,015 job positions in local government departments, universities and companies to lure Hong Kong professionals to the city.

So far, more than 60 Hong Kong natives who have passed preliminary selection have attended tele-interviews, with the number of applicants triple that of interviewees.

Two of those interviewed have already signed work contracts with their local employers, the bureau revealed.

"Vacancies in companies are being lapped up due to the flexible personnel system and the relatively high salary," Lu said, adding that the maximum annual income being offered is 5 million yuan (US$602,410).

With the narrowing of income gap between the two cities, as well as preferential policies being offered to Hong Kong professionals, such as residence permits and welfare plans, a growing number of Hong Kong people are willing to work in the city, Lu added.

Shanghai now boasts 3,432 Hong Kong people with jobs in the city.

"I feel at home here because the two cities are alike. Here I have better career prospects," said Phileas Law, a Hong Kong native who is manager of Mayfair Hotel in Shanghai.

(eastday.com November 12, 2003)

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