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New English Tests Introduced to Mainland
A series of all-English examinations developed by Britain's London Chamber of Commerce and Industry Examinations Board have been introduced to China to provide a standard vocational qualification.

"As a result of China's entry into the World Trade Organization, there is an ever-growing need for talented people with international business knowledge and for professional specialists, and our vocational training and exams meet this need," said Zhang Lan, the board's project manager in Beijing.

According to Zhang, the newly introduced examinations -- co-sponsored by China's National Education Examinations Authority and the London-based board -- will be conducted entirely in English every March, April, June and November. The tests will fall into four major categories - marketing/sales, accounting, secretarial work and business research.

Applicants will also receive proper vocational training in English before the examinations so they can improve their language skills as well.

The board, one of the largest providers of business qualifications around the world, began co-operating with the Ministry of Labor and Social Security two years ago to promote its operations in China.

"The certificate issued by the board has gained wide recognition among business and commercial enterprises in China during the last two years," said Li Huaikang, the ministry official in charge.

To meet the growing needs of the Chinese market, the board signed a contract with the Chinese education authority on Wednesday to expand the range of its vocational qualifications.

The deal should introduce international business skills to more Chinese.

(China Daily December 20, 2002)

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