Shanghai Hongqiao One-stop Overseas Talents Service Center located in Hongqiao Linkong Economic Park received more than 18,000 employees from foreign countries and Chinese Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau for employment service during the first three quarters of 2016, taking up 1/5 of the total handling amount of the last five years.
High internationalization has been a significant feature of Changning’s talent structure, and talent building has been an important driving force for industrial development in Changning. “Being innovation-driven is in fact being talent-driven; without the advantage of talent, there’ll be no advantage of innovation, science and technology and industry.” In the eyes of Wang Weiren, Chief of CPC Changning Committee, the Hongqiao Talent Special Zone that Changning will build should be special in both in the policy and in the environment, service and innovation.
During the 13th Five-year Plan, Changning will try to gather more int’l high-end talents and innovative talents for Shanghai based on the two strategies of industrial development and urban renewal and focused on the three key industries of aviation service, “Internet Plus Consumer Service” and fashion and creative industry. However, what kind of environment, service and innovation can attract quality talents?
Building convenient platform for talent service
The talent structure in Changning is characteristic of the large proportion taken by overseas talents. This can be attributed to both the international environment that Changning has been creating and the service platforms built up by Changning in recent years for domestic and overseas talents, as well as an optimizing mechanism of talent introduction.
As early as December 2013, Changning launched a special window for handling the application for employment of foreigners and people from Chinese Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau. After trial operation for some time, Shanghai Hongqiao One-stop Overseas Talents Service Center was inaugurated in Linkong Park on March 21 this year to imitate and spread the experience of China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone; starting June 30, Changning took the lead in Shanghai to provide services in handling employment permits for foreigners (and those from Chinese Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan), foreign expert certificate, overseas talent residence permit and foreigner’s residence permit.
The fast responding talent policy obviously boosted the attraction of Changning among talents and enterprises. From January to September this year, the “one-stop” service center has received 18,180 for 5,115 services, with 3,198 certificates issued, 8,005 consultants received and 1,862 express delivery businesses provided, receiving about 93 per day. The business handling amount was only second to Pudong New Area.
According to the latest data offered by Changning District Human Resources and Social Security Bureau, there’re now about 69,000 foreigners from 78 countries and regions living in Changning, which covered about 25% of the total number of foreigners in Shanghai.
But Changning actually features another natural regional advantage to provide the most indispensible convenience for worldwide talents. Located at the intersection between Shanghai-Nanjing and Shanghai-Hangzhou Development Axis, Changning has Hongqiao Int’l Airport and Hongqiao Traffic Hub to serve as an important joint for domestic and overseas communications of Shanghai and a natural transit between the downtown and the Greater Hongqiao Area.
“It’s close to the downtown and the airport and hi-speed railway station, and I can buy almost anything I want here.” Jan Kreibaum, winner of Shanghai White Magnolia Award and Regional President of Greater China, Clariant said he “felt in love with the place at the first sight” because of its top geographical position. He started his life in Changning in 2012 and began to work for Clariant the next year. His company was in Linkong Economic Park, only 15 minutes’ drive from Hongqiao Airport.
Creating ideal business environment
Based on its outstanding trading functions and modern service industry, Changning will strive to create a cluster area of sci-tech innovation talents during the 13th Five-year Plan to help boost the building of Hongqiao Talent Special Zone.
“The industrial system is the key to talent quality, and the talent quality is the key to industrial development.” Changning District directors believed only world-class talents could give rise to industries of world-class influence.
That’s why Changning District issued Catalog for Industrial Development in Changning District (2016) this May, focused on clustering high-end modern service industries. The Catalog includes 36 categories in total lying in seven sub-industries of modern service industry and strategic emerging industries, mainly in the fields of aviation service, information service, modern commerce and trade, professional service, financial service, social service, MICE tourism, new-tech and hi-tech industry, biomedicine and energy conservation and environmental protection, covering most fields for Changning’s industrial basis and future development.
With such a clear direction of industrial development, Changning came to have a clearer roadmap for absorbing talents, and it’s made important for enhancing comprehensive talent service in Changning to create an ideal business environment.
“Many businessmen in Shanghai can choose to fly by passport only, because their ID cards have to be held by their secretaries for the need of applying for licenses.” This is the most significant problem raised by enterprises this summer, after Changning District Government Leadership led relevant departments to visit 1,000 businesses in the district. Thus, the call for “one license for multiple addresses” became higher and higher.
Soon Changning launched a pilot registration of “one license for multiple addresses” this July, stipulating that domestic enterprises that are engaged in “Internet Plus Consumer Service” in Changning without disturbing local residents or impairing surrounding environment and public security are entitled to apply for adding new business addresses to the original business license when they want to add one or more sites for business operation in Changning District.
“It will be more convenient to add sites in Changning in the future; a quick visit to the market supervision department will satisfy.” Zhang Ye, President of Shanghai Anxianda Logistics Sci-tech Co., Ltd., believed the new policy of “one license for multiple addresses” greatly saves the cost of human resources and time in expanding branches to help enterprises seize previous business opportunities. In the business license issued to Anxianda lately, two other sites on Xianxia Road and East Kele Road have been marked in addition to the enterprise headquarters on Jinzhong Road.
Gathering more talents for emerging industries
Among the three pillar industries abovementioned, aviation service features an especially strong driving force for regional economy in Changning.
Since “Shanghai Hongqiao Aviation Service Innovation Pilot Area” was inaugurated last May, more than 300 enterprises have set up offices in the area, with 30-plus key projects in aviation service provided. In the first half of this year, enterprises above designated size of aviation service in Changning District fulfilled an output value of 3.881 billion yuan, rising by 15% year on year, showing the steady rapid growth of aviation service.
The shortage of pilots has been a headache for major airlines, and limits on the policy of absorbing and settling relevant talents have caused great troubles to pilots and airlines. Captain Tang Wenhan of Air China has long had the wish to settle down in Shanghai but has been restricted from house purchase as he has no household register in Shanghai. Thus, Changning District Talent Service Center launched the special policy for pilot’s household registration and soon had Tang settled down in Shanghai.
With CAAC, China Aviation Oil, Spring Airlines and E-commerce Service Platform of China Eastern Airlines starting business in the Pilot Area, Changning is striving to build clusters of aviation service talents on the basis of three industrial circles, namely, airlines headquarters, aviation operation service and supporting facilities, and air logistics, hoping to attract more professionals in aviation service.
Changning is also focused on promoting industrial transformation by sci-tech so that it guided and supported the building of high-quality co-creation spaces and resorted to professional teams to settle such spaces of good brands, high quality and industrial uniqueness, with an assessment index system for co-creation spaces rounded.
So far there have been 21 bases in the pilot area recognized as municipal sci-tech business incubator and new-type incubator, and six incubators won the title of State-level Co-creation Space, the number ranking among Top 3 in Shanghai.
The concentration of emerging industries and co-creation spaces not only provided firmer soft power for Changning to attract innovation and high quality talents but shall contribute strong momentum to the building of an elite international district.