China's Hawaii goes fishing for talent
Updated: 2013-09-11 08:44
By CHEN JIA in San Francisco (China Daily)
Hainan province — China's "Hawaiian Island" — is intent upon luring high-tech elites from overseas innovation centers, especially in the US.
"The fresh blood will help accelerate our transformation of scientific research achievements into industrial productivity," Jiao Renxiang, chairman of the Haikou New Development District, told China Daily on Tuesday.
In a move to hunt and recruit talent, Jiao led a delegation introducing Hainan's promotional policies and overseas recruiting plans at a panel discussion in San Jose, Silicon Valley, on Tuesday.
The delegation members were from nine cities, counties and districts of Hainan province. "We chose Silicon Valley as our first overseas destination, because talent here could offer us foreign management and high-tech experience as well," he said.
The key industries currently in high demand in Haikou include new materials, electronic information, biology and medicine, aviation, aeronautics and naval navigation.
The delegation also hopes to attract experts in investment and finance, bonded logistics, new energy and petro-chemical processing.
The panel's coordinator was Hu Xuan, marketing manager of Hua Yuan Science and Technology Association (HYSTA), an organization started by Chinese entrepreneurs in the Bay Area to promote high-tech entrepreneurship and innovation.
Members of the delegation said that returnees taken on at the national- or provincial-level could expect financial support of up to one million yuan for their projects and family relocation subsidies up to 500,000 yuan.
For overseas investors interested in Haikou enterprises, the local government will provide financial support and discounts on land prices, they said.
Hainan province launched its strategy for attracting professionals and skilled workers in 1988 and adjusted it to target high-tech elites in 2009.
So far, Haikou National High-tech Zone has attracted three overseas elites enrolled in the national 1,000 Talents Program, which was launched in 2008 to help transform China from a manufacturing hub to a world leader in innovation.
Hainan is among an increasing number of provinces that have been sending delegations to the US to lure cutting-edge specialized talent in recent years.
"Silicon Valley has traditionally attracted talent from all over the world," said Zhou Wei, the president of HYSTA. "This trend continues and might have accelerated recently.
"Another megatrend is that a significant number of Silicon Valley talents have gone to China," added Zhou, who is also founder and CEO of Centrillion, a venture capital firm.
"Because of our connections and influence in the technology community, we are well-positioned to reach innovators who might be interested in going to China or working with Chinese innovators," said Zhou.
He said Silicon Valley is also seeing innovators in China gradually gaining global influence. "I think that talent in Silicon Valley can serve as a bridge between Silicon Valley and the Asia Pacific," he said.
"Silicon Valley has a great environment that fosters innovation and has attracted talent from all over the world," he said. "China is also actively developing environments for innovation as well."
Zhou said the future of innovation is going to be on a global scale, so his advice to talents who are interested in China is that they keep their Silicon Valley connections, even if they end up spending most of their time in China.