2018-11-08 09:53:50 China Today
I have been living in Shanghai for six years, and I think I have been Shanghainese for a long time. Today I have a “house” in Shanghai in the true sense,” said Zhou Hong, general manager of Shanghai Roche Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. and a German national, who received Shanghai’s first permanent resident card on June 16, 2017. On the same day, the Pudong New Area announced the establishment of China’s first overseas talent bureau, and the launch of nine new measures to facilitate the entry and employment of foreign talents, in order to encourage them to participate in the process of modernization and internationalization of Pudong.
The First Permanent Resident Card
As the company’s senior manager, Zhou Hong travels a lot between Shanghai and other cities around the world. The permanent resident card not only facilitates the visa process, but also enhances her sense of belonging to China.
A beaming Zhou Hong displays her new documents.
In April 2017, after the launch of the new international talent introduction measure in Shanghai, Zhou Hong immediately applied to the Administration Committee of China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone for a permanent resident card and was among the very first to get it in Shanghai.
Zhou Hong was born in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province. At the age of 12, her family migrated to Germany. In 1996, Zhou graduated from the Fachhochschule für Wirtschaft Berlin with a master’s degree in commerce. In 2011, she moved to Shanghai and settled down in Pudong.
According to Zhou, the reason for living in Shanghai is its international atmosphere and its many measures to attract global talents. Shanghai boasts not only a rich culture, but is also at the forefront of modernity. In the eyes of overseas Chinese like her, the Pudong New Area is synonymous with creation, innovation, and development. In recent years, it is becoming increasingly famous thanks to its free trade zone.
The Roche Group started its business as the first multinational pharmaceutical company in Shanghai in 1994, and witnessed the transformation of Pudong from an old farmland to a modern district in the past two decades. “Many headquarters and research centers have settled there, which has accelerated the construction of infrastructure for sports, finance, education, and culture. In addition, life has become easier and more comfortable. In fact, Zhou Hong and her family love their life in Pudong.
The equestrian event, Shanghai Longines Global Champions Tour, opens on April 28, 2017.
Business is growing easily thanks to the measures of the pilot free trade area and local science innovation center. For example, the procedures for attracting foreign investment and the cross-border deposit service greatly facilitate the establishment of multinational enterprises. In July 2017, Roche launched a new drug to cure melanoma. Thanks to the newly built center for drug evaluation in the free trade zone the evaluation process was considerably accelerated and the product was put on the market two years earlier than planned. This is not only a good news for patients, but also for the company that is allowed to reap greater profits.
In fact, the Pudong New Area has undertaken the national strategy of constructing China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone and the Shanghai Technology Innovation Center, which depends on the participation and support of companies like Roche. “The first permanent resident card shows the government’s appreciation to Roche’s contribution to Pudong and Shanghai over the years,” Zhou Hong explains. During the past 24 years, the Roche Group has made a sizable investment in Shanghai. The company is now the largest in the pharmaceutical park of Zhangjiang High-tech Park, a complete pharmaceutical chain that includes research, exploration, manufacture, and marketing. Today, the company is building an innovation center there, which is worth RMB 863 million, or US $127 million, and will be completed in 2019. To meet the demands of patients from around the world, this center will focus on the exploration of new anti-infectious and anti-inflammatory drugs.
Rhorick’s Dream Coming True in Pudong
“Before arriving in China I’d already had a strong impression of Shanghai. Then, when I arrived in Pudong, I was even more attracted to this city. On my first day, I immediately felt the desire to stay longer,” said Tyler Rhorick, an American student of NYU Shanghai. At the end of May 2017, he obtained his undergraduate degree. Not long before that, he obtained the first work permit in China for overseas students.
“What I saw is an inclusive and international city when I started working there. Every foreigner can find what suits them, both professionally and personally. During the weekend, I play basketball, dine in chic places, and listen to music with my Chinese friends,” he said. For the past year, Rhorick has been working as the assistant director of the university’s Student Recruitment Project. He has adapted well to the work and is taking full advantage of his life in Shanghai.
Previously, it required at least two years of work experience out of China or acquiring a master’s or a higher degree for an international student to obtain the employment qualification in China. But now young people like Rhorick can get a job in China easier with the nine new measures to ease the entry and employment of foreign talents in Pudong.
“NYU Shanghai international students can apply for work permits in China, provided within one year after graduation they find a job in China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone or Zhangjiang High-tech Park, and their situation complies with China’s laws and regulations. There is no need for them to first get two years of work experience abroad, and then return to China and find jobs,” Rhorick said. According to Rhorick, these measures have great appeal for international graduates and also stimulate the innovation and development of Shanghai.
“I love Shanghai, every time when I traveled to other countries, I missed Shanghai. This is a stable home for me as an adult far away from my parents.” Rhorick has signed a three-year contract with NYU Shanghai. He also hopes to introduce Shanghai and China to his family and friends.