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Think-tank says actions needed to reduce 'talent deficit'

Updated: 2015-04-17 16:23
By Wang Zhaokun (chinadaily.com.cn)
Think-tank says actions needed to reduce 'talent deficit'

Foreign students majoring in Chinese celebrate their commencement at Xi'an Jiaotong University on July 7, 2012. [Photo/CFP]

China is urged to improve conditions to attract more talented foreigners and reduce its "talent deficit", according to a migration report released Thursday by a Chinese think-tank.

According to the Annual report on Chinese International Migration issued by the Center for China and Globalization(CCG), there were 848,500 foreigners in China in 2013, accounting for 0.06 percent of the total population and there are currently about 60 million overseas Chinese living in 198 counties and regions.

The percentage of foreigners in the population of many Western countries exceeded 10 percent, the report found.

About 6000 foreigners were granted permanent residence in China between 1985 and 2012. In contrast, more than 100,000 Chinese received permanent residence in other countries annually in recent years.

Some 356,000 foreign students studied in 746 educational institutions in China in 2013, but were unable to receive work visas upon graduation, the report noted.

The number of Chinese students going abroad for study reached 414,000 in 2013 and 354,000 students returned home after studying abroad in the same year.

The report found foreign students are among the major sources of overseas talent in developed countries and it is common practice to issue work visas to students in these regions.

The report also highlighted language and cultural barriers as obstacles for foreign talent in China.

The migration report also found an increasing number of Chinese immigrating into other countries through investment. There were 13,000 Immigrant Investors from China in 2012, 12,000 in 2011 and 8000 in 2010.

In 2013, 6,895 Chinese were granted the US EB-5 visas, which are specially issued to immigrant Investors, 9 times of the number in 2010.

The report put forward suggestions for making the most use of international migrants and talents, along with ways of better enforcing and developing China's international migrant system.

It reviewed the new immigration policies and laws implemented by other countries to attract foreign entrepreneurs and investors, suggesting that China administrate foreigners according to the law, improve the visa system and establish a special residence permit mechanism.

The State Council announced last month that China will push forward legislation on issuing permanent residence to foreigners, lift the threshold for technical talent to apply for permanent residence and build a mechanism on skilled migration.

According to the plan, foreigners who meet China's criteria can enjoy preferential policies in applying for work permits, and their accompanying family members will also be given visas and residence permits.

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