China’s foreign experts are being encouraged to contribute to the country’s development, especially in its remote and less-developed regions, by making suggestions from their areas of expertise.
More than 50 foreign experts from 20 countries－including the United States, Russia, Germany, Belgium and Brazil－attended the annual Foreign Experts Recommendation Symposium on Aug 19 in Yinchuan, capital of the Ningxia Hui autonomous region.
The symposium has served as a think tank of sorts since the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs launched in 2012. It is held in a different place each year.
“We hope in this way we can help the foreign experts learn more about the culture and traditions of China, but more importantly, about the social and economic realities of different parts of China,” said Zhang Jianguo, director of the foreign experts office.
Zhang’s administration has been seeking to strengthen ties with regional governments by offering foreign experts more opportunities to interact with local government officials and take part in local development.
This year’s experts’ group included nine winners of the government’s Friendship Award and 16 participants from the 1000 Talent Plan, a government-initiated global talent recruitment program.
During their stay in Ningxia, the experts were divided into 11 groups according to their fields of research, and took part in field trips, consultations and discussions with related organizations in Ningxia.
Written proposals covering various aspects, such as education, urban construction, environmental protection, diplomacy, and banking management will be sent to the central government and the Ningxia government.
Over the past three years, more than 100 foreign experts have taken part in the program, and more than 30 suggestions have been submitted to the country’s top leaders and related departments.
Mazhar Khan, a veterinary scientist from the United States, who has worked in Guangxi for 18 years, suggested Ningxia use its resources in agriculture and animal husbandry, and play a leading role in reforming farms to make them more market-oriented and competitive.
Farms should develop more agricultural product processing in the future, he said.
Ganin Vladimir, a Russian architect working in Hunan province, suggested the Ningxia government preserve its distinctive architecture and hold more exhibitions, both industrial and cultural, to attract more visitors and promote the region.
“I’m excited to see how our suggestions will help change China,” Vladimir said.
Yaacov Ben-David, a Canadian medical scientist working in Guizhou province, said too many foreign experts work in Beijing and Shanghai.
“We hope to contribute to different areas around China, including Ningxia,” he said.
In the past five years, Ningxia has launched 233 projects that required foreign talent and hired about 1,240 foreign experts, said Li Rui, vice-chairman of the autonomous region.