At the closing ceremony of the 2017 Chongqing International Talent Innovation Entrepreneurship Symposium on Sept 10, Chongqing Liangjiang New Area awarded Meng Min’s pharmaceutical company 19 million yuan ($2.9 million) for its innovative project: a public service platform for biological medicine research development.
“Our project will get a jumpstart with this generous support, and it will help me hire more high-level talent,” said Meng, former chief scientist at Covance, one of the world’s largest drug development companies.
She is one of the hundreds of highly talented people attracted to this southwestern city in recent years as Chongqing aims to become an international cosmopolis by 2030.
Born and raised in Chongqing, Meng returned to her hometown last year and started her own biological medicine company in Liangjiang, attracted by the fast growing pharmaceutical industry and favorable local policies.
“Chongqing is the youngest municipality in China. You can reach your goals here if you have solid knowledge and skills,” she said.
In recent years, Liangjiang New Area, China’s first inland State-level pilot zone for opening-up and development, has launched a large-scale talent recruitment program, such as the annual international talent symposium, which aims to attract highly-skilled individuals from home and abroad to start businesses in Chongqing.
Over the weekend, more than 1,000 people from 18 countries and regions, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Singapore, participated in the event. They are highly educated and top experts in the fields of information technology, renewable energy, biological medicine and manufacturing. There was one academician and 18 experts from the national Thousand Talents program.
“The symposium has drawn increasing attention from overseas and greatly assisted our talent recruitment,” said He Yousheng, deputy director of the Liangjiang New Area Administrative Committee.
To encourage entrepreneurship, the new area has issued a series of policies and subsidies to startups, including rent cuts, tax cuts and seed money.
“We will set aside at least 100 million yuan ($15.4 million) in talent funding each year, a 10-billion-yuan seed capital fund and over 1 million square meters of housing for talent,” he said.
In addition to financial and policy support, human resources experts attending the event said that the city needs to upgrade its “software”, such as world-class international education and medical facilities.
“Overseas high-level talent pays great attention to their children’s education here and the quality of local medical services,” said Jiang Ao, CEO of a consulting firm based in the United Kingdom that helps Liangjiang recruit.
Chongqing boasts the world’s largest laptop manufacturing base and China’s largest vehicle production base. Since 2014, it led GDP growth in the country for 13 consecutive quarters with an annual average of 11.7 percent.
In January last year, President Xi Jinping said during an inspection trip that Chongqing is “full of promise” and set to become an inland international logistics hub.