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International, friendly atmosphere attracts overseas professionals

Updated: Sep 8, 2020 chinadaily.com.cn Print

Foreign professionals are attracted to the strong international atmosphere and friendly urban environment in Beijing's Chaoyang district.

Andy Mok, a Chinese American, has been in Beijing for 11 years. He works as a commentator at China Global Television Network and as a research fellow at the Center for China and Globalization, one of China's top independent think tanks.

He is also a consultant for the Global Innovation Week to help foreign entrepreneurs and creative professionals learn more about the opportunities and resources available for them in Chaoyang district.

Beijing is a magnet for the most talented people not just from around China but from around the world, Mok said.

The Global Innovation Week is an important event of the Overseas Talent Entrepreneurship Conference, which is supported by the local government and aims to continuously stimulate market vitality and attract more excellent overseas startup projects to Chaoyang.

The conference has been held annually since 2013 and has attracted more than 23,000 entrepreneurs from 20 countries and regions, including the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Australia and South Korea. More than 480 projects have been signed through the event.

In addition to Chaoyang's strong entrepreneurship atmosphere, foreign artists are inspired by the district.

Pierre Alivon, a French photographer and teacher, wanted a change in his life and moved to the district from his homeland in August 2015.

"When I arrived in China I felt as naked as a baby because everything was new-the language, the food, the climate. My great luck is being a photographer and as soon as I arrived I took photographs of Beijing every day. With my photographs I was able to show my emotions and show that I love human contact. A lot of Chinese people started to take an interest in me and share with me thanks to that," Alivon said. "Chinese people are not a warrior people. Above all, they like nature and the simple life. I love the hearts of Chinese people and I am very happy to be able to live in China."

Wu Dani, a marketing staff member at the Beijing Chaoyang Talents Consulting Services Institutions Association, said one of the reasons that Chaoyang district has attracted so many foreign professionals is its diversified leisure and lifestyles.

Many of her foreign friends live and work in Chaoyang district because the food, entertainment and lifestyles are foreigner-friendly, she added.

Popular shopping and dining area Taikoo Li Sanlitun and 798 Art District are always frequented by foreigners. Chaoyang district opened a pair of international characteristic streets-Wangjing Walk and Lidu Business Zone-in August to provide more leisure space for international expats.

Chaoyang district has also made efforts to provide a one-stop service platform for international professionals. It provides efficient and convenient services for startups and innovations by international expats in Chaoyang in a bid to optimize its talent development environment.

The platform integrates 120 service projects related to high-level domestic and overseas professionals from 20 relevant departments, including the district's public security bureau, development and reform commission, commerce bureau and district health commission.

The Chaoyang district government has implemented a grant program named Phoenix Plan for the past 10 years. The program is one of the most popular grant programs for foreigners in China. It is designed to provide financial support to help highly qualified overseas professionals and foreign startups settle in Chaoyang district.

The Overseas Talent Entrepreneurship Conference provides a series of services, such as policy interpretation and application guidance for international professionals.

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