International talent magnet

More and more international talents are coming to China to find opportunities in the finance industry or to start their own businesses. The Global Times asked several expatriates working in the finance and business field why they think China is such a promising country for professionals like them. Particularly, they cited that China holds an open attitude to foreigners, has strong capital market growth and boasts convenient financial services. Meanwhile, domestic cities are aiming to develop financial sectors to attract even more talents from abroad.

Attracted by the country’s open attitude, capital growth and convenient financial services, increasing numbers of international talents have been moving to China over recent years to find life-changing opportunities.

Romy Haryanto, a 31-year-old Indonesian who has passed all three levels of the chartered financial analyst exam, is now trying his best to learn Chinese at Beijing Language and Culture University.

“I hope to get a job immediately after I can speak fluent Chinese,” he told the Global Times on Sunday.

Before coming to China to seek bigger and better opportunities, Haryanto had been gathering professional experience back home in Indonesia. For a year and a half, he worked as a stock market analyst and also worked as a consultant in a merger and acquisition firm for one year.

“I would like to work in any city that gives better opportunities than my own country, such as Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing,” he noted.

But Haryanto is not the only foreigner who hopes to pursue China’s finance industry.

Cebastien Tankoano, founder and general manager of Shanghai-based Reliconn Ltd, told the Global Times that many foreigners he knows in Shanghai work in the finance industry, especially in asset management at international financial firms.

Reliconn, founded in June 2015, provides investment, trade and training services for China’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and their African counterparts.

Tankaono is from Burkina Faso, a landlocked country in West Africa, and came to China in 2006 for an MBA program.

“It’s easy to conduct business in Shanghai. The city is China’s financial center, where there are lots of international banks you can cooperate with. Thus, it’s relatively easier to get loans for Chinese SMEs that plan to invest in Africa or for African SMEs to get loans for expansion,” he said.

Growing attraction

Talking about the factors that attracted him to China, Haryanto remarked that China is more open to foreign job seekers.

“China has less restriction on foreign talents, as I search on Google that there are open events like Jobs Fair for Foreigners,” he said, noting “[for example] there are better opportunities here because the return on China’s capital market is higher than its Singaporean counterpart.”

Besides, the pay in China is much higher than in Indonesia.

“For a financial worker with 3 to 5 years of work experience in my home country, the salary is around 7 million rupiah ($519) to 12 million rupiah a month, but in China, monthly wages can be more than tens of thousands of yuan in big cities,” he said.

Abdella, a man from Africa who is now studying Chinese language, culture and international politics, told the Global Times Wednesday that “China’s fast economic growth has been significantly contributing to the world economy.”

“This has been attracting businesses and individuals from around the world. China’s financial market has also been developing fast and has even been leading the whole world in some aspects, for example, in having one of the easiest payment systems and very low transaction costs,” he said.

Smart blueprint

Many Chinese cities attach importance to introducing international financial talents, including those who have work experience in countries and regions along the Belt and Road route, as to support the initiative and to help Chinese companies “go global,” an industry insider told the Global Times on Monday.

For example, Shanghai plans to greatly improve the proportion of international talents who have studied or worked overseas during the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) period, according to a guideline published by the Shanghai Financial Service Office on its official website in January, addressing the development of financial talents in the metropolis.

Shanghai aims to soon preliminarily establish a financial talent human resource system characterized by a complete range, reasonable structure and free movement. The city also aims to transform itself into an international financial talent highland of global influence, attraction and resource allocation, the guideline says.

Other cities, such as Beijing, Qingdao in East China’s Shandong Province and Foshan in South China’s Guangdong Province, also released policies to attract more international talents in the last two years.

Domestic news site reported in September that Beijing plans to forge strong international talent communities in areas such as Wangjing in the northeast and Zhongguancun in the northwest to attract more overseas experts.

It said that an “overseas analogy” living environment will be developed in Wangjing and will include a government affairs services center as well as an innovation and entrepreneurship center to better serve international talents.

Bettering financial services

The growing numbers of expatriates and overseas returnees coming to work or start businesses in China has in turn triggered the need for improved financial services.

“A foreign CEO had lived in China for seven years, but still couldn’t get a credit card because he has neither a property in China nor a local credit history. But we issued a local credit card to this CEO via a unique personal credit assessment system,” Yamin Zhu, managing director and head of Retail Banking, Standard Chartered Bank China, told the Global Times on Monday.

The bank also provides a variety of wealth management products for international clients, including FX products, local mutual funds and qualified domestic institutional investor funds. “Through our bank, these clients get access to both the local market and the international capital market,” she said.

The bank heavily invests in digital capabilities to give foreign clients more choices and convenience when doing their banking. For example, the bank offers an online account opening service so foreigners can prepare the required forms and documents before coming to China, Zhu said.

Source: Global Times


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