People-to-people ties hold the key to good state-to-state relations, said Yang Xiaoping, director of the Foreign Experts Affairs Bureau of Science and Technology Department of Jiangsu Province. Yang made the comments at the opening ceremony of the Foreign Experts Book House in Jiangning Economic and Technological Development Zone of Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu province on Nov. 25, 2020.
"The government of Jiangsu province attaches great importance to the work of introducing talents and intelligence to Jiangsu, as well as prioritizes providing support for foreign experts and strives to create a favorable environment in which all foreign experts can visit easily, stay comfortably, and flow freely," Yang stressed.
"The Foreign Experts Book House has become an important platform to tell Jiangsu's story, spread Chinese culture, serve foreign experts, and promote cultural exchanges and mutual learning between China and foreign countries," Yang said.
Building expert book houses is only one part of Jiangsu's efforts to attract and unite foreign talents.
The Jiangsu provincial government has also implemented an innovation-driven development strategy to provide support for innovation and creation among foreign experts and create a favorable business environment for companies.
According to Yang, during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020), Jiangsu issued a total of 87,000 work permits for foreigners and 258 confirmation letters for High Level Foreign Talents, which make it much easier for foreign experts to receive their work permits and to work in Jiangsu.
Helge Lykke Kristensen has been living and working in Nanjing for about 20 years. Kristensen is currently the vice-president at Hansong Technology Ltd, a high-tech company established in 1998 and headquartered in Jiangning Economic and Technological Development Zone of Nanjing.
"I have never felt poorly treated or excluded. On the contrary, I felt invited and included," he said, noting that the new Foreign Expert Book House represents another step to providing foreigners with opportunities and a platform to come together.
He also stressed that the Jiangning Zone has offered numerous opportunities and a good business environment for his company to grow.
"Our company grew from a small company with only about 80 people in the beginning all the way up to about 1,400 here in Nanjing, and we've even built offices and factories outside of China," Kristensen said, noting that Nanjing has enabled the company to spread its wings thanks to the favorable business environment.
Krister Hagman, who works as Chief Technology Officer at Nanjing SAC Automation Co., Ltd, a joint-venture duly established by Guodian Nanjing Automation Co., Ltd. (SAC) and ABB (China) Limited (ABB), said that Nanjing and China in general provide great opportunities for experts from all over the world.
Having worked in the Jiangning Zone for a year, Hagman describes it as a "modern, smart, and great industrial park."
"I think what I see here that I don't see anywhere else is the concentration of the same type of companies in one area. It's like a small Silicon Valley. People with knowledge are called here," he added.