Hangzhou government provided a boost, to entrepreneurs, businesses and individuals at a recent talent fair, by revealing there were incentives on offer to those with the most innovative and promising projects to invest in the region.
Around 3,000 local and foreign professionals last week were invited to the 9th Zhejiang Hangzhou International Human Resources Exchanges and Cooperation Conference, bringing their innovative projects for investment, as enterprises and local government departments offered preferential policies to promising projects.
Participants from 27 countries and regions arrived at the Hangzhou International Expo Center, to exhibit around 1,500 projects, in areas such as information technology, biomedicine, new energy, new materials, environmental protection, advanced manufacturing, cultural and creative industries, modern agriculture and modern services.
The conference also witnessed the signing of 206 projects, worth 2.93 billion yuan (US$441.5 million) in investments, 44.3 percent more than last year. In the past eight years, 3,723 overseas professionals, and over 100 overseas Chinese student organizations, have attended the conference and presented 4,175 projects with a total investment of 12.27 billion yuan.
Hangzhou is already an attractive city for businesses with plenty of green space and beautiful scenery. However, the government believes it can sweeten deals by offering subsidies to individuals and teams. And local authorities from districts and counties spared no efforts to attract their preferred projects.
Xihu District ranks 14th among all Chinese districts by virtue of strong economic power and well-preserved natural resources, including West Lake and Xixi Wetland. It believes the unparalleled environment is the biggest edge.
“E-commerce giant Alibaba, fashion platform Mogujie and popular cab-hailing application Didi are all based in our district. They’ve created a cluster effect for technology industry,” said Yu Hong, deputy director of Xihu District Bureau of Human Resources and Social Security.
To make the district a leading labor market and innovation center in Hangzhou, the bureau announced an offer of 1 billion yuan in subsidies for entrepreneurs with promising projects. The top subsidy for a single project touches 10 million yuan.
“Another attraction for startups is the noteworthy West Lake Institute for Advanced Study, which was established last year dedicated to developing natural sciences and frontiers of engineering,” said Yu. “It is expected to provide technological support for companies in our district. We’ve already offered it 400 million yuan of financial grant in study.”
Jianggan District also offered several preferential clauses for start-up business. The district departments issued policies to lure professionals from both home and abroad. The clauses apply to both individuals and teams. Generous terms include a subsidy of 15 million yuan to a top-level team.
“We have two types of subsidies. For startups with difficulties in raising initial capital, the grant is up to 1 million yuan,” said Jiang Chunxia, deputy director of Jianggan District Talents Office. “The second type is for matured projects. Our professional team would evaluate the business and give a subsidy up to 15 million yuan.”
Jianggan District has a dozen of industrial parks that provide promising projects with housing benefits, which varies according to different levels of companies.
The district government prefers smart manufacturing and technological projects. In 2015, it carved out a 3-square-kilometer Qiantang Smart Town as a hub for intelligent manufacturing in the city, with an aim of expanding the zone into a major innovation center in eastern China.
Another attraction of Hangzhou is that the average salary of a white-collar worker has moved up from the 8th place to 4th after Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen. More and more graduates are choosing to work in the city as a consequence.
Hangzhou CBD Investment Group, which specializes in railway and real estate construction, came to the conference to hire a design manager and administrative staff.
“Compared with ordinary recruitment fairs, this conference is the best opportunity to employ ideal staff as it gathers top-notched professionals all year around,” said a group spokesperson.
In recent years, Hangzhou government has issued a series of guides on talent recruitment. New policies include providing permanent residency to experts. Therefore, the city has successfully lured a number of high-caliber professionals.
Overseas Chinese proessionals and entrepreneurs, who witness the city’s favorable environment for returned overseas people, also came to the conference aiming to find investments.
Regan Wu from New York plans to set up a parent-kid supermarket chain brand that integrates selling organic food with entertainment activities.
“I’ve already found cooperative organic farms in northern China, but I really hope to establish business in Hangzhou,” said Wu. “The city has the best environment for trendy things and government offers hefty subsidy. Moreover, people are much easier to accept new conception and products.”