China has revealed plans for a five-year recruitment drive that will see an increase in expat financial workers by around 40 percent.
The plan is to turn Shanghai into one of the world’s financial epicentres, with the potential to compete against areas such as New York, London and local rival Hong Kong.
This initiative has come at an opportune time as forecasts from UK economists suggest that London’s financial district could be forced to cut up to 27,000 jobs as a new financial crisis looms. Shanghai has held ambitions to become a financial leader for some time now, but has been hampered by a lack of top-tier finance workers.
China now hopes that the expat drive will bring in around 90,000 new, highly skilled, workers. This influx would take Shangahi’s total number of finance professionals up to around 320,000. Currently, only two percent of Shanghai’s working population work in the finance industry.
Of course, these plans will not be realised with simple blind faith and China aims to improve on a number of services to make life in Shanghai more appealing for expatriate workers. Healthcare, education and social insurance are all areas that have been highlighted for improvement in the plan.
News of the plan has been viewed with positivity by people in Shanghai, one British expat told The Telegraph: “If it has been decreed by the government it will probably get done. As China drives towards an economy fuelled by domestic consumption, then they will have the opportunity to put in place huge incentives to make things work for firms that are keeping the money onshore.”