When German physicist Bernd Noack first came to Shenzhen in September 2017 as a visiting professor, he saw “some unique opportunities” in the city.
“I’ve bet my career on the prosperous development of the city and I hope it’s continuing at this pace,” said Noack, who is now a professor at Harbin Institute of Technology, Shenzhen, in an interview with the “Witnesses to Shenzhen’s 40-year Journey · Shenzhen in the Eyes of Foreigners” project.
The project, launched in commemoration of Shenzhen’s 40th anniversary, was initiated by the Conference for the International Exchange of Professionals and organized by the Shenzhen Center for International Exchange of Personnel.
Forty foreign professionals of different ages and from different countries are invited to share through interviews their Shenzhen stories. Coming from a large variety of industries, including technology, finance, medicare, education, humanity and architecture, they reflect the diversity shown by Shenzhen’s global talents in their occupations, industries and origins.
Shenzhen is viewed by many as a highly globalized, inclusive city that fosters creation and innovation, and international talents are always essential to its development in the past four decades.
“I think it’s really important that the zone keeps its broad international perspective. So it encourages international collaboration. It attracts international talents to come and work here,” said John Speakman, distinguished professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, who was also featured in the project.
A forerunner in China’s reform and opening-up process, Shenzhen for a long time serves as a window for the world to know about and connect with China. More than 90,000 foreign-invested enterprises have been set up in Shenzhen as of this year, signifying the city’s openness and inclusiveness.
Shenzhen over the years has shown strong economic vitality. It appeals to foreign investment with its market opportunities, business environment and investment climate, especially in the technology innovation sector.
Today, there are 8.5 state-level high-tech enterprises per square km in Shenzhen, and an average of 71 invention patents are authorized every day.
“This is a place where the future is being built,” said Speakman.
Global talents are attracted to the city for both the rich opportunities and the preferable living environment Shenzhen has to offer.
“There are high-speed railway, subway, bus, taxi, which are all electrified,” said 87-year-old Shunichi Sasaki, founder and former president of Shenzhen Magnet Laboratories, who has been in Shenzhen for more than a dozen years.
There are also high-rise buildings, medical institutions and attraction of universities and graduate schools, he added.
All those made Shenzhen a promising land for professionals to settle down and pursue their dreams. The city’s scientific and technical workers alone counted 2 million. Engineers, scientists, researchers and ambitious entrepreneurs of all ages have flooded into the city.
Shenzhen is to prioritize talent in its core development strategy, said Wang Weizhong, Party secretary of Shenzhen, during the opening ceremony of the 18th Conference for the International Exchange of Professionals.
The annual conference, which draws thousands of global institutions and organizations every year, is an example of Shenzhen’s efforts of introducing substantial opportunities to foreign professionals, enterprises and investors.
“We welcome talent worldwide to gather in Shenzhen, to innovate and to create a greater development miracle here,” said Wang.
Stories of Noack, Speakman, Sasaki and other participants of the “Witnesses to Shenzhen’s 40-year Journey · Shenzhen in the Eyes of Foreigners” project are miniatures of how numerous overseas talents are attracted to Shenzhen and become a part of the open, inclusive and fast-moving city.
By presenting the city through foreigners’ eyes, the project is making the development story of Shenzhen and China in a whole relevant to global audiences.
Through the personal stories shared in the interviews, people could see a Shenzhen that is globalized, inclusive and full of charm. The city is closely connected to the world through high-end technologies, and opportunities are constantly opened to everyone from everywhere, welcoming global talents to show off their intelligence and capabilities.