Shortage of World-Class Talents Keeping China from Going Global

China’s workforce lacks internationally recognized qualifications that will allow China to fully globalize its economy. Although there are plenty of workers in the fields of finance, information technology, and international trade among others, the level of expertise falls below global levels. This lack of talent will mean that China will rely more and more on foreign workers in order to continue its growth level, especially after China’s accession to the WTO. An influx of foreign workers is sure to rise if China’s cities wish to become global financial centers; for example, Shanghai lists only 1% of its population as expatriates. – YaleGlobal

Shortage of World-Class Talents Keeping China from Going Global

Thursday, January 24, 2002

BEIJING - A dearth of internationally-recognised talents is posing a 'severe challenge' to China's drive towards becoming a globalised economy, the official Xinhua news agency has warned.

China was facing a worrying shortage of talents in finance, information technology, advanced technology, international trade, law and business management, although workers with basic knowledge in these fields were in abundant supply, the report quoted experts as saying.

The accounting sector is cited as one alarming example, because fewer than 10 Chinese possess the globally-recognised Chartered Financial Analyst qualification although China has a horde of accounting workers.

This situation would worsen following China's accession to the World Trade Organisation as liberalisation of its talent market would result in even higher dependency on foreign talent.

Pundits also pointed out that the big technological leaps in recent years notwithstanding, China lacked world-class technology experts and its core technology was adopted mainly from other countries.

Another indicator of inadequacy is that among the 13 million people in the metropolis of Shanghai, only about 60,000, or less than 1 per cent, are expatriates. This is way behind the 15 to 20 per cent proportion expected of an international metropolis.

The shortage of world-class talents in finance and insurance who are familiar with international protocol would compromise Shanghai's hope to become a global financial hub, the Xinhua report warned.

Copyright © 2002 Singapore Press Holdings

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