Friday 2 February saw the first of 2018’s international briefing conferences held by two local government bodies; the Municipal People’s Congress and the Municipal People’s Political Consultative Congress, at Xianlin’s Novotel hotel.
The multilingual conference featured government bodies, local journalists, chambers of commerce and various representatives from the expat community. The meeting was intended to discuss and inform the international community of Nanjing that on which the local government has been working and included invited questions from expats.
On the agenda was a briefing on general goals and main tasks of Nanjing social and economic development by the Development and Reform Commission, Briefing on Nanjing’s policies and practices of building an innovative city by the Science and Technology Commissions, Briefing on foreign investment policies by the Bureau of Commerce and a briefing on the Nanjing International Youth Exchange Program by the Foreign Affairs office.
On the panel and host of the conference was Zhang Bin, Deputy Director if the Nanjing Foreign Affairs office, who spoke in his opening remarks about the importance of pollution control and the recent work that has been done in combating this, highlighting the “closing down of 61 chemical factories”.
Zhang spoke of the governments development targets that include three university towns, creating a more international city and transport hub. With regard to Nanjing Lukou International Airport Zhang stated, “We need to step up the pace”.
Citing President Xi, a heavy emphasis was put on improving relations between the government and local expats and creating Nanjing as a more international city, wherein growth lies within the international community.
A large part of the conference was a focus on innovation and the support available for its growth. Representatives from the expat community were particularly interested in this section, asking questions regarding investment, start-up opportunities and growth scope.
One of the journalists present raised the question of public services, asking what is going to be done to better the clarity of services available to expats. The government responded by highlighting that we need to “optimise what we have in this arena”.
A member of Nanjing’s university community inquired of the government if Nanjing will introduce employment and guidance regarding new innovative areas. The government assured that both international and local students are subject to the same rules and services.
Assuring the government that it is, “still doing a great job”, was a representative from Nanjing’s professional expat community, questioning whether Nanjing will adopt similar start-up innovative ideas as other cities such as Hangzhou and Suzhou. The government assured that everything done will be to further promote Nanjing as a place to come for top talent.