Talent expected to fuel country in next decade

08:14, May 27, 2010      

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The country will complete its transition from a labor-intensive nation to one that is driven by talent in 2020, President Hu Jintao said at a national talent work conference on Wednesday.

"Talent is the most important resource and it is a key issue that concerns the development of the Party and country," Hu said.

The country will also carry out more open policies to attract overseas talent, Premier Wen Jiabao said at the meeting.

"We will increase spending on talent projects and launch a series of initiatives to offer talent favorable policies in household, medical care and the education of their children," he said.

China is planning a "strategic triangle" that includes a "National Outline for Medium- and Long-Term Talent Development", said Hu Angang, a professor of public policy and management at Tsinghua University.

"The other two components of the plan are outlines on the development of education, and science and technology," he said.

The country's spending on the "software" of human resources will take up 15 percent of its GDP in 2020, when it completes its transition from a manufacturing hub to a world leader in innovation, Hu said.

The software of talent resources in the outline will include investment in education, health, research and development (R&D), he said.

The country's spending on R&D alone is 1.62 percent of its GDP now and it will increase to 2.5 percent in 2020, Hu said.

"The adjustment in talent in China will bring about big changes to our economic structure," Wang Tongxun, the vice-director of Chinese Talents Society, told China Daily.

"Government officials need to think about reforming the current management mechanism and creating a more convenient environment for talent," he said.

Bai Chunli, vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said the country urgently needs more overseas talent in some key fields.

"I believe more overseas talent will choose to return to China when they hear about the first group of people who have benefited from the talent program," he told China Daily in an earlier interview.

Millions of Chinese students have flocked overseas for further education since reform and opening up in 1978.

About 1.06 million Chinese studied overseas between 1978 and 2006, and more than 70 percent of them chose not to return home, a report on the Development of Chinese Talent published by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in 2006 showed.

Insiders said the number of Chinese-born elites living and working in advanced countries has grown to such a level that the government has a massive talent pool to draw from to reverse the country's brain drain.

Source:China Daily


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