Over nine lakh foreigners were employed in China last year, making them an indispensable part of the country's development, a senior Chinese official said today. Speaking at the 15th Conference on International Exchange of Professionals held in south China's Shenzhen city, head of the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA) Zhang Jianguo said foreign experts were important resources and will help China achieve economic and social prosperity. Foreign experts should be offered opportunities in sectors that have specific demand for them, he said, adding that measures should be taken to prevent "brain waste". Jianguo said unskilled foreign workers who demand ultra- high wages should be not be given high salaries. China will open up more for foreigners as part of its efforts to ramp up high technology sector to move away from cheap manufacturing in a bid to halt the slowdown of the economy, officials said. To attract more foreign talent, China streamlined the paperwork needed to secure foreigners a work visa. The trial programme has unified the previous two permits into a single work permit, making it easier for foreigners to work in China, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. The number of foreign employees in China has increased at a staggering pace over the past decades. There were less than 10,000 foreign experts working in China in the 1980s. From 2001 to 2016, foreign experts from 73 countries were working in the country, official data stated.
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