Premier Li Keqiang meets with Scottish-American chemist Sir James Fraser Stoddart, winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize in chemistry, in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Friday. Photo: China Daily
More foreign talent is welcome to China for innovation work and business, and the government will step up support in such areas as granting "green cards", project applications and intellectual property protection, Premier Li Keqiang said on Friday.
The country will also "relax market access, attract more foreign investment and learn advanced technologies and management", Li told a gathering in Beijing of outstanding foreign experts working in China.
One week ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year, Li attended the annual event to send greetings and collect wisdom on how to boost China's innovation-driven growth and reinforce its soft power.
Speaking to the scholars and corporate leaders, Li expressed China's strong hope to "fully tap into wisdom and creativity of every individual".
The aim is to nurture new dynamism to propel economic growth, upgrade traditional industries and boost the transformation and upgrading of China's economy, Li said.
Sir James Fraser Stoddart, the Nobel Prize winner in chemistry for 2016 who now works at Tianjin University, suggested that China establish a long-term program to support creative young researchers and their teams.
Foreign experts make more than 600,000 visits to China each year, according to Zhang Jianguo, head of the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs.
China's problems in attracting brainpower from overseas include its lack of top-tier talent in cutting-edge domains and its insufficient attraction to high-end talent, Zhang told People's Daily on Wednesday.
Denis Depoux, Asia deputy president and senior partner of Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, said China has become an innovation powerhouse, as a growing domestic market and middle class are fueling "incredible creativity and business model ingenuity".
Olaf Kastner, president and CEO of BMW Group Region China, said that the world appears to be in a transitional period in which staying competitive is even more difficult, and it is in this context that Germany has embarked on its Industry 4.0 initiative.
"China is progressing with China 2025, a far-reaching strategy to lift production structures and qualities to the next level. It holds a lot of similarities to the German initiative. Both concepts are similar and striving to foster intelligent production," Kastner said.