17th Conference on International Exchange of Professionals kicks off in Shenzhen
Liu Yang
Themed "Cooperation, Innovation, and Development," the 17th Conference on International Exchange of Professionals opened in China's Shenzhen on Sunday. The conference welcomed more than 4,000 institutions and organizations from more than 50 countries and regions from around the world. More than 4,000 government representatives are also attending.
The Conference on International Exchange of Professionals was founded in 2001 by the former State Administration of Foreign Affairs, and is geared at attracting foreign expert organizations, institutions and professionals to the Chinese mainland. 
Distinguished guests also include the Academician and Scientist of atomic and hydrogen bombs and man-made satellite Sun Jiadong; Prince Andrew, Duke of York; Stefano Buffani, deputy secretary-general of the Italian council of cabinet affairs; and Serge Haroche, the winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize for Physics.
Professor Sir Jim McDonald, who is the principal and Vice Chancellor of University of Strathclyde Glasgow, said, "The conference is really focusing on international talent and exchange, and my own university is not only receiving wonderful Chinese students, we also have senior Chinese engineers and scientists coming to work with us for a year extension, engineers from Chinese Aerospace and Science and Technology Institutes and Chinese Academy of Science Technology come too. We have eight currently working on advanced technology called mechatronics."
Professional training is another important topic to be discussed during the conference. The Vice President of PMI (Project Management Institute) Michael Deprisco said, "The great thing about PMI, and our standard is globally recognized, is it brings with it a level of authority and credibility and is recognized around the world. This is evidenced by the fact that we have 300,000 PMPs in China and throughout China." (PMP is the gold standard of project management certification.)
The deputy director general of China Association for International Exchange of Personnel Secretariat, Xia Bing, said the country needs to create a better working environment and promote international exchange and cooperation in talents exchange. For example, we are improving our policies related to inviting foreign academics to be the chief scientists for our project. China has issued 3,000 visas for top-notch talent, so they can live in China for 180 days a year, and 10 years with multiple round trips.
This year's conference has invited the UK as the guest of honor. The two countries will sign several agreements on personnel training and project docking. The conference has set up an area for high-end technology services, such as providing legal consulting and intellectual protection. 
The conference has also set up an area for promoting the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, aiming to attract more high-end talent to create innovative programs and start-ups in China.