Over the past year, Spanish businessman Juan Gibert has been teeming with excitement seeing Shenzhen’s achievements going beyond his expectations he had when attending a symposium in Shekou last year. When he attended that event, he expressed his confidence in the city’s future.
Shenzhen hosted a grand gathering to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone on Oct. 14 in 2020.
President Xi Jinping attended the gathering held in Qianhai and delivered an important speech, calling on Shenzhen to build itself into a pilot demonstration area for socialism with Chinese characteristics, set an example of a modern socialist country for other cities, build a new pattern to deepen all-round reform and expand opening up on all fronts, and contribute to the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
The symposium Gibert attended was organized for local expats to share their Shenzhen stories and express their views of the city’s future.
What impressed Gibert most for the past year was getting his Shenzhen company registered in one week.
“A year ago, I was told that setting up a business here would take around one month. Now, it only takes one week due to the convenient measures the government offers to foreign investors,” he said.
In 2019, Gibert moved from Hong Kong to Shenzhen and founded a consulting company after.
Gibert, who was the former director of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, has been engaged in consulting for 12 years. He said Shenzhen’s improved business environment for foreign-invested companies and other supporting services are attractive to overseas companies and business professionals.
Another symposium attendee, Aleksandra Kozlowska from Poland, thinks “Shenzhen is an amazing city with a lot of miracles.”
Her recognition for Shenzhen has never changed since she moved to the city in 2015. “Shenzhen is never getting old. It is a vibrant megacity and shaped by young people who contribute to its very creative atmosphere,” she said.
“Shenzhen is called the Silicon Valley of China. It is an innovation-driven city making high-end products and has implemented various measures to attract talents,” she said.
As an IT company's HR manager, Kozlowska is occupied with hiring highly skilled, open-minded and top-class software engineers from across the world every day.
“All the steps taken [by Shenzhen] to improve its urban infrastructure and ecological environment, all incentives and policies … and this creates a great environment for IT companies,” she said.
Silenko Maksim from Russia works in the HR department of Shenzhen MSU-BIT University. The new dad whose son was born in June said his life in Shenzhen gets better each year, and so does the university.
“The university has recruited more students and teachers over the past year. It participated in the 17th China (Shenzhen) International Cultural Industries Fair, published the first magazine, and built a swimming pool and fitness rooms. The school is also planning to open a kindergarten,” Maksim said in an interview with the reporter.
Similarly, See Chunho from Hong Kong gave a thumbs-up to the city’s achievements in competitiveness in attracting professionals. The veteran lawyer has 25 years of cross-border and regional legal experience between the mainland and Hong Kong.
Speaking about the new plan for further developing the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone, See said: “Hong Kong professionals are very excited about the new plan, and I expect deeper and more cooperation between Shenzhen and Hong Kong on [such] professional services as law, accounting, auditing and consulting.”