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在线翻译:
szdaily -> In depth -> 
Measures proposed to improve lives of expats
    2014-07-22  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

    This is the last part of a weekly series published by Shenzhen Daily on local expat communities.

    This series aims to reflect expats’ lives in Shenzhen, the difficulties they encounter

    and the community services in place and on the way to assist them.

    Martin Li

    Martin.mouse@163.com

    SHENZHEN’S foreign affairs office has proposed several measures to the government to improve services for local expats.

    There were about 22,574 expats living in Shenzhen at the end of 2012, according to the office’s latest statistics. Local expats come from many countries, including Japan, South Korea, the United States, the Philippines, Great Britain, Canada and France.

    In addition, more than 7 million expats entered or left China through Shenzhen in 2012. The city also saw over 1 million expats temporarily stay in the city.

    The office suggested that the existing English-language website for the city’s government, http://english.sz.gov.cn, should be improved to provide detailed guidance for expats concerning work and life in the city. Links to related government departments should be included.

    The existing website simply features a combination of local news, an overview of Shenzhen and government gazettes. Hardly any service functions are available.

    Related government departments should also provide the latest laws, regulations, policies and other documents concerning expats in English. Procedures and online channels for inquiries in English are needed.

    “Although I have been here [in Shenzhen] for more than three years, my Chinese is very limited, so I cannot understand technical Chinese information like government notices,” Young-Jin Suh, the principal of Korea International School in Yanshan Community, Nanshan District, said in an earlier interview with Shenzhen Daily.

    “It would be a great service if the city could provide more information and services in English for expats. Also, most of us don’t understand Chinese policies, such as visa regulations. Information about such an important thing should be known to every expat,” said Suh.

    Celia Martín del Pozo, a Spanish teacher at Shenzhen Polytechnic, said the only difficulties with China’s medical services lie with language issues. Therefore, the office also proposed the opening of an English-language hotline expats could call to get their questions answered and to get translation help in an emergency.

    Widely considered the most international metropolis in China, Shanghai launched a hotline called The Shanghai Call Center in 2006 to provide public information in about 15 languages, including English, French, German and Russian. Shanghai’s hotline could provide a blueprint for how such a call center in Shenzhen could function.

    In addition, the office suggested the establishment of “expat service stations” in residential communities with large expat populations. Such facilities have already been set up in Donghai community in Futian District and Yanshan community in Nanshan District.

    The office said social workers and volunteers who can speak English could play an important role at these stations by providing necessary help to expats and could encourage them to get involved in their local communities.

    The office invited expats to five seminars last year, at which most expats expressed a willingness to get involved in their local communities, and they want to be part of their governance, but they said language and cultural barriers stand in their way, so they seldom take part in community activities. Therefore, it’s hard for them to gain a sense of belonging.

    While services for expats would involve many government departments, the office suggested that a cooperation initiative led by the city’s public security bureau should be established. All government departments that deal with expat services should be a part of the initiative, including the foreign affairs office, the human resources bureau, customs, immigration departments, the health commission and the education bureau.

    Under the framework of the initiative, all the related departments would share information and meet regularly to address expat concerns.

    The full version of the proposed measures has been submitted to the city’s mayor.

EXPAT STATISTICS IN SHENZHEN

(by the end of 2012)

Number of expat residents:

22,574

The three biggest expat populations:

Japanese, South Korean and American

Districts home to the most expat residents:

Nanshan, Futian and Luohu districts

The three biggest expat working populations:

Japanese, American and South Korean

The top three employment industries:

manufacturing,

commerce and retail sales, and service industries

Country of origin for most expat travelers spending one night:

Japan, the United States and South Korea

 

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Shenzhen Daily E-mail:szdaily@szszd.com.cn