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January 18, 2011

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Home » Metro » Education

High costs drive away top young people

SHANGHAI is losing out on attracting top young professionals as high living costs are discouraging them from settling in the city, local lawmakers warned yesterday.

Most young professionals are unable to afford a city apartment and are only entitled to small subsidies, said Wang Enduo, a professor with the Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, and a deputy to Shanghai People's Congress.

But neighboring second-tier cities, such as Suzhou and Hangzhou, offer more incentives, including housing, to professionals, said Wang.

"Shanghai is losing top young professionals to other cities," Wang claimed.

Mayor Han Zheng has highlighted in his government work report that the city will improve services on living, health care and welfare for talented young people this year.

And Shanghai will continue to seek to attract senior technicians and other professionals from all over the world in 2011.

But Lian Lian, a professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and a local lawmaker, said that these incentives must not only be offered to top-level professionals.

She claimed that current incentives focus too much on leading researchers and innovative professionals, while other researchers, overseas returnees and think-tank groups in most need of financial and other incentives are ignored. "They're at the bottom of the pyramid," said Lian.

She proposed building more accommodation for young professionals.


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