A foreigner takes photos of the Lujiazui Financial District with the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, left, the topped-out Shanghai Tower under construction, tallest, the Shanghai World Financial Center, third

tallest, Jinmao Tower, forth tallest, and other skyscrapers and high-rise buildings in Pudong, Shanghai on August 12, 2013. [Photo/IC]
Shanghai's 20-point strategy to attract leading talent into the scientific research and innovation sector, launched six months ago, is already paying dividends, according to municipal authorities.

Ying Yong, deputy secretary of the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee, said the incentives being offered have significantly increased the number and variety of professionals coming to work and live in the city.

The policies include easing restrictions on permanent residency, reducing tax rates for startups, offering space in specially built high-tech business parks, and a pilot program that provides support to researchers to commercialize their findings.

Officials also allow teams to take up to 70 percent of the profits from successfully commercialized research.

One of the drivers of the policy program is the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, which is under the aegis of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, which has set up 15 new research and development centers in those six months, which have attracted businesses with total contract value of 800 million yuan ($121.8 million) on their books.

Officials at the Shanghai Statistics Bureau, say that's more than the previous five years combined.

The bureau has also been easing the visa application approval process for overseas students and foreign experts.

The overall result is that some 88,000 overseas experts from various sectors have settled in Shanghai in that time, as have 130,000 Chinese students, who had been tempted to work there after studying abroad.

Ying said the wide range of measures to attract people to the city is now having a significant knock-on effect, too, on Shanghai's wider industrial upgrading and its economy.

"Economic growth in Shanghai is becoming of higher quality and efficiency.

"The city's overall revenue last year reached 551.95 billion yuan ($84 billion), a 13.3 percent increase year-on-year, which is nearly twice that in 2010," said Ying.

The domestic and overseas enterprises set up in the past six months have been increasing their investments in research, say officials.

The latest numbers show that the Shanghai Institute's 15 new centers have helped raise the city's total population of foreign-funded high-tech enterprises to just under 400.

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