Employees from Sany Heavy Industry, a major engineering machinery manufacturer in China, perform stunts with the company's excavators during the fourth China-Eurasia Expo in Urumqi on Wednesday. Zou Hong / China Daily
Many State-owned and private businesses in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region are hiring more local people as they are pursuing a larger foothold in a lucrative market with more access to Chinese companies on the Silk Road economic belt.
Meng Fengchao, chairman of China Railway Construction Co, said on the sidelines of the fourth China-Eurasia Expo in Urumqi on Wednesday that as Xinjiang plans to build more international rail routes on the Silk Road economic belt to compete with established rivals in China's western and central regions, the company has seen lots of potential in this market.
This years, Xinjiang will offer two regular international block train services - trains whose cars all share the same point of origin and destination. The first train will depart from Urumqi to Mersin in southern Turkey via Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran by the end of this year. Another train service to Moscow will be launched at the same time.
The rail construction company has set a goal of recruiting up to 600 Xinjiang natives with university or post-graduate qualification within two years to enhance its marketing, research and development capabilities in Xinjiang.
"Railway development is a reflection of economic growth. Rail investment is rising, and the types of trade and cross-border business models are diversifying," Meng said. "So this can create more jobs in the service sector from a long-term perspective."
Meng said that because Xinjiang, Central Asian countries and Mongolia have many similarities in the way they do business as well as in cultural and language backgrounds, having more local staff members would be helpful to build "more railroad along the Silk Road economic belt and employ a large local workforce, once the company wins big-ticket projects in the region sooner or later".
The second central work conference on Xinjiang held in May emphasized that the central government will implement a variety of support policies in employment, education and poverty reduction in the region.
To support the local job market, the Xinjiang regional government in July required that Xinjiang residents make up at least 70 percent of the new recruitment quota in all government investment and aid projects, and State-owned enterprises in the region.
In the meantime, the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council demanded that the staff proportion from ethnic groups in State-owned enterprises must exceed 10 percent within two years and reach 25 percent over the next three years, which would create 30,000 jobs for local residents from different ethnic groups.
Kang Ning, deputy general manager of China Post Group, said his company has already begun to recruit Xinjiang residents, in particular ethnic Russians and Kazakhs, to improve its China-Kazakhstan-Russia postal service, which was launched in October of last year.
Boosted by the development of e-commerce among the three neighboring countries, a total of 24.59 million packages had been sent to Russia and Kazakhstan from China through this regional delivery service by the end of July. Kang said China Post needs more staff members who can speak Russian or Kazakh to meet the increasing demand for qualified personnel as the Silk Road economic belt is developed.