Optimizing Foreign-related Services and Improving Yantai’s International Profile
Yantai City plans to expand opening up, improve its international profile, and give a full play to its advantages as one of the first open coastal cities in China. To help foreigners better integrate into daily and work life, it will offer first-class foreign-related services. In order to achieve these goals, Yantai has recently formulated Opinions on Implementation of Optimizing Foreign-related Services and Improving Yantai’s International Profile, which introduces 17 specific measures in 6 service categories.
I. Build a Mutually Beneficial and Win-Win Business Environment
1. Establish an internationally compatible business mechanism. Enterprises will be guided to operate and produce in accordance with international industry norms and management standards. Stability and continuity will be maintained in foreign investment policies, with relevant policy commitments delivered as scheduled. The frequency of reviews and inspections of foreign-invested enterprises will be reduced properly, with record submission required for such on-site visits at least 7 days in advance.
2. Facilitate foreign investment and trade. Foreign Investment Law will be put into practice and all sectors will be granted national treatment except for those included in the negative list. Streamlined start-up process for foreign-invested enterprises will ensure that no materials need to be submitted other than those explicitly required by laws and regulations. Free filing system via “single window” government service will be established to optimize one-stop clearance services. “One submission and one window processing” service is provided for application of Certificate of Origin with its process time reduced to one workday.
3. Expand channels for international exchanges and cooperation. Friendly exchanges and interaction with foreign cities will be strengthened with one or two sister city or friendly cooperative city relations forged every year. Positive contributions by foreigners will be publicized and one to three Honorary Citizens of Yantai will be selected each year. Foreign enterprises, business councils and associations are to be invited to participate in the process of making major foreign-related policies. While boosting the global presence of international expositions held in Yantai such as Yantai International Wine Exposition, five or more high-end international expositions and academic conferences will be organized each year. Two to three international sports events will also be hosted annually in Yantai with acceleration of international cultural and sports exchanges.
II. Offer Honest, Clean and Highly Efficient Government Services
4. Improve feedback mechanism for resolving foreign-related issues. The system of service ambassadors for foreign-invested enterprises will be improved. The first contact on any issue or problem will be responsible for seeing the matter right through to final resolution. The number of service ambassadors will be increased to cover more enterprises with high efficiency. A feedback mechanism for resolving issues of foreign-invested enterprises will be established to tackle those problems carried over from the past.
5. Establish employment and social insurance mechanism for foreigners. Policies on recruiting foreign experts and talents will be formulated and improved with all the relevant preferential treatment put in place. Procedures for employment are to be simplified with foreigner work permit and letter of invitation for foreign expert both being issued within 10 workdays. Employers need to provide social insurance registration for their foreign employees within 30 days after applying for work permits for them.
6. Build support and assistance mechanism for foreigners. Yantai Foreigner Service Center will be established to improve foreign-related consultation services with 24-hour multilingual service lines including but not limited to English, Korean and Japanese available, which is to be publicized at a wide range at public locations such as airport and railway stations. Program of assistance to foreigners in Yantai is introduced to provide business assistance, agent services, living information, human resources and other professional services.
III. Enrich and Diversify Information Services
7. Make language environment more international. English will be popularized at all foreign-related service windows with English information release available. It will take one to two years to enable the officials and staff at foreign-related work positions to have a satisfactory mastery of everyday English. Foreign students schools in Yantai are encouraged to launch Chinese learning programs in various forms and capable schools are supported to set up free Chinese language training centers. A talent pool of translators will be set up with activities such as foreign language month and advanced translation training courses being organized every year.
8. Set up information release platforms. The English, Korean and Japanese versions of the official website of Yantai municipal government and its contents of external publicity will be enriched. A package of foreign-related information on living, tourism, employment, healthcare, education, shopping, recreation and more will be provided on specific website, mobile APP and WeChat account. Government work reports, conference briefs and foreign related policies will be updated in English, Korean and Japanese timely on official website, as will translated versions of important documents.
9. Provide information services in foreign languages. English, Korean and Japanese contents will be included in radio and television programs as appropriate. Multilingual Guidebook for Foreigners Working and Living in Yantai and Foreign Investment Service Manual will be compiled, available free in public locations such as airport and hotels accommodating foreign guests. It will also be possible to download these from the internet.
IV. Provide Fast and Convenient Transportation
10. Advance exit-entry and residence facilitation. Seven exit-entry policies and measures launched by Ministry of Public Security in relevant national free trade zones will be introduced, to simplify procedures for four categories of foreigners including high-end talents, personnel working in Yantai long term, overseas Chinese and foreign students. Service on Saturdays (except for statutory holidays) and 24-hour self-service is available at the Exit-entry service center. Service station will be placed in areas where foreigners are grouped. Applications for visa, stay and residence permits, and letters of invitation for foreigners to China will be processed within 5, 5, 7 and 1 workday(s) respectively. Fast tracks will be available for emergencies and exceptional cases. We will seek 144-hour transit visa-free policy in Yantai. Port visas are issued to qualified foreigners paying urgent visits to Yantai. Residential information and service platform for foreigners will be established as well.
11. Enhance support capacity of transport services. Capacity of airport and ports is to be upgraded, with one or more new direct international (regional) air routes to be added every year and China-Korea scheduled passenger-cargo liners and international container shipping routes continuing to operate regularly. Displays on electronic screens at bus stops, broadcast announcements on buses and taxi meter notifications will offer information in both Chinese and English. Urban traffic signs and road nameplates will have unified annotations in foreign languages.
V. Create an Agreeable Living Environment with Comprehensive Services
12. Reinforce educational services. We support good international school practices. Policies for children of foreigners regarding enrollment in kindergartens and schools will be put into place. By the year 2020 the number of schools qualified for accepting children of foreigners will reach 100 in Yantai.
13. Develop medical services. A minimum of two international medical centers will be founded. Health-related procedures for foreigners are to be optimized, with a Medical Handbook for Foreigners being complied, multilingual appointment hotlines and online appointments available, and multilingual medical appointment, consultation and clinical reception services to be provided in top-class hospitals.
14. Improve real estate and housing services. Guidebooks of English, Korean and Japanese versions for house purchasing and leasing are to be offered and foreign-related real estate agent services will be well regulated. Foreigners working in Yantai with permanent residence cards are allowed to deposit housing provident fund out of their own choices to enjoy local citizen treatment and have access to apply for loans from the fund for their personal housing.
15. Strengthen civil, legal and religious services. Procedures of foreign-related marriage, adoption, homeless people support, funeral and interment and other services are to be streamlined with reduced processing time. Venues and information for foreign-related religious activities will be provided in accordance with the laws. A talent pool of lawyers will be set up to reserve professional lawyer teams with good foreign language skills. Two to three law firms will be chosen to launch multilingual legal services.
VI. Build a Distinctive Leisure Environment
16. Perfect tourism services. The city brand “Coastal Wonderland, Fresh Yantai” will be promoted, with cruise and yacht, wine, fishing, hot spring, skiing and other tourism products popular with foreigners to be developed. At locations such as airport and railway stations foreign tourist centers will be set up, providing multilingual tour guides and consultation services. Five to six high-end foreign dining and shopping centers will be built and at least one pedestrian street of provincial level will be renovated to attract well-known foreign brands.
17. Boost a dynamic lifestyle. Various cultural activities will be organized to enrich the leisure time of foreigners and their families, who are encouraged to participate in social welfare and volunteer organizations as well. We support foreigners to join local sports associations such as football, basketball, marathon and among the others. It is our objective to build a model international community that facilitates exchanges between and merging of cultures and lifestyles.