To attract more expats to Shanghai and help them better integrate into the city, the Shanghai municipal authorities released an international services handbook, providing local policy and service information to expat residents, on Thursday.
The handbook, compiled by the Foreign Affairs Office of the Shanghai municipal government in collaboration with the Shanghai People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, provides comprehensive information for both new arrivals and long-time expat residents with information regarding various aspects of their everyday life in Shanghai.
The handbook, which is intended to become a pocket guide and "a second passport" for expat residents, is composed of four parts: Shanghai essentials, living in Shanghai, exploring Shanghai, and service directory.
The "Living in Shanghai" part introduces information, including important administrative procedures since arrival, useful mobile phone apps, public transportation, housing, education, health care, emergency hotlines, and public holidays.
In the "exploring Shanghai" part, it provides information on cultural venues, international exhibitions and events, shopping, landmarks, and local specialties among others.
The handbook, which involves views and suggestions from many expat residents, has around 40 illustrations and contains 36 QR codes, which connect users to detailed service information and instructions.
Kong Fu'an, director of the Foreign Affairs Office of the Shanghai municipal government and the executive vice-president of the Shanghai People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, said that expats are valued members of the community and they make significant contributions to the city's development.
"Together, we aim to build Shanghai into a global hub of talent where people from every corner of the globe can converge and thrive. We'll continue to introduce services and measures to provide thoughtful services so that expats can enjoy pleasant stays and successful careers here," he said.
Natacha Tarascon from France, who has lived in Shanghai, where she feels like home, for a decade, said that life in Shanghai as an expat is easy and safe.
High-quality education and medical care are also the reasons that the mother of three children chooses to stay in Shanghai.
"My kids, who were all born and raised in Shanghai, have been learning Chinese, French and English since they were born. Learning diverse, mixing cultures will surely open their minds," said Tarascon, who founded Doucéa, a children's skincare brand in Shanghai in 2019.
"I started the brand in the city because Shanghai has always been a city open to new brands and new things, and the Shanghai government is very supportive of startups. Also, we can easily collaborate with high-end suppliers and innovative factories here," she said.