The flow of talent in and out of China is likely to increase over the coming years, producing great economic dividends for the country but also throwing up many challenges for policymakers, experts say.
"China is in the early stages of progress (in attracting talent),"said Demetrios Papademetriou, president of the Migration Policy Institute, a think tank in Washington. "In progress, what matters is direction, and clearly this is moving in the right direction."
Papademetriou was in Beijing recently for the Roundtable on Global Talent Movement, at which trends in the flow of talent and measures to handle it were discussed.
Capital flows usually determine which way international talent flows, Papademetriou said.
As many US companies have expanded into China, including setting up operations in the country, overseas talent has flowed China's way, Papademetriou said.
That flow has been bolstered by talented Chinese working overseas who have decided to return home, encouraged by the country's growing economic prowess. In addition, given the economic problems much of the world is facing, China is seen as having a lot more potential than many other places, he said.
"Ultimately I think within five to 10 years, if China becomes a truly desirable destination, it becomes easier to start a company, to recruit talent, and visas become easier (to obtain). all of these will become part of creating conditions for people to succeed in China. When that happens, more Chinese will be returning."
Wang Huiyao, director-general of the Center for China and Globalization, said there is a huge imbalance between China and the US in attracting talented people from the other side, and he is calling for more government incentives in both countries to encourage mobility of talent.