How many employees has FESCO provided for foreign enterprises?
Founded in 1979, Beijing Foreign Enterprise Service Corporation (FESCO) has established cooperative relations with more than 1400 foreign business representative offices and introduced and registered 5,600 Chinese employees who are currently employed by those foreign business representatives.
What range of services and businesses can you provide?
Besides providing various types of staff to our clients, our business scope also covers such areas as customs clearance transportation and storage of cargos, household services, cross-culture, education services, domestic and international airticket booking service, sales maintenance of office automation equipment, car repairs and providing help in registering a representative office in Beijing for those foreign enterprises who wish to establish their business in China. In order to back up itself, FESCO has also participated in real estate business, over-seas investment and in establishing some subordinate enterprises and joint ventures.
Describe the procedures involved in supplying staff to foreign companies.
According to the regulations regarding the operation of representative offices of foreign enterprises issued by the State Council and a circular by the municipal government of Beijing, FESCO is the authorised institution for handling the introduction and all formalities concerning the employment of Chinese by foreign business representative offices in Beijing. The registration for such employment is handled by the Commerce and Industrial Administration Bureau. The government has put no limit on the number of employees a foreign business office can hire. It's totally up to the foreign business office to decide whether or not it is going to hire any local staff, and how many.
Once a foreign business office has decided to hire Chinese staff, it needs to establish cooperative relations with FESCO in the form of a contract. With those foreign business offices who do not wish to hire any Chinese staff, FESCO offers its services on a non-contractual basis, and is ready to help when-ever it's so required.
FESCO is also currently responsible for handling applications from foreign enterprises wishing to establish its offices in Beijing.
The procedures for hiring a Chinese employee consist of public recruitment through newspaper advertising or holding examinations; if an employee can not meet the requirements of his employer the employment will terminate anytime within the probationary period and a re-placement can be located via FESCO or the employer.
To what extent do you liaise with foreign companies to establish their requirements and needs?
FESCO keeps frequent contacts with foreign business offices here in Beijing. Besides day-to-day telephone calls and correspondence, on the year end, FESCO sends out its staff to visit foreign business offices to listen to their comments, needs and criticisms, in order to improve their work.
What are the regulations concerning employees salaries?
In the past 13 years, FESCO has gradually improved its accounting system in collecting employment fees from foreign business offices, distributing employees' salaries, submitting taxes to the government and expanding its own business. For employees of different categories, FESCO negotiates with foreign business offices on a different salary standard, which is mutually acceptable.
According to the employment con-tract signed between FESCO and the employers of a Chinese employee, once the salary is paid to FESCO, up to 45 per cent will be paid to the employee as his salary and 15 per cent will be retained as expenses on retirement pension, medicare, central heating expenses etc. Up to 30 per cent will be submitted to the government in the form of taxes and the remaining 11 per cent, which is the net profit, will be used for both the development of FESCO and for the benefit of FESCO employees with, for example, the construction of apartment and offices buildings.
How have the needs of foreign companies changed over the last few years?
In recent years, FESCO has witnessed a rapid increase in the number of foreign business offices who have established offices in Beijing.
One big change in the demands of these representative offices is the trend of hiring midlevel or senior professional staff or technicians instead of clerical or secretarial employees, the usual priority in the past. In order to keep up with this change, FESCO has tried hard to absorb and restore as many such professionals as it could for foreign business offices to select.
With this objective in mind, FESCO is trying to facilitate its staff with a training programme so that employees can start work immediately without spending too much time to get themselves acquainted with what they are going to do. Of course, the extent to which they can work also depends on the training provided by their future employer, who knows better what kind of person it needs.
How do you see FESCO changing in the future in view of the increasing freedoms being given to foreign firms? How long do you expect an organisation like this to exist in modern China?
The external service industry in China is a by-product of economic re-form and the open door policy and it has been growing with the deepening of economic reform. If there was no reform, there would be no such external service company as FESCO. In the early 80s, there was only one FESCO in Beijing but now its likes can be found in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangzhou and other 35 cities and special economic zones.
The development of such service companies will not confine the freedom of foreign enterprises to do business in China. On the contrary, their existence will help create an economic environment more aligned with international practices, in which foreign enterprises will enjoy up-to-date standards, high quality and comprehensive service.
Address: 14-16/F, Asia-Pacific Building No. 8, Yabaolu, Chaoyang District, Beijing 1000, China. Tel: 5121584, 5121167. Fax: 5125358. Telex: 210030 FESCOCN
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