Demand for multidisciplinary professionals is on the rise as Chinese companies take on more projects overseas, especially under the Belt & Road Initiative.

As much as over 70 percent of central state-owned enterprises (SOEs) considered their overseas business operations affected by a shortage of such employees, said the paper, citing a report by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).

“They need people who can help solve problems regarding cross-cultural communications, legal issues, language barriers, and many others,” CASS researcher Zhong Hongwu was quoted as saying.

Besides hiring, training is taken up as a solution. The report said about 96 percent of the central SOEs have trained staff on local culture and legal systems, language, security & environmental protection.

Zhong said cross – cultural communications remained a challenge. Zhou Jianping, a Chief Engineer of PowerChina, echoed his view, saying that the company welcomed professionals with cross-cultural backgrounds. Staff training by third-party agencies on cross-cultural communications is welcomed too.

This need rises as the local staff has accounted for about 90 percent of the employees in some companies’ overseas branches, he said.

In the meantime, both Zhong and Zhou noted tremendous corporate social responsibility efforts Chinese companies made to local communities, such as building schools, roads, and other infrastructures, around these companies’ project sites.