Hangzhou: My land of opportunity

By Benjamin Speyer | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-06-08 15:56
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Editor's note: We have asked expats living in Zhejiang to share their stories about the province's cities where they live and work. Benjamin Speyer is a British expat who has lived in Hangzhou since 2014. He is founder and CEO of technology and financial advisory consultancy Serica.

Benjamin (L) with Jack Wang (C), chairman of Hakim Unique Group, and Henry Huang, CEO of Hakim Unique Group, after formally completing a joint venture. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Moving to China and starting a business has been an ambition of mine since I was a student.

When the recession hit in 2008, the UK was affected worse than any other industrialised nation. In my economics classes, we examined the effect of this recession on my country and how my generation would be the first in four centuries to be poorer than the previous generation.

In sharp contrast, we learned how the Chinese economy – "the sleeping giant", as my professor called it – had a GDP growing by a whopping 15 percent per year. I decided then and there that I couldn't achieve my entrepreneurial ambitions in the UK or the US; I needed to be in China.

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