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China Daily Website

Economy may suffer as rich look overseas

Updated: 2012-12-18 02:00
By CHEN XIN in Beijing and YU RAN in Shanghai ( China Daily)

Investment immigration has 'potential to damage growth'

The growing number of Chinese opting for investment immigration could damage employment and rural economies in their homeland, a new report warns.

Wealthy Chinese are increasingly eying opportunities to move capital abroad, according to the 2012 Annual Report on Chinese International Migration released on Monday.

About 50 percent of investment immigration projects each worth $500,000 in the United States are being pitched by agencies in China, Qi Lixin, chairman of the Beijing Entry and Exit Service Association, was quoted as saying in the report.

Immigrant investors in China are mainly private business owners, self-employed groups and senior corporate management staff aged 35 to 55, said the report, released by the Center for China and Globalization and the Beijing Institute of Technology.

"The private economy contributes more than 60 percent of China's GDP and it absorbs a majority of employees. So if private business owners emigrate with their capital, it would mean less investment in the domestic market, so fewer jobs would be created," said Wang Huiyao, director of the Center for China and Globalization.

Investment immigration also brings proportionally bigger economic losses in less developed areas than in big cities because the economies in those areas are mainly bolstered by the private sector, the report added.

In 2011, more than 150,000 Chinese emigrated to destinations such as the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, it said. The United States was the top destination for Chinese immigrants and some 87,000 permanent residence permits were granted in 2011. Of these, 3,340 were approved through investment.

A dairy production investment project in South Dakota attracted $30 million from 60 immigrant investors and created 878 jobs, said the report.

China is one of the major sources of investment immigration for Canada, and Chinese applicants accounted for 75 percent of the North American country's investment immigration in the past three years, according to the report.

From 2008 to 2011, nearly 17,000 Chinese were granted immigrant visas in Australia via investment, and they accounted for nearly 60 percent of the total the country allowed for foreigners.

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