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Business in China, family overseas

By Yu Ran in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2013-07-22 10:44

An increasing number of young emigres are returning to China to develop their business interests, having obtained permanent residency overseas. Many have left their parents overseas to care for their young families.

"I tried to find a proper job in New Zealand, but I discovered that I can't make enough money to raise the whole family by myself," said Hu Mengdi, a 28-year-old businessman who has left his parents in Auckland, where they take care of his 2-year-old son.

Having graduated from the University of Auckland in 2008 with a degree in business management, Hu obtained permanent residence and married a local woman in 2010. A year later, when his son was born, his wife left her job to stay at home and look after the baby. That same year Hu's parents moved to New Zealand to live with them.

"As the family's only earner, I needed to find a better way of making money quickly, so I decided to open a trading company and export goods from New Zealand to China," said Hu, who now spends most of his time in China.

His wife spends a lot of time flying around China to help expand the markets in Guangdong, Sichuan and Hunan provinces.

Statistics show that an increasing number of elderly parents, who were sponsored by their children under the family reunification program, are being left to fend for themselves, according to reports in the New Zealand Herald.

Nearly 3,000 of those who brought their parents to New Zealand under the sponsorship scheme are no longer in the country, and about one-third are from China.

"We are trying to grasp the great opportunities and make as much money as possible in the next five to 10 years. Then we will move back to New Zealand permanently and reunite the family," said Hu.

He added that Chinese market is very promising, with a huge rise increase in demand for imported goods, including foodstuffs, clothing and toys during the past two years, and it looks as though the market will continue to boom.

The grandparents said they would do anything for the sake of their children, even if that means staying on in foreign countries to acclimatize to local lifestyles.

"We want to help my son and his wife in the early years of their business by taking care of our grandson while we still have the energy to do, but we probably won't live in New Zealand for too long," said Hu's mother, a retired accountant from the southwest Chinese municipality of Chongqing.

She added that she and her husband plan to return to China once her son's company becomes established and has expanded. If that happens the company will employ managers in China to run the business and their son and daughter-in-law will be able to spend more time with their child in New Zealand.

An increasing number of Chinese businesspeople who have permanent residence overseas or hold foreign passports still run their companies from China.

"It's quite common for young immigrants to seek better opportunities and to make the most of what the host country can offer by obtaining permanent residence as a long-term benefit," said Xie Baisan, director of Fudan University's capital and financial market research center.

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