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Slight rise in Chinese immigrants to developed economies

By Fu Jing in Brussels | | Updated: 2013-06-14 15:15

The number of Chinese immigrants to developed economies has picked up slightly from 2009, and made China the "leading country of origin" according to a report published on Thursday in Brussels.

But given its 1.4 billion population, the rate is far lower than most other countries in the world. And its ability and insight into attracting expertise has won warm appreciation from the OECD chief.

As the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development released the International Migration Outlook 2013, the organization's secretary- general Angel Gurria praised China for implementing "very smart" measures to attract expertise.

China's immigration into OECD countries reached 529,000 in 2011.

In 2009 the number declined to 460,000 from 518,000 in 2007.

Based on 2011 figures, major immigration countries following China are Romania, Poland, India, Mexico, Philippines, United States, Germany, Morocco and the UK, each of which all has immigration of above 100,000.

Though China has become the leading country of origin for immigrants into OECD countries, Gurria said he was impressed by the other side of the story happening in China. "I am quite interested in China’s smart and effective measures in bringing expertise back home," Gurria told China Daily after the report launch.

Though European Union countries have faced a surge of immigrants, both legal and illegal, European Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmstrom said that the number of legal Chinese immigrants to European Union countries is rising.

"This movement is a contribution, not a burden," Malmstrom said during an interview with China Daily.

The report said that migration into OECD countries rose by 2 percent in 2011 from the previous year, to reach almost 4 million.

"Governments must do everything they can to improve immigrant job prospects," said Gurría. "Tackling high and long-term unemployment now is essential. Continuing to help immigrants integrate will also ensure they can play their part in driving growth as the global economy recovers."

Migration within the European Union rose by 15 percent, following a decline of almost 40 percent during the crisis. The trend of people leaving countries hardest hit by the crisis is accelerating, up by 45 percent from 2009 to 2011.

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