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Contribution to US economy lauded

Updated: 2014-02-11 10:55
By China Daily ( China Daily USA)

Contribution to US economy lauded

Linda He (right), accepting the City of Cleveland's Certificate of Recognition from Kristen Laughlin from the Cleveland International Fund. Provided to China Daily

Linda He, CEO and president of one of the largest Chinese investment immigration consultancies was recently awarded a Certificate of Recognition from the City of Cleveland for her contribution to the local economy, according to the consultancy's press release.

Under her leadership, Wailian Overseas Consulting Group has helped to raise about $90 millionin capital for local projects through a partnership with the Cleveland International Fund, a private equity fund and EB-5 Regional Center, over the past few years.

"I am deeply honored to receive this award," she said in a press release. "This Certificate of Recognition is not only a reflection of my personal work, but a recognition of Wailian's growth in recent years."

The EB-5 projects in Cleveland she has worked on - including the Ernest & Young office building and University Hospital - have generated about 2,000 new jobs, she told China Daily.

The EB-5 Program was created to stimulate the US economy through job creation and foreign investment. With a minimum investment of $1 million (or $500,000 in low employment or rural areas), an EB-5 investor must not only create but also preserve at least 10 full-time jobs through the project. In return, the investor is eligible for permanent US residency.

Currently about 80 percent of EB-5 investors are Chinese, a number that has surged in recent years, according to immigration lawyers.

"We're glad to see that we have not only assisted our clients in selecting the best investment opportunities, but also created thousands of jobs that help boost the economy in the city ofCleveland," she said.

Based in China, He frequently travels to the US to bring Chinese investment to the US and introduce US projects to investors back home. Serving Wailian for more than 10 years, she helped a variety of US companies and local governments raise funds. The scope of her influence has reached far beyond Cleveland.

"We have helped raise funds for many successful projects including the Lionsgate project, the Comcast headquarters project and many others helping build state of the art hospitals, assisted-living facilities, and other projects that help improve the quality of life in communities acrossthe US," she said.

In addition, she said she is dedicated to community work that helps Chinese immigrants adapt to the life in the US.

"For example, in Los Angeles we've hosted a qipao (traditional Chinese dress) party, helped immigrants get their children internships at companies and we even brought people to a Lakers game," she said.

Regarding the award, the young entrepreneur said although she would like to keep a low profile about it, her attendance at the Grammy Awards in January changed her mind.

"The fact that I didn't see any Chinese people other than (pianist) Lang Lang made me realize that overseas Chinese are still far from the mainstream society in the US," she said.

"I hope my acceptance of the award will make more people realize how much Chinese entrepreneurs have helped the US economy," she added.

Zhang Yang contributed to this report and can be reached at yangzhang@chinadailyusa.com.

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