Opinion / Editorials

Drain of money and talent

(China Daily) Updated: 2012-12-19 08:09

The country's first yearly migration report, released on Monday, reveals that 150,000 Chinese citizens emigrated to the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand in 2011, and of them some 87,000 gained permanent residency in the United States. But what is noteworthy is the fact that 27 percent of entrepreneurs whose wealth has exceeded 100 million yuan ($16.4 billion) have already emigrated and another 47 percent are considering following suit.

Why are they leaving their motherland, whose economy is growing the fastest in the world and whose environment should be the most suitable for them to make an even greater fortune?

Some said they wanted their children to receive better education in developed countries, and some said the cleaner air and better ecological environment were the attractions.

Such a large number of wealthy people leaving for other countries every year will certainly take a huge amount of wealth with them, which will negatively affect the country's economic growth. It is estimated that 17 billion yuan was taken out of the mainland in the three years before 2011.

With an increasing number of wealthy people emigrating, the money they take away with them will, to a certain extent, eviscerate the mainland of its consumption potential, which is badly needed to sustain economic growth.

What is even more worrying is the talent drain when an increasing number of well-educated people in their prime choose to leave with their expertise for foreign countries. The report reveals that the average age of emigrants is between 30 to 40, and many of them are experts in the fields they work in.

Of course, we need to admit that there is much to be desired when it comes to the various conditions that they say are the reasons. Their departure should bring home to policymakers the urgency of transforming the economic growth mode and addressing the problems.

To our great relief, the newly elected Party leadership has demonstrated they recognize how urgent this is by displaying a simple and plain working style. This gives us the hope that balanced development and social progress, better and equal education resources, and a better ecological environment can be expected in the near future.

When things change for the better, those who have left will likely come back.

(China Daily 12/19/2012 page8)

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