Opinion / Xin Zhiming

Balanced growth a must for keeping wealth

By Xin Zhiming ( Updated: 2014-11-05 09:32

Seventy percent of Chinese living in North America said they were willing to work or start a new business in China, according to a survey. In a separate survey, more than 60 percent of Chinese rich are considering migrating overseas, a contrast that reflects the country’s embarrassing dual status as both a land of hope with abundant business opportunities and a place that many want to leave when it’s financially affordable.

According to CareerBuilder, a recruiting company, 24.69 percent of the respondents were “highly willing” to return to China while 45.68 percent were “willing” to return but needed more time to think about it.

In a separate survey released in August by Hurun, a China-based publisher known for ranking the country’s richest people, 64 percent of China’s rich people (with wealth worth at least $1.6 million) have migrated, are applying for migrating, or are considering migrating overseas.

The interesting contrast is thought-provoking. While China remains a vibrant economy that is quite attractive to investors and business people, it is not a desirable place to live in for the rich Chinese.

Despite the current restructuring-caused slowdown, the Chinese economy, the world’s second-largest, continues to expand at an impressive pace of more than 7 percent. If it can maintain a growth rate of about 6 percent, it is set to catch up with the United States in the coming decades. The process of catch-up will churn out numerous business opportunities for investors.

That is why many Chinese students studying abroad want to return and do business in their home country. On the one hand, the job markets in the advanced economies have been quite tight thanks to the slow economic recovery from the global financial crisis. It is hard for these students to secure a job upon graduation in those countries. On the other hand, the Chinese economy remains resilient and demand remains strong for high-caliber professionals with an overseas educational background.

According to a previous China Daily website report, in 2013, the number of Chinese students who returned home last year increased by 29.5 percent year-on-year, while the growth rate for students going abroad in the same year to study was only 3.58 percent. If the trend continues, the report said, by 2019, the number of overseas students returning to China could for the first time overtake that of Chinese students going abroad.

Results of the Hurun survey, however, have exposed the other side of the story. While China is a good place to make money, it is not an ideal place for investors to stay in.

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