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Chinese immigration to US still rising

The number of foreign-born Chinese Americans in the US doubled between 2000 and 2010, according to a UN report, and experts attribute the increase in large part to China’s growing middle class, who have left in droves to pursue education or business opportunities abroad.

Among approximately 3.79 million Chinese now living in the United States, 2.2 million were born in China, according to the report by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA).

Chinese immigration to US still rising

“There has been an astronomical increase in Chinese students coming to US, driven by economic growth in China, improved educational infrastructure and a continued uncertainty about China’s trajectory,” said Madeleine Sumption, a senior policy analyst and assistant director for research in the international program at the Migration Policy Institute in Washington. “Having an education outside China is viewed as being an insurance policy, and more and more parents are able to afford to take advantage of that.”

In 2000, 22,000 visas were issued to Chinese nationals in the US; in 2012, that number jumped to 189,000. Increased government investment in China’s education system has also contributed to a larger portion of the Chinese population being able to apply for study abroad, she said.

Zai Liang, a professor in the sociology department at the University of Albany with a focus on immigration and Chinese demography, said he believes that the UN figures are slightly misleading. A significant portion of the 2.2 million Chinese-born immigrants currently in the US are in the country on temporary visas for school or short-term business and will not stay, he said. Some of the students may have been counted twice as a result of exiting the country for holiday trips or other short vacations, he said.

Other factors possibly contributing to increased immigration from China include lenient US immigration policies that encourage high-skill workers from China to take jobs in the US, said Karthick Ramakrishnan, associate professor of political science at the University of California, Riverside. Ramakrishna directs the National Asian-American Survey, and is working on a book on immigration legislation.

The US is working to make its policies more competitive in drawing higher-educated immigrants equipped to work in high-skill industries, he said.

Although immigration from China has increased steadily over the last decade, various push and pull factors play a role in how it plays out in developing countries. Increased wealth provides the means for people to leave, but increased opportunity can also attract many to return home upon graduation, Sumption said.

Immigration reform in the US will likely continue to prioritize visas for educated, high-skill workers from China, but will make it more difficult for Chinese families to bring extended family members with them when they relocate. Adult siblings will no longer be eligible.

The UN-DESA report, which was released ahead of a summit on migration and development held by the General Assembly in early October, noted that 232 million people now live abroad worldwide. In 2000, that number was 175 million. The US remains the world’s most preferred destination for immigration: between 1990 and 2013, nearly 23 million immigrants arrived in the country.

“Even though many people think of immigration as being most important to the Latino community, it’s also incredibly important to the Asian community as the US’ fastest-growing racial group,” Ramakrishnan said.

kdawson@chinadailyusa.com

Wealthy Chinese seeking overseas residency

There is one Chinese export product that is seemingly unstoppable at the moment – millionaires. Porsche-driving Louie Huang lives in Shanghai, having made his money – a lot of money – in property.
He is having a 200-room villa built here and owns properties in at least five other cities around the world. But while his business interests remain in China, he has also stumped up the sizeable investment needed to buy himself residency rights in Singapore. He says it is for a number of reasons, in particular the opportunity it might bring his future family. But he admits that for many of his wealthy friends it is a sense of insecurity which is leading them to ponder a life outside China.
“Most of them think I’ve got so much money here but one day maybe the government will change the policies and take it all back,” he says.  There is mounting evidence to show that China’s super-rich are heading for the exit.
At a seminar in a plush office suite with a spectacular view of Shanghai, Chinese entrepreneurs with at least half a million dollars to spare are being encouraged to invest in the US economy.
The EB-5 visa scheme is an investment-for-residency programme, handing out green cards as long as the investment can be shown to have created at least 10 jobs.
In 2006 Chinese nationals were granted just 63 visas under the scheme. Last year the figure had leapt to more than 2,408 and this year it is already above the 3,700 mark. It means a tidal wave of Chinese money is currently pouring into US infrastructure projects.
The scheme is open to any nationality but Chinese investors now make up 75% of the total.
China’s rigid and opaque political system is perhaps one reason for the wealth-drain, particularly in a year in which there is due to be a changing of the guard at the very top of the Communist Party.
There are certainly lifestyle concerns too. Like Louie Huang the wealthy are often seeking cleaner air and a better education for their children. Enjoying the best things in life also matters. According to the Shanghai Travelers’ Club, a luxury travel club for the Chinese Elite, traveling abroad is a strong sign of social status, and acquiring a property in cities like New York, Las Vegas or London is the ultimate symbol of success in life for the wealthy Chinese.
Add to that the fears that China’s decade-long economic boom may be losing steam and it is perhaps not surprising that China’s rich are on the run. The EB-5 data is not the only evidence. A survey last year of almost 1,000 Chinese dollar millionaires found 60% considering moving overseas.
China is now one of Australia’s biggest sources of migrants with figures released for 2011 showing that it had overtaken the UK for the first time.
And American estate agents have been reporting a big jump this year in the number of high-value home buyers from mainland China and Hong Kong.
The party is far from over for China’s wealthy, including Louie Huang – who has just opened a brand new nightclub. As his patrons sit around tables containing a dozen or more bottles of champagne it is abundantly clear that many people are still making money here.
But in these economically uncertain times, there is a growing temptation for those with money to take it, and themselves, somewhere a little safer.
Source: BBC News

Business Time’s ripe to invest in US

Home / Epaper / Business

Time’s ripe to invest in US

Updated: 2013-08-10 08:33

By Li Jiabao and Ding Qingfen ( China Daily)

 

 

 Time's ripe to invest in US

Employees work at a steel structure engineering company in Houston acquired by a Chinese company in 2011. Chen Ru / Xinhua

It’s an opportune time for cashed-up Chinese to put money into the United States, owing to a favorable investment environment and lower asset prices amid the weak US economic recovery, officials said on Friday.

“The US market is well developed with a sound legal system and there are a lot of sectors worth our investment, which will benefit both countries,” said Tian Deyou, deputy director-general of the department of American and Oceanian affairs at the Ministry of Commerce.

Tian made the comment during a seminar on Chinese Enterprises’ Investment in the US, which was sponsored by the China Society for World Trade Organization Studies.

Paul Lam, president of the US China Global Investment and Trade Alliance, said that now is the “best time” for Chinese investors to enter the US.

“Rising costs at home threaten profits, and we have no choice but invest abroad. We have a good chance, as the Chinese government is encouraging overseas investment and the administration of US President Barack Obama welcomes Chinese investment.

“The weak recovery in the US economy means opportunities to acquire technology, brands and sales networks, which can be connected with the huge Chinese market and bring great benefits to investors in both China and the US,” he said.

William Zarit, minister counselor for commercial affairs at the US embassy in Beijing, said that the US is “very welcoming” to direct investment from China and other countries, which provides new capital for economic growth and infrastructure construction and job creation.

“We expect more and more investment from China as the country focuses more on industrial assets and technology with its huge foreign reserves,” Zarit said.

China’s cumulative direct investment in the US stood at about $20 billion at the end of May, with the money having come from about 1,000 Chinese enterprises. That compared with $700 million in 2005, according to Zarit.

Chinese investment in the US in the first half jumped 290 percent from a year earlier, compared with 29-percent growth in China’s overall outbound direct investment, according to the ministry.

“The US has definite advantages in attracting foreign direct investment with its highly educated labor force and advanced free trade agreements covering America, Asia and the Middle East.

“In addition, the use of shale gas has significantly reduced energy costs, which benefits Chinese manufacturers in the US,” Zarit said.

China and the US agreed in July that they would soon start substantive negotiations on a bilateral investment treaty, which will reduce investment barriers and facilitate market access in the two economies.

Despite the promising prospects, Tian noted that Chinese investors still face some difficulties in the US, the biggest being such cultural differences as language and region.

“Sufficient preparations should be made before any investment in the US” such as engaging legal, accounting and insurance services to reduce risks, Tian said.

He also urged Chinese enterprises in the US to contribute more to local communities as fast-growing Chinese investment has aroused concerns.

Contact the writers at lijiabao@chinadaily.com.cn and dingqingfen@chinadaily.com.cn.

Developers build foundations for global growth

Developers build foundations for global growth

Hu Yuanyuan  2013-02-20 09:04:38

Property companies home in on lucrative deals amid slowdown

Chinese property developers are increasingly looking overseas for opportunities created by the global economic slowdown.

China Vanke, the country’s largest real estate developer by market value, has teamed up with the US real estate firm Tishman Speyer Properties to develop a key site in San Francisco, Vanke confirmed this week.

The move marked the developer’s first venture into the US market.

Details of the deal will be released on Friday, the company said.

The deal came after Vanke set up a research team last year to examine development prospects in the US.

The company’s global strategy will be boosted after it announced a plan to move trading of its non-renminbi shares to Hong Kong last month.

Also last month, the Shenzhen-based developer joined hands with New World Development to purchase a residential site in Hong Kong for HK$3.4 billion ($439 million), its first project outside the Chinese mainland.

“After 30 years of development, our go-global strategy is ready to be implemented. And access to an open international capital market is necessary for such a strategy,” said Tan Huajie, Vanke’s board secretary.

Qin Xiaomei, director at the strategic consulting department of Jones Lang LaSalle Beijing, an international real estate service provider, said: “It is just the beginning of Chinese property developers going global.”

Other Chinese real estate companies have made inroads into overseas markets.

Guangzhou-based Country Garden, which trades its shares in Hong Kong, set up a joint venture with Malaysian real estate firm Mayland in 2011 to develop two residential projects, taking a 55 percent stake. This was foll-owed by Country Garden’s development of a commercial complex in Malaysia last year.

These projects, targeting local as well as Chinese buyers, will open for sale this year.

“We are also on the lookout for quality land parcels overseas. If there are appropriate opportunities, we will not miss them,” one of the company’s executives, who requested anonymity, said.

Beijing Capital Land signed an agreement last year to purchase a land parcel in France on which it plans to establish a Sino-French economic zone.

Wanda Group, the country’s largest commercial property developer, has revealed plans to invest $10 billion in the US over the next decade, particularly in hotels, retail and commercial properties.

Developers are following the trail of Chinese buyers of overseas properties, Qin, from Jones Lang LaSalle Beijing, said.

“But a number of institutions are also finding opportunities overseas amid the global economic slowdown.”

Chinese make up the largest group of overseas buyers in the US property market, accounting for 11 percent of sales, Wang Shi, Vanke’s chairman, said on his micro blog.

Qin added that Chinese buyers have been encouraged by the appreciation of the yuan and the government’s tough real estate policies at home to invest in properties overseas.

“We have noticed a growing enthusiasm among Chinese investors to buy overseas real estate, and the UK and the US are their favorite markets.”

Meanwhile, institutional investors from China are also active in examining overseas opportunities.

China Investment Corp, the country’s sovereign wealth fund, is reportedly one of a trio of Asian investors vying to buy an 800 million pounds ($1.3 billion) office complex in London. The Financial Times, citing unnamed sources, said the deal would be the most expensive property deal in the UK since the start of the financial crisis in 2008.

“A number of real estate funds and property developers have contacted us seeking bargain projects overseas,” said Zhang Ping, head of research in Beijing for the international real estate service provider Cushman & Wakefield.

According to Zhang, compared with international competitors, Chinese property investors are sometimes a bit slow in the decision-making process, and as a result have missed some good prospects.

“In some cases they are still unfamiliar with the legal and investment environment in target countries, but generally I think they are still a bit conservative.”

huyuanyuan@chinadaily.com.cn

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