Global talent flow attests to economic landscape

By Wen Dao Source:Global Times Published: 2015-3-19 23:08:01

Chinese Social Sciences Academic Press released its annual report on China's migration status on Thursday, noting two trends that might make a great difference to China's economic and social development.

The first shows that fewer and fewer Chinese people are seeking permanent residency in the US. According to the report, in 2013, some 71,000 Chinese people received US permanent residency, an 18.3 percent decrease compared with 2011 when over 87,000 Chinese got US green cards. It is expected that the decline will continue as both countries have agreed to extend visa validity for each other to 10 years, and above all, the US, which has attracted immigrants for decades, is losing its halo as a promised land.

The second trend is that the number of foreigners in China continues to rise. As of 2013, there were over 848,500 foreigners living in China, and the average growth rate in the past decade was 3.9 percent, higher than the 3 percent growth rate from 1990 to 2000.

What's more, according to HSBC's Expat Explorer Survey in 2014, China ranked third among all countries as one of the best expat destinations after Switzerland and Singapore. The signs are showing that China is becoming increasingly attractive for global talents.

These two trends are indications of the current situation in the world economy, which has stepped into a "new normal" while recovering from the devastating global financial crisis. They also reveal and endorse the latent vitality of the Chinese market, which is looking for more quality elements that can drive its economy to a more sustainable phase.

So far, China's "new normal" in economic development, featuring a continuous drop in the growth rate, has aroused controversies in the international community. Many people have started to doubt whether the Chinese economy can hold onto its position as an engine of the world economy. Skepticism has even spread to other spheres, where Chinese political stability and functionality are also questioned.

However, many ignore that growth rate slowdown is an inevitable result of China's readjustment to its economic structure. Chinese policymakers realize that this country's massive demographic dividend is draining, and industries dependent on it will shrink if decisive reforms are not conducted as soon as possible. China is looking up and trying to climb higher on the global value chain. This process requires real global talents more than ever.

Therefore, China is seeking new dividends from immigration. This might be an important link that can boost the Chinese economy to a higher level.

China still remains the biggest "victim" of the outflow of talent and wealth as the absolute number of emigrants are still huge and out of proportion to its immigrants. But China will put more efforts into recalibrating its policy and building a friendlier environment, as it needs to embrace more global talents.

Posted in: Observer

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