China must find ways to keep wealthy citizens from emigrating or risk weakening its economy and stunting growth of its middle class, according to a commentary in the China Daily newspaper.
The country can make itself “more attractive to its talent” by easing the tax burden, breaking up monopolies and promoting the free flow of economic resources, Zhang Monan, an economic researcher at the State Information Center, wrote in the commentary today.
China is facing a loss of wealth and consumption as rich people look to move abroad, Zhang said, citing a survey conducted by China Merchants Bank and Bain & Co. that was published in April. The poll found that almost 60 percent of wealthy Chinese had considered or applied for residency abroad under investment-immigration programs aimed at creating jobs.
“Only by making the country more attractive to its talent can China keep them and their wealth from leaving,” Zhang said.
The survey found that 27 percent of business owners with more than 100 million yuan ($15.8 million) had moved abroad under investment immigration, while 47 percent were thinking about doing so. It said the number of Chinese investment immigrants in the U.S. grew at an compounded annual rate of 73 percent over five years.
The survey said the main reason wealthy people wanted to move was to provide for their children’s education. They also want to prepare for retirement and find a safe place to put their wealth, it said.
“Without doubt, the skyrocketing living costs, worsening environment, poor social welfare and growing tax burden in China are partly responsible for the loss,” Zhang said.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Hirschberg at firstname.lastname@example.org