BEIJING (AFP) – Nearly half of China’s super-wealthy individuals are considering leaving the country, a survey said Monday, with most citing better educational and employment opportunities for their children overseas when compared with mainland China.
The global survey of 2,000 high net worth individuals by Barclays Wealth found that 47 percent of the wealthy Chinese who were questioned plan to move overseas within the next five years.
The Chinese semi-autonomous city of Hong Kong is their preferred destination, cited by 30 percent of respondents, followed by Canada with 23 percent – although earlier this year Ottawa closed an immigrant investor visa scheme that had been popular among wealthy Chinese.
The results show that “better educational and employment opportunities for their children is the main pull factor for Chinese high net worth individuals”, according to the survey.
China has seen double-digit economic expansion in recent decades but faces mounting uncertainty over its pace of growth.
Its economic expansion has also come at significant environmental cost – particularly in large cities that are rife with pollution such as Beijing and Shanghai – another factor among the country’s super-wealthy in considering a move to better environments overseas.
The survey also found that a significant share of Singapore’s wealthy – 23 percent – plan a move abroad in the next five years, even as the city-state remains a top destination for Hong Kong’s rich.
In Hong Kong 16 percent of the wealthy said they plan to move, with 44 percent of these naming Singapore as their destination.
Around the world, a little over half – 57 percent – of super-rich individuals have only lived in one country, with 20 percent having lived in three or more.