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24 | CANADA OUTLOOK WORDS | Nicola Way


BUSINESS


www.opp.org.uk | FEBRUARY 2012


Vancouver supreme


It’s long been known that Vancouver - with its “Pacifi c Rim” location on Canada’s north-west seaboard – is a real magnet for Asians wanting to migrate and invest in property abroad. It has been a popular buying destination for decades. Its rise to fame, however, has recently become meteoric. When the Chinese government recently announced the launch of its fi rst visa service centre for the whole of North America, it chose to open it in this, the capital city of British Columbia. How long will Vancouver’s dragon go on breathing fi re?


1960s, there was a total of Cdn$160- million worth of trade between them each year. Today, China has grown to become Canada’s second largest trading partner behind the U.S. with trade reaching Cdn$50.8 billion in 2009 consisting of $11.2 billion in Canadian exports to, and $39.6 billion in imports from, China. Key to Vancouver’s success in attracting the Chinese market is the convenience of direct travel between the two continents. In June 2001, China Southern Airlines confi rmed Vancouver’s importance by providing Canada’s fi rst non-stop fl ights from


W


hen China and Canada fi rst established a trading relationship back in the


Vancouver to China’s most populous province, Guangdong, which is home to more than 104 million inhabitants. Interestingly, in a prescient move in 1985, Guangzhou (the capital) was twinned with Vancouver. And, in 1995, Guangdong province itself was twinned with British Columbia. A survey published in November by the Bank of China and wealth researcher, Hurun Report, revealed that more than half of China’s existing millionaires - those with assets of more than 10 million yuan (US$1.6 million) - are either considering emigrating or have taken steps to do so. The most popular emigration destinations are the U.S. and Canada, which gather 40 per cent and 37 per cent of the vote


respectively. The next destination, third- placed Singapore, attracted only 14 per cent, and Europe 11 per cent. One of the most compelling reasons for emigration to North America is education, followed by a desire for better medical treatment, as well as a fear of China’s all- pervasive pollution problems. The most common model for Chinese families looking to move overseas is that the wife and child obtain foreign passports and live abroad, while the husband gets a residency permit but spends most of his time working in China. “Vancouver has become an international educational hub,” says Karim Virani, of Vancouver-based


This is the fi rst in a new series of columns on the Canadian market written and compiled by Nicola Way of www.BestHomesBC.com and www.AssignmentsCanada.ca. She specialises in off -plan and resale properties throughout British Columbia and Canada. If you would like to contact Nicola, please write to nicola@besthomesbc.com.


Virani Real Estate Advisors, who points out that highly-acclaimed institutions such as the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, and a host of community colleges “attract students from all around the Asia Pacifi c region.” Virani explains that the 1967


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