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成功无望:爱省中国投资移民的经历

No hope to succeed: a Chinese business investor in PEI

于先生一家在2011年通过爱德华王子岛省的省提名计划移民爱省,于先生称:“如果你问我在爱省的投资创业有望获得成功,我只好说,根本不可能。”

“If you ask me if I expect that my business startup in PEI (Princess Edward Island) going to be successful, the answer is, absolutely not,” said Mr. Yu, whose family arrived in PEI in 2011 under the provincial nominee program of PEI.

爱省的省提名计划要求以期获得该省居住权的申请者支付$10万元保证金,并且需要向当地一个企业投资$15万元。这个以投资移民为导向的省提名计划与联邦政府的全国性投资移民计划非常相似,即愿意投资加拿大企业的国外富豪们将会获得永久居留权,并最终获得梦寐以求的公民身份。

PEI’s PNP program requires applicants to make a $100,000 deposit and $150,000 investment into a local business, in exchange for them to obtain a provincial residency. The investment oriented initiative follows a similar premise as the national wide investor immigration program under the federal government – which rewards permanent residency, and eventually, the grand prize of citizenship to wealthy foreigners willing to invest in a Canadian business.

按照爱省的省提名计划,通过该计划抵埠的移民必须在当地创办一新企业,或是购买现有企业的股份,从而为当地经济注入数亿元资金。爱省的移民项目一直强调的两个关键优势是:扩大投资,增加人口。

Under the PNP program of PEI, immigrants coming in under this program had to start a business or buy a stake in an Island company, pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy. The island has touted two key positives: rising investment and a growing populace.

但是,爱省提名计划及联邦投资移民计划一直饱受批评,被指允许富有外国人“买”路移民到加拿大。

But the PNP initiative, as well as the federal investors’ immigration program, has been criticized for allowing wealthy foreigners to “buy” their way into the country.

随着中国经济持续快速增长,中国富豪队伍不断壮大。但是 由于越来越严重的环境污染,中国教育制度的种种问题,以及中国金融市场不稳定性,是中国富豪欲逃出国境,而加拿大的投资移民计划无疑为他们提供了有吸引力和充满希望的选择。

As China’s economy continues to grow rapidly, more Chinese people have deeper and deeper pockets. But the increasingly polluted environment, the challenges faced in the Chinese education system, and the financial instability in China have sparked their desire to escape the country, and the Canada’s investor immigration programs has been the appealing and promising choice.

但是这些以中国富豪阶层为主的投资移民们,既未投资也没有移居加拿大。许多投资移民与加国没有多少实际联系,他们也没有进行实质性投资。因此联邦政府在20142月取消了投资移民计划。

But the investor immigrants – mostly Chinese elites – were alleged of “neither investing nor immigrating” in Canada.  Too many of the investors had little real connection to this country, and neither did their money. The federal government abolished the program in Feb 2014.

在花费$20万元法律和代理费用,并支付所需的保证金后,于先生的一家在其移民申请获得批准后,在20127月抵埠加拿大。

After $200,000 in legal and agent fees, and putting down the required amount of deposits, Yu’s family application for immigration was approved and his family arrived in July 2012.

在递交申请时,于先生就明白他是否能够取回$10万元保证金,要取决于他创办的向爱省企业出售运动休闲产品的公司是否能得以生存。但是,于先生和数百名其他移民在2011年抵达加拿大后,却发现要在这个文化、语言和商业环境都与祖国截然不同的孤岛上创业极其困难。

At the time of his application, Yu understood that whether he could get his $100,000 deposit back depended on the survival of his proposed business – a company that would sell sport utility products to PEI’s corporations. But Yu, along with hundreds of his peers arriving in Canada since 2011, have found it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to start a business in this isolated island that was under a completely different cultural, language and business environment from his home country. 

于先生称:“企业的成功取决于许多因素,包括机遇、人脉和业主的技能等。但坦率地说,我们在爱省缺乏几乎所有这些因素。”

“Business success depends on many cooperating factors – opportunities, connections and owners’ skills all play a part. But frankly speaking, we lack almost all these factors that would make a successful business in PEI.”

在被问及创办的公司是否有盈利时,于先生不假思索地回答:“哪有什么盈利,公司尚未起步!”

When asked whether his proposed company has made any profit, he quickly snapped, “Absolutely not! Not even close!”

除了每月需要花费$1000元租金,和注册一个$15万元的企业,于先生对如何投入潜在市场还摸不着头脑,更不要提销售产品了。

Aside from spending $1000 on rent each month and purchasing a $150,000 business registration, Yu barely has any idea of how to capitalize on the potential market, let alone making any sales.

于先生称:“语言障碍对我们来说是巨大的挑战。”

“The language barriers are a huge challenge for us,” says Yu.

虽然于先生的雅思英语成绩达到了省提名计划要求的3.5分,但他认为自己的英语水平远远低于创办一个企业或是与当地加拿大人进行交流所需的英语水平。

Although he achieved the program required English proficiency by scoring 3.5 in IELTS English test, Yu believes that his English skills are far below the level required for establishing a business or communicating with local Canadians.

要在一个非常成熟的市场中创业,关键是和潜在客户建立牢固的业务关系。但是语言障碍使于先生感到无力开发这一英语人口构成的市场。

To establish a business in a very matured and established market, a strong business connection with potential clients are the key. But the language deficiency significantly hinders his ability to penetrate a market made up by the English population.

于先生称:“有关潜在商业机会的探讨是从与客户的闲谈开始。但我的英语水平无法与人沟通,更不用说设法完成一笔交易了。”

“Discussing about potential business opportunities start from small talks with customers. But my English skills are not enough to carry out a conversation – never mind trying to close a business deal.”

于先生称,他打算雇佣当地的加拿大人开辟市场,但却有碍于与加拿大员工无法进行语言沟通。

Hiring a local Canadian may help the company to explore market opportunities, but he lacks the basic language skills to communicate with a Canadian employee.

他称:“在我看来,至少需要5年时间才能达到所需的英语水平。”

“In my view, it takes at least 5 years to obtain the required language skills.”

于先生称,有语言障碍的不仅是他,在爱省的几乎所有中国移民都缺乏开展业务活动所需的语言技能。

And Yu says he is not alone. Almost all Chinese immigrants in PEI lack the language skills that allow them to conduct business activities.

于先生表示:“只有中国投资者经营的一些像餐馆这类的小生意可以生存下去,但是在这样一个小岛上你又能开多少家餐馆?”

“Only some small businesses run by the Chinese investors such as restaurants are able to survive,” says Yu. “But how many restaurants can you open in such a small island?” 

在未来一年,于先生的运动休闲设施公司将面对政府的审计。如果他的企业未能通过审计,他将失去他的保证金。

In one year, his sports utility company will be up for a government audit. If his business fails this process, he will forfeit his deposit.

但是于先生已经就此做好准备,他称自己已经准备放弃那笔保证金。

But Yu has already braced for this eventuality. “I am ready to forgo that deposit,” said Yu.

但与此同时,于先生仍然需要支付全家的日常开销,其中包括三居室公寓每月$1000元的租金,和每月$400元餐费等。那么这些钱从哪里来呢?

Meanwhile, Yu still has to pay bills to support his whole family, which includes a $1000 rent for his 3-bedroom apartment, and $400 for food per month.  So where is the money going to come from?

据于先生透露,他在中国从事着另一项国际贸易生意,专门从中国出口宠物用品到国外。讽刺的是,他们全家在爱省的生活都要依赖于他在中国的生意,而他在安省创办的企业却前途黯淡。

Yu reveals that he has another business in China that focuses on international trade – exporting pet products from China to foreign countries. And ironically, his family’s livelihood in PEI relies on this business in China while his startup business in PEI shows no promising future.

于先生称:“目前中国的生意可以带来稳定的现金流,这也是我为什么能让爱省生意荒废的原因。”

“This business in China can bring a stable cash flow into the family coffers,” says Yu. “That is why I can afford to have the business in PEI scrapped.”

但是,于先生打算放弃的不仅是他的生意,还有在其全家的移民旅程中充当跳板的爱省。

But what Yu planned to give up is not only his business but also the province of PEI that served as a launch pad for his family’s immigration journey.

于先生称:“我们肯定会离开爱省,然后前往温哥华或多伦多,我们许多在爱省的朋友都有此打算。”

“We definitely will leave PEI and come to either Vancouver or Toronto, and many of our PEI friends will probably follow suit.”

政府资料显示,许多像于先生一样的新移民都为能离开爱省而宁可放弃保证金,这一状况引发了人们对问题备出的省提名计划的担忧。随着联邦政府不再接受投资移民,似乎无法实现的其核心目标的爱省省提名计划,终将有一天也会对中国富人关闭大门。

Government information shows that many newcomers like Yu were willing to forgo the deposit in order to leave the province promptly, raising concerns about the problematic program. As the federal government no longer accepts investor immigrants to the country, it’s just a matter of time that the PNP program of PEI – which seems failing in its core objectives -- will also close its doors to the Chinese riches.

 

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