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Migrants to China increase - IOM report

Bishkek (AKIpress) - WMR2013-tb There were 685,775 migrants to China in 2010, an increase of 35 percent from 2000, according to the 2013 World Migration Report.

The Chinese version of the report was released in Beijing by the International Organization for Migration on Monday.

The number of foreigners holding residence permits in China in 2010 rose by about 29 percent compared with the figure for 2006. William L. Swing, director- general of the organization, of which China has been an observer country since 2001, said Chinese authorities had been seeking expertise from other nations through the organization to better manage the trend.

Two main concerns for the government were irregular migration management and a shortage of skilled migrants, Swing said. The report said that due to economic growth and demographic changes, China was not only a place of origin for migrants to other countries, but also a country of transit and destination for migrants.

Swing said the IOM had been helping the Ministry of Public Security in China by providing expertise and cutting-edge technology for migration management. He said it was important to think of migration in terms of human mobility and to recognize basic human needs. The organization has been working closely with Chinese authorities for the past seven years to reduce the number of illegal immigrants.

The report said China was an increasingly attractive destination because of its rapid economic growth and demographic changes. Its demand for labor had also outstripped supply, which had led to a rise in wages and greater demand for foreign labor. But China's enormous economic growth was not reflected proportionately in the number of foreigners working in the country, it said.

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