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伦敦成本太高?那来贝尔法斯特吧!

更新时间:2017/10/15 11:16:24 来源:本站原创 作者:佚名

A cheaper alternative to London?
伦敦成本太高?那来贝尔法斯特吧!

In just two decades, Belfast has transformed from warzone to tech hub, overhauling a once-battered image.

短短20年,贝尔法斯特就从战区摇身一变成了科技中心,彻底颠覆了曾经破败的形象。

A place where there are now plenty of job opportunities and workers have a high standard of living: it has become a draw for expats and big businesses.

这里如今拥有很多工作机会,还能为劳动者提供高标准的生活品质,因而吸引了大批外籍人士和大企业纷至沓来。

It’s a world away from the Belfast of the 1980s and 90s shown to the international community through news bulletins of riots, checkpoints and streets barricaded with barbed wire. There’s still some way to go in the Northern Irish capital’s rebranding; a volatile political leadership means it still often feels mired in the past.

与上世纪八九十年代那个经常被骚乱困扰,随处可见检查点和铁丝围栏的城市相比,如今的贝尔法斯特让人感觉恍若隔世。作为北爱尔兰的首府,这座城市在重塑形象的过程中仍然任重道远,政治领袖的频繁变动表明这里仍然会经常感受到过去的阴霾。

Most of the city’s youngest workers weren’t even born when the 1998 Good Friday Agreement was signed, which signalled an end to 30 years of conflict. It is one reason why they, and most of the 1.8m people living in the region, are more focused on a prosperous future than past politics.

当1998年签署《贝尔法斯特协议》(Good Friday Agreement),结束了这里长达30年的动荡时,这座城市最年轻的劳动者大都还没有出生。这也是他们以及这一地区的180万居民多数都更加关注未来前景,而不是过往政治事务的原因之一。

Looking ahead

展望未来

Belfast’s skyline offers a glimpse into the makeup of its new economy. Multinationals based there – taking advantage of low operating costs – include US insurer Allstate, law giant Baker McKenzie and professional services companies PwC and Deloitte.

贝尔法斯特的天际线让人得以一睹它崭新的经济面貌。驻扎于此的跨国公司充分利用了当地较低的运营成本,其中包括美国保险公司Allstate、法律巨头Baker McKenzie以及普华永道和德勤等专业服务公司。

While Brexit and creation of a ‘soft border’ between Northern Ireland (which will leave the EU) and the Republic of Ireland are thrashed out, it remains unclear how Belfast’s economy and jobs market will be affected.

英国脱欧仍在谈判阶段,北爱尔兰(将会脱离欧盟)与爱尔兰共和国之间设立"软边境"的事宜也在探讨之中,因此脱欧会在贝尔法斯特的经济和就业市场方面造成怎样的影响,目前仍然不得而知。

Prior to the 2016 vote, Brazilian-owned chicken processor Moy Park and US investment bank Citi – two large employers – had raised concerns. But in the wake of the decision, both have said it won’t have an impact on their Northern Ireland operations and both have added to their headcount.

在2016年公投之前,英国禽肉生产商Moy Park和美国投资银行花旗这两大雇主都感到担忧。但在投票结果确定后,他们都表示此事不会影响其在北爱尔兰的业务,甚至都有意继续增加这里的员工人数。

More of a worry is a trade dispute that threatens Northern Ireland’s largest manufacturing employer.

人们更担心的是贸易纠纷可能影响北爱尔兰最大的制造业雇主。

Canadian plane maker Bombardier, which employs 4,500 people in Northern Ireland, is the subject of a lawsuit by Boeing in the US over the subsidised sale of its planes. Boeing wants the US government to hit Bombardier with tariffs, which could threaten the future of its Belfast plant. It would also call into question the future of the 80 local companies which supply parts and services to the Canadian firm and stunt the growth of a high-potential aerospace sector.

加拿大飞机制造商庞巴迪在北爱尔兰有4,500名员工。波音在美国起诉庞巴迪为飞机销售提供补贴的事情可能对其造成影响。波音希望美国政府向庞巴迪征收关税,这有可能威胁庞巴迪在贝尔法斯特工厂未来的前途。而这家加拿大公司在当地的80家零件和服务供应商也有可能受到连累,潜力巨大的航空领域未来的增长同样会面临障碍。

Cost of living

居住成本

Isis Dela Pena Palamine, who moved to Belfast from near Malmo in Sweden in 2014, works as a chef in the south of the city and said the cost of living compares favourably.

伊希斯·德拉·皮纳·帕拉米纳(Isis Dela Pena Palamine)2014年从瑞典马尔默搬到贝尔法斯特,在该市的南部当厨师。她表示,这里的居住成本很有优势。

“It’s very cheap to live here when it comes to food and to accommodation,” she said. “We live in a two-bedroom house which costs £425 a month; if that was in Sweden we would have paid £600 just for a flat.”

"这里的饮食和住宿成本很低。"她说,"我们住的两居室月租425英镑。如果是在瑞典,一套单元房就要600英镑。"

Property buyers can also find a bargain.

购房者也可以买到便宜货。

The latest data from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency shows the average house price in Belfast stands at £128,650. That compares to £489,000 in London, according to the UK’s Office for National Statistics.

北爱尔兰统计和研究局的最新数据表明,贝尔法斯特的平均房价为12.865万英镑。而根据英国国家统计局的数据,伦敦的平均房价为48.9万英镑。

Average wages – although climbing at the second fastest rate of all UK regions – stand at £26,000 a year, lower than the UK average of £28,000 and the London average of £35,000, according to the ONS.

英国国家统计局的数据表明,贝尔法斯特的平均年薪为2.6万英镑,虽然增速在整个英国位居第二,但仍然低于整个英国(2.8万英镑)和伦敦(3.5万英镑)的平均值。

Living costs are relatively low, although utility bills can be pricey given Northern Ireland’s need to import much of its energy needs. And some expats, particularly from London and New York, have suggested that eating out costs more, although a growing number of restaurants – everything from the Michelin-starred Ox and Deanes Eipic to the increasing number of street food vendors – are helping to boost supply.

尽管居住成本较低,但当地的公用事业费却很贵,原因在于北爱尔兰的很多能源需求都依赖进口。一些外籍人士认为出去吃饭花费较高,来自伦敦和纽约的人尤其如此。不过,从米其林星级餐厅OX和Deanes Eipic到越来越多的街头小吃店,当地的餐厅数量增多使得供给得以增加。

Out and about

户外活动

Many expats are drawn to city centre apartments constructed before the credit crunch in 2007 around the Titanic Quarter (next door to the shipyard where the ill-fated vessel was built) and the Cathedral Quarter, a rejuvenated warehouse area now filled with some of its best bars and restaurants.

贝尔法斯特市中心的泰坦尼克区和大教堂区周围有很多2007年次贷危机前建造的公寓,很多外籍人士都喜欢住在那里。泰坦尼克区的隔壁就是建造那艘沉没巨轮的船厂;大教堂区原先有很多仓库,现在则聚集了当地最好的酒吧和餐厅。

Here punters can drink a pint of locally-brewed stout in The Sunflower Bar, a perfect example of Belfast’s changing mood. It still has a security cage on the outside, used during the Troubles so the landlord could check who was coming in but now painted green, often decked out with fresh flowers and something of a tourist attraction.

在这里,顾客们可以在太阳花酒吧(The Sunflower Bar)里喝一杯当地酿造的烈性黑啤。这里算得上是贝尔法斯特氛围变迁的完美体现:它的外面至今仍然有一个安全笼,过去在北爱动乱时期,老板用它来核查来者的身份,但现在都被涂成了绿色,而且经常会摆上鲜花和一些吸引游客的东西。

The University Quarter is also popular and one of the most ethnically diverse regions of the city given Queen’s University’s global draw for students, particularly from Asia. It is next door to the leafy avenues of the Malone Road and Lisburn Road.

大学区同样很受欢迎,由于女王大学吸引了世界各地的学生(尤其是来自亚洲的学生),使得这里成为当地种族多样化最为明显的区域之一。它的隔壁就是绿树成荫的马龙路(Malone Road)和里斯本路(Lisburn Road)。

But Belfast is a small city and within minutes, visitors can be in the grittier areas of the Falls and Shankill Roads. These are parallel streets of yesteryear’s TV news stories, one Catholic and one Protestant, which used to be constantly at war and divided by a peace wall, which you can still see if you’re quick.

但贝尔法斯特的面积不大,只需要几分钟时间,游客便可来到满是沙子的福斯路(Falls Road)和尚基尔路(Shankill Road)。在过去的电视新闻里,这是两条相互平行的街道,一条属于天主教,一条属于新教。双方曾经在这里频繁发生冲突,并在此修建起"隔离墙"——如果你尽快来旅游的话,应该还能一睹它的真容。

Quality of life

生活品质

Shizuko Luke said she was anxious when she first moved to the city 11 years ago from Hyogo, Japan given a lack of ethnic diversity, something which has improved over the years since peace in the region, but a figure which still lags behind other regions of the UK.

静子·卢克(Zhizuko Luke)表示,由于种族多样性不足,她11年前刚刚从日本兵库县(Hyogo)搬到这里时感到非常焦虑。但随着贝尔法斯特实现和平,这种状况随后得以改善,但仍然落后于英国其他地方。

But having raised two boys in the city, Luke is very positive. “It’s a good place to raise a family and the education system in Northern Ireland is of a high standard with plenty of good grammar schools,” she said.

不过,已经在这座城市生下两个儿子的卢克现在很乐观。"这是个成家立业的好地方,而且北爱尔兰的教育系统标准很高,有很多优秀的文法学校。"她说。

Ronan Cunningham has lived in Belfast for the past four years and credits the city with nurturing a unique “deep tech” environment (encompassing industries such as artificial intelligence, robotics and augmented reality) which has allowed him to found his software start-up BrainWaveBank.

罗南·坎宁安(Ronan Cunningham)过去4年一直住在贝尔法斯特,他盛赞这座城市培育了独特的"深科技"环境(涵盖了人工智能、机器人和增强现实等多个领域),使之可以创办自己的BrainWaveBank软件创业公司。

The Galway native worked for Boeing for 20 years and set up his own engineering company in San Diego before settling on Belfast to start his tech business.

坎宁安是戈尔韦(Galway)人,他曾经在波音工作了20年,后来在圣迭戈创办了自己的工程公司,然后又在贝尔法斯特创办了这家科技公司。

He said the concentration of tech talent, the willingness of the tech community to share knowledge, the availability of funding for start-ups combined with the low cost of living provide a unique environment.

他表示,由于这里集中了很多科技人才,科技界也愿意分享知识,创业资金同样非常充沛,再加上较低的生活成本,共同营造了当地独特的环境。

“I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing in Dublin or London. People like us can work at significantly lower salaries while we’re starting our businesses and still enjoy a good standard of living in Belfast.”

"我们不会像在都柏林和伦敦那样生活。像我们这样的人在贝尔法斯特创业时可以接受很低的工资,但仍然可以享受高标准的生活。"

Cunningham adds that the city’s cultural scene is “growing and developing with good restaurants and bars springing up all the time.”

坎宁安还补充道,"随着一流的餐厅和酒吧不断涌现",这座城市的文化氛围"也在持续地进步和发展"。

Chee Shong Soon was born in Malaysia but moved to Belfast 19 years ago to study a degree in computer science and is now an application specialist for an energy company.

Chee Shong Soon出生在马来西亚,19年前来到贝尔法斯特攻读计算机科学学位,他现在是一家能源公司的应用专员。

He said the city has allowed him to develop himself, both professionally and personally.

他表示,无论是从职业角度还是个人角度来看,这座城市都为他提供了自我发展的机会。

“The people here are so friendly and it has been a wonderful experience, one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”

"这里的人都很友好,我在这里经历了美好的时光。这是我做过的最好的决定之一。"

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