Widely considered the pioneer and one of the world’s foremost experts in investment migration, Henley & Partners Chairman Dr. Christian H. Kaelin says the significant worldwide expansion of investment migration is simply unstoppable.
Speaking at The World Ahead Gala Dinner hosted by The Economist in Athens in July, Dr. Kaelin stated that all over the world countries have realised the importance of residence and citizenship to attract much-needed foreign direct investment, debt-free capital, talented entrepreneurs, and experienced investors.
Further accelerated by the need to alleviate the financial distress following the Covid-19 pandemic across the world, Dr. Kaelin pointed out that more and more countries are offering investment migration programmes or introducing new options, like digital nomad visas or tech visa, in order to attract highly sought-after talent and capital to support their economies and strengthen their ‘sovereign equity’.
This year, Singapore announced the launch a Tech.Pass visa programme offering tech entrepreneurs from across the world the chance to set up and operate companies in the southeast Asia trading hub. While the UAE, which has a high expatriate population, recently announced it was enhancing its Golden Visa program to grant citizenship to select individuals, such as “investors, doctors, specialists, inventors, scientists, talents, intellectuals, artists and their families”.
Dr. Kaelin coined the term ‘sovereign equity’ in 2019 in Davos to describe how investment migration has the ability to endow nations with sustainable investments in a relatively short time frame without them having to increase debt and thereby burden future generations – while gaining highly qualified and experienced entrepreneurs and investors as new residents or even citizens.
Dr. Kaelin stressed that, particularly in Europe, there is also a pressing need to introduce much more positive migration policies to manage the global refugee crisis constructively while also attracting international investors and talent. He acknowledged that although politically challenging, it also presents a tremendous opportunity for the EU.
“We need more, not less immigration of people who contribute positively to society,” he told the audience.