Higher educated and affluent Hong Kong citizens are increasingly attracted to migrating to Ireland due to a growing recognition of the similarities between Ireland and Hong Kong. Families recognise the English-speaking country’s common law system, vibrant economic prospects and quality education for children. The Irish Diaspora Loan Fund (“IDLF”), one of the approved products under the Immigrant Investor Programme (“IIP”), saw the number of investor applicants increased by 300% in the last six months.
The IIP was established in 2012 to allow wealthy individuals and families from outside the European Union to obtain residency in Ireland in exchange for making an approved investment in the Irish economy. Eligible applicants must have a legally accumulated minimum net worth of EUR2 million and invest EUR1 million in investments approved by the programme. In 2019, IIP received over 420 applications with a growing percentage of those now coming from Hong Kong.
According to Andrew Parish, Chief Commercial Officer of IDLF, the typical profile of an applicant from Hong Kong is a professional working in finance, medicine or law with a couple of children in school. “Many Hong Kong families have identified how familiar Ireland feels, given the many similarities between Ireland and their hometown. Ireland is internationally renowned for the quality of its education and vibrant growth momentum. Our investor families look forward to sending their children to Irish universities to gain world-class degrees and secure exciting careers in some of the top tech companies in the world – all of whom are located in Ireland.” Mr. Parish added.
The majority of the potential applicants in Hong Kong, when making their inquiries, recognised that Ireland’s common law system, English-speaking environment, excellent education system, vibrant economic prospects are all similar to what they see in Hong Kong. These, when coupled this familiarity with the picturesque natural sceneries and clean environment, make Ireland a compelling option. Furthermore, the fact that the Irish scheme does not require the applicant to physically relocate, but to simply visit the country for just one day per year to retain their residency status, is particularly attractive for applicants and families who contemplate to continue their business or career aspirations in Hong Kong. Families are looking for investment products that are well-regulated, highly transparent, low risk with high confidence that they can get their money back at the end of the investment period with their residency rights approved. They see IDLF as a safe and secure option with approvals granted before actually making the investment, implying a 100% approval rate.
IDLF focuses on supporting the hotel sector through collateralized lending to owner-operated hotels for facility improvements and employment of additional staff. It has picked the hotel sector to support because Ireland’s tourism industry is booming with some 11,000 new hotel rooms required to meet demand. Irish hotel occupancy rates are among the highest in Europe. Lending to this sector also boasts attractive security options on the property and assets, providing an extra layer of security for the investors.
“Irish and Hong Kong people share many similar traits, including a strong work ethic, an enjoyment of friends and family, and a zest for life”, says Mrs Joanna Murphy, CEO of IDLF. “Over the last year, we have seen a huge increase in Hong Kong families who recognise these similarities and value the opportunity to secure residency rights in Ireland. In IDLF, we enjoy nothing more than helping these families discover Ireland and build options for the future. We are delighted in providing a bespoke concierge service to these families to help them at all stages of their application process and building a footprint in Ireland, giving them a peace of mind to continue pursuing their business and career ambitions in Hong Kong.”
The European Commission’s Spring 2019 European Economic Forecast predicts GDP growth in Ireland to be at 3.8%, becoming the fastest growing economy in Europe for the fifth year in a row. Underlying economic activity in the country is expected to remain robust, driven by investment in construction and positive labour market developments.
Recognised as “the Silicon Valley of Europe”, due to the extent of Foreign Direct Investment of the world’s top companies into Ireland, including Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and many others. Ireland is now home to the world’s top technology, medical device and pharmaceutical companies. Potential applicants from Hong Kong also count the vibrant economy and friendly investment environment in Ireland as key attributes backing their decisions.
About Irish Diaspora Loan Fund
Irish Diaspora Loan Fund (“IDLF”) is a low-risk investment fund authorised and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. It offers the opportunity for foreign investors to invest in Ireland in return for long term residency status.
IDLF is an asset-backed mutualised debt fund which offers a very secure option for investors seeking to access the Irish Immigrant Investor Visa Programme. The fund ensures maximum protection of investor funds, by following a conservative, low-risk loan investment policy. It issues innovative finance to a portfolio of Irish businesses which will each increase employment levels throughout the lifetime.
Its board of directors includes seasoned, successful business and finance leaders and a former Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland.
For further information, please contact:
Unicorn Financial Company Limited
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Mobile: (852) 9306 7346 / 9459 9778