The Government today (September 30) announced that the Capital Investment Entrant Scheme will start receiving applications on October 27, 2003.
Announcing details of the Scheme at a press conference today, the Deputy Secretary for Security, Mr Michael Wong said, "The Capital Investment Entrant Scheme aims to attract capital investment entrants to come to Hong Kong, i.e. people who have the financial means to make substantial investment in Hong Kong, but would not, in the context of the Scheme, run the business themselves. We welcome the entry of capital investment entrants, as the new capital they bring in would enhance local financial and economic activities. They will also contribute to local consumption."
Persons with net assets under their control and disposal for investment of no less than HK$6.5 million in permissible investment assets will be eligible for admission into Hong Kong as capital investment entrants. The Scheme currently applies to foreign nationals, Macao Special Administrative Region residents, Chinese nationals who have obtained permanent resident status in a foreign country, stateless persons who have obtained permanent resident status in a foreign country with proven re-entry facilities and residents of Taiwan. As foreign exchange control is implemented in the Mainland, the new policy will not apply to Mainland residents at this stage.
There are two permissible investment asset classes, namely, real estate and financial assets. Real estate comprises commercial, industrial or residential properties, including land and pre-completion properties in Hong Kong. Specified financial assets include equities, debt securities, certificates of deposits, subordinated debt and eligible collective investment schemes (i.e. unit trusts or mutual funds). Entrants can invest in either or a combination of the two permissible asset classes.
"Compared to similar policies adopted in other economies, the Scheme gives an investor much more flexibility in choosing his investment portfolio amongst a wide range of permissible assets. He may switch his investment in permissible assets at any time," said Mr Wong.
Permissible investment assets made within six months before an entrant's submission of his application to the Director of Immigration, or made within six months after the granting of approval in principle by the Director will be counted towards the minimum investment threshold of HK$6.5 million under the Scheme.
"Suitable portfolio maintenance and ring-fencing requirements will be imposed to ensure that an entrant does not reduce his investment commitment during the time when he is permitted to stay in Hong Kong under the Scheme."
Specifically, entrants are not allowed to realise or cash in any capital appreciation of the qualifying portfolio. On the other hand, if the value of the portfolio falls below the original level of HK$6.5 million, no topping up is required. Regular reporting is also required on the composition and value of the qualifying portfolio.
Successful applicants will be allowed to bring in their spouses and unmarried dependent children under the age of 18 as dependants. After seven years of continuous ordinary residence in Hong Kong, capital investment entrants and their dependants may apply for the right of abode in Hong Kong in accordance with the law.
"We believe Hong Kong's low tax rate, good law and order, and strategic location as the gateway to China will attract quality overseas investors to join the Scheme, especially those coming from the developing countries," Mr Wong concluded.
Interested parties may visit the website of the Immigration Department at http://www.immd.gov.hk in mid October to download the application forms and relevant information. Printed copies of the application details will also be available shortly afterwards at the Immigration Department.
End/Tuesday, September 30, 2003