A great way to attract capital

Fran O’Sullivan writes:

A proposal for New Zealand to attract 2000 foreign high-net worthers to invest at least $50 million each here to create jobs in return for a New Zealand visa is gaining momentum.

The concept was originated by investment banker . It comes down to: first, squash the coronavirus completely, then announce to the world that New Zealand is free of Covid-19 but it’s come at a great cost economically. Follow through by announcing that New Zealand will launch a scheme whereby (say) the first 2000 people who comply with strict investing criteria can relocate here with their immediate family.

The proposal would inevitably appeal to US investors unnerved by the chaotic devastation that the Covid-19 virus has wreaked on their own country, and, Asian investors seeking to take part in the NZ recovery in an environment where the Government is committed to keeping the coronavirus under control. …

Bowker suggests high-networthers should have a proven good character and a successful investing track record; must invest, say, $50 million of capital, (equity not debt ) into productive New Zealand-based assets and employ more people.

The capital should be invested within a year of arriving otherwise their special visa is cancelled. All investors would be quarantined on arrival. If they follow through, comply with requirements, stay five years and prove their worth, they get a New Zealand passport.

The heart of the argument – which I support – is that New Zealand business does not need to drown in a tsunami of debt – and that with some ingenuity and significant multi-billions of dollars investment from international investors tempted by the NZ brand story (as well as more from NZ high-networthers) there is a much brighter future ahead that does not have to mortgage the future of younger generations.

A damn good idea. We will be a hugely attractive destination for many, and we will need capital. Let’s do it.

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