Hong Kong’s politics has been struggling for a while. The former British colony is a semi-autonomous state tied to China. However, ties nowadays are strained. Due to the political crisis hovering over Hong Kong, investors from the state look for ways out.
Paulo Cunha-Alves is the Portuguese ambassador to Hong Kong in Macau. He remarks that the investor interest in Portugal is on the rise. As the political uncertainty in the region climbs, investors look for new opportunities. Since the political climate started to change, Cunha-Alves says, there has been a “notable” increase in interest in the Portugal Golden Visa Program.
Boost in the Investor Interest Dates Back to Mid-2019
Hong Kong’s political atmosphere has been unstable for a year now. Since anti-government demonstrations started in June 2019, the political climate remained shaky. The scale of the protests affects the whole society. Also, political uncertainty brings along economic uncertainty. High net worth investors of Hong Kong, thus, aim to find economically stable grounds. To protect their well-being and wealth, investors lean towards Portugal.
Paulo Cunha-Alves detects a correlation between these two occurrences. As the instability in Hong Kong continues; the interest in the Portugal Golden Visa Program increases. Cunha-Alves comments, “This year we saw an increase again, which was remarkable.”
He also adds, “People have to apply for a criminal record and for that they have to use the services of the consulate and it is on this basis that we have some statistics on the number of people who requested Golden Visa and residence from Portugal. Between January and the end of May, the number will have been around 1,100.”
Laws Proposed by China Worries Investors
China occasionally interferes in Hong Kong’s politics. China freshly declared a new intervention. According to the declaration, there will be new laws imposed on Hong Kong. Cunha-Alves argues that this is a contributing factor, boosting the interest in Portugal Golden Visa. He claims, “it is not yet noticeable, the feeling exists: people who have financial means, obviously, try to look for other alternatives for their lives”.
New laws prohibit “any act of treason, separation, rebellion, subversion against the Central People’s Government, theft of state secrets, the organization of activities in Hong Kong by foreign political organizations and the establishment of links with Hong Kong political organizations.”