Sovereign China hosted – in Beijing on 24 January and Shanghai on 25 January – its Annual Overseas Permanent Establishment Conference to address the establishment of overseas residence for foreign nationals. The conference looked at the best options for individuals looking to move and invest overseas and focused on four jurisdictions in particular – the UK, Cyprus, Malta and Portugal.

Growth in the demand for IIPs worldwide has been led by investors from China over the last decade. According to research, there are more than one million high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) with investible assets of more than $1.6 million in China, of which around 10% have already completed an IIP while around 50% have considered making an IIP application in the future. As private wealth continues to grow, demand for IIPs from wealthy Chinese individuals is likely to increase over the next decade.

The three most popular IIPs for Chinese HNWIs have traditionally been the US, Canada and Hong Kong, but all three face uncertain futures. The US programme reached its limit in 2014, Canada cancelled its federal programme in 2014 and Hong Kong suspended its Capital Investment Entrant Scheme in early 2015.

Targeted at both advisers and clients, the Sovereign conference examined the rules and regulations for outbound investments from China and the potential advantages of the IIPs offered by the UK, Cyprus, Malta and Portugal.

The conference speakers included HE John Aquilina, Malta’s Ambassador to China, Christos Gogakis, Commercial Attaché at the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus in Beijing, Patrícia Conceição, Counsellor for Investment at the Embassy of Portugal in Beijing, Mário Quina, Consul for the Economic and Commercial Affairs of Portugal in Shanghai, and Rupert Gather, executive chairman of InvestUK.
The event was very much a collaborative effort: Michelle Zhou, Team Head of International Residential Sales China, and Michelle Lu, Senior Associate, from global real estate services provider Savills, discussed real estate investment, with a particular focus on the London property market; Mireia Paulo, Business Development Manager at A&Z Law Firm, gave a detailed assessment of the current regulations surrounding outbound investment and capital controls; and William He and Jenny Xiao of BE Education discussed assisting Chinese students to gain entry in the most reputable schools and universities in the UK.

We were also delighted to welcome to China, Simon Denton, Managing Director of Sovereign UK, who provided insight into the current UK landscape for property purchase and company set-up, together with case studies for Portuguese and Cypriot IIPs, and Ravi Viroomal, Director of Sovereign Trust (Malta), who provided information on the potential benefits of Malta’s IIP.

We would like to thank all our guest speakers and delegates for contributing to the success of these events and also our hosts, TRB Copper in Beijing and the JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai. Sovereign has offices in the UK, Cyprus, Malta and Portugal, so please feel free to contact us if you require any additional information about these or other IIPs.

If you are interested in increasing your understanding of the China market and the potential opportunities for your brand, online or offline, please contact Mark Ray at Sovereign’s Shanghai office.