Recent Amendments to the Global Investor Programme: Opening its arms to Family Offices

Recent Amendments to the Global Investor Programme: Opening its arms to Family Offices

Published On: February 26, 20201.5 min read

The island nation of Singapore’s rapid rise to a significant global financial hub did not happen by chance. The Singapore Government has continually shaped its policies and developed schemes to attract and retain talent and investment to its shores. One of these schemes was the Global Investor Programme (“GIP”). The GIP was launched in 2004, and sought primarily to connect foreign high net worth individuals (“HNWIs”) with local businesses in the hope of developing business collaboration opportunities.

The GIP’s primary objective is to benefit Singapore companies via the increased access to capital provided by foreign HNWIs, as well as tapping on the entrepreneurial experience of these HNWIs to inject dynamism into Singapore’s economy. In return, these HNWIs would be given an opportunity to acquire Permanent Residency (“PR”) status in Singapore. As of June 2017, there had been 1,826 applicants who were granted PR status under the GIP.

Prior to 2020, the GIP catered solely to established business owners, who could acquire PR status via one of two options. These options involved investing at least S$2.5 million in either Singapore companies or approved funds that invest in Singapore companies. From 2011 to 2016, the GIP attracted S$1.8 billion in total business expenditure from direct investments, generating over 6,000 job opportunities in Singapore.

The Singapore Government, looking to build on the success of the GIP, has announced fresh amendments aimed at expanding the scope of application of the GIP. The amendments have come at an opportune time. The ongoing trade war between China and the United States of America, coupled with the political unrest in Hong Kong appears to have precipitated a trend of funds both institutional and private in nature flowing towards jurisdictions perceived as being more stable and favourable in the current climate, Singapore being one of the standout options.

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