In the post-pandemic landscape, international companies, entrepreneurs and investors face new choices about where to locate their headquarters, executives, employees and production, as well as themselves and their families.
All the key metrics of the past are in flux. Corporate tax arbitrage is coming under fire and a proposed new global flat tax will change the pecking order of advantageous jurisdictions. Then, of course, there are key considerations such as remote work, the now undeniable impact of climate change, fluctuating property markets and healthcare security.
In response to our dramatically changing world, Henley & Partners, the global leader in residence- and citizenship-by-investment, has developed a unique new analytical tool in collaboration with Deep Knowledge Analytics to assist high-net-worth individuals and company owners with reassessing their options and enable them to make strategic choices to futureproof their families and business interests through investment migration.
The index showcases the leading 25 capitals and cities around the world that are proactively vying to attract international capital and talent. It considers over 40 different parameters and 1,000 different data points to score and compare these world-class cities in countries that host the most important residence-by-investment programs.
London reigns supreme overall
In first place with the highest score by an impressive margin is London, still the world’s financial capital. Performing well in many categories, London’s three highest scores are in education, security and stability. It is also the top-ranking city in the index for real estate, thanks to the high potential of the local property market. The UK Investor Immigration Program is one of the world’s longest-running, most-established residence-by-investment options.
New York – Excellent for business and education
Education, security and stability are New York’s top strengths, galvanizing it into the second spot. A global center for finance and commerce, the Big Apple offers access to no less than 130 higher education institutions and scores highest overall in the index for education. The US EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is another longstanding investment migration option, or alternatively, you can apply for Grenada, Montenegro or Turkey’s citizenship-by-investment programs, which give you access to the E-2 Investor Visa that allows applicants to live, work and study in America.
Sydney, Singapore, Zurich – Secure, stable, sustainable
Sydney, Singapore, and Zurich, in third, fourth, and fifth places, respectively, all score highest in security, infrastructure and stability, with Sydney taking the number one spot overall for security. Successful entrepreneurs and business leaders can apply for any of Australia’s residence-by-investment options, including the Global Talent visa, which is specifically designed to attract dynamic, highly skilled individuals.
Southeast Asia’s powerhouse, Singapore, scores highest overall in terms of Covid safety, lifestyle and infrastructure. Renowned for its low crime rates and ease of conducting business, the city-state houses the headquarters of over 35,000 global companies.
In Europe, with its high standard of living and burgeoning healthcare sector, Switzerland’s capital, Zurich, is the top-performing residence-by-investment city in terms of healthcare and stability, and is perennially a highly sought-after option for ultra-high-net-worth investors and entrepreneurs.
Vienna and Lisbon – Top investment and lifestyle destinations
Holding first place jointly in terms of Austria’s and Portugal’s investment migration program offerings are Vienna (ninth position) and Lisbon (14th), which both also score highly in security and stability. The two European cities are popular choices for multinational firms to base their headquarters: Vienna’s appeal lies in its highly skilled labor force and excellent productivity levels, while Lisbon has a flourishing tech sector, thanks to Portugal’s business-friendly policies and the top talent emerging from its universities.
Riga, Limassol, Athens, Bangkok and Port Louis – All tax-friendly, affordable, high-standard-of-living options
The relative small size and historic charm of Latvia’s attractive capital, Riga (17th), compared to other important European cities is increasingly appealing to foreign investors and high-net-worth families, with its pro-business environment and generous tax allowances.
Limassol (19th), Cyprus’s vibrant cosmopolitan port city, has developed into a leading regional financial center, with an attractive tax regime and excellent infrastructure in addition to benefiting from the country’s EU membership. Cyprus has one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the EU and its government is business friendly.
Europe’s oldest capital, Athens (20th), offers a more relaxed, less bureaucratic business environment, with numerous tax cuts and other incentives for foreign investors. Safe, affordable, welcoming and exceptionally beautiful, Greece is hard to beat when it comes to lifestyle and is rapidly regaining ground as a desirable investment destination.
The busting city of Bangkok (23rd) is a cost-effective gateway to Asia, with a stable economy. Thailand offers numerous government incentives for foreign business owners, including tax exemptions and import duty concessions.
And, finally, Port Louis (24th) in Mauritius is an attractive, safe, well-governed, politically stable African hub, perfectly positioned between Asia and Europe, with appealing tax incentives. As a top-level exclusive economic zone (EEZ), the presence of numerous multinational companies endorses Port Louis as an excellent location for business.
The world is changing – Now is the time to plan your next move
When the Covid storm eventually subsides, everything will be different. The advancement of technology has given us greater choice when it comes to where we live, work, study and invest, and enables us to be “present” in multiple locations at the same time. There is a growing demand and desire for a global omnipresence.
Residence-by-investment programs can satisfy this demand, providing a channel for building a portfolio of multiple complementary residence and citizenship options to enable us to take advantage of opportunities as well as hedge against the volatility and risks that the new world order might bring.
With over 25 years’ experience and a global footprint of more than 30 offices worldwide, Henley & Partners is best placed to advise you and your family when it comes to your residence and citizenship options.