Nirbhay Handa is Group Head of Business Development at Henley & Partners and the Managing Director and Head of the firm’s Global South Asia team.
Interest in investment migration opportunities across South Asia remained buoyant overall in the first quarter. Any kind of uncertainty, be it political, economic, or related to security, usually propels interest in the concept of residence and citizenship by investment, and this has been evident in Sri Lanka and Pakistan, where there has been much unrest over the past few months. What is more, the stark polarization of politics in many developing countries, ongoing speculation about fiscal policies, and changing stances in bilateral trade relations with each new political term are exposing entrepreneurs to risk and leaving many unsure about what the future holds for their businesses. This has piqued their interest in diversifying their domiciles so that their futures are not dependent solely on geopolitical developments in their home countries.
We are also starting to receive considerable interest from families from across Asia who are looking to make Singapore or the UAE their established base. Countries that are providing excellent infrastructure for wealth preservation are likely to remain popular destinations. Protecting wealth continues to be an important driver for those considering investment migration, but we are now moving into an era in which alternative residence and citizenship are being seen as the ultimate resilience plan. Families are considering acquiring not just one alternative residence, but a portfolio of residencies and citizenships to provide them with greater mobility and more options in unpredictable times. In fact, we are entering a phase in which not holding an alternative residence to your home jurisdiction could be a risk that high‐net‐worth families cannot afford to take.