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H.K. to offer residency to foreigners for investment.

HONG KONG, Feb. 27 Kyodo

Hong Kong is to offer residency to foreigners who invest at least HK$6.5 million (about US$832,000) in the territory under proposed provisions of a new immigration scheme to be announced before the end of June, a government spokeswoman said Wednesday.

The planned scheme, however, will not extend to mainland Chinese due to China's controls on foreign currencies, the spokeswoman said.

The new immigration plan follows Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa's pledge last October to review government policy in a bid to relax existing restrictions on overseas investors' entry and to lure both foreign talent and capital.

The spokeswoman said that under the proposal, foreign investors will have to live in Hong Kong for seven years to gain permanent residency and their capital must remain here during the period.

The money could be invested in businesses, properties, stocks, investment funds or simply be deposited in banks.

The government hopes the new immigration scheme can help stimulate Hong Kong's sagging economy.

Some major local newspapers raised concerns Wednesday over the proposed high level of investment required under the scheme.

Hong Kong so far has no investment migration scheme. Foreigners have to apply to stay under working visas by being employed or by starting up a business here, and may apply for permanent residency after living here for seven years continuously.
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Publication:Asian Economic News
Date:Mar 4, 2002
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