EB5 Investors Magazine Volume 1 Issue 1 | Page 63

Colombians are enjoying a comfortable lifestyle, thanks to former President Uribe. While there is still general delinquency targeting individuals in public places, the days of kidnappings and indiscriminate killings have ceased. Colombians have accumulated wealth in a number of different industries. The flower industry in Colombia is the biggest exporter of flowers in the world. Because of this, their reason for EB-5 investments are more practical: to ensure their children’s education and professional future in the United States. Having two to three children paying outof-state tuition, because they do not have a green card in the United States, adds up and they are a very pragmatic people. They have traditionally had strict tax laws and their sources of funds are easier to calculate and follow than their neighbors in South America. Colombia has always been a treaty and business partner of the United States. There are no controls of transfer of funds from Colombia. The United States has been accustomed to receiving a large number of immigrants from Central American countries such as Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. In the past, mainly working class individuals emigrated due to socioeconomic problems (limited job opportunities, low wages and persistent poverty). Immigrants from these countries are mainly concentrated in California, Texas and Florida, working on farms. On the other hand, a strong upper class is sending their children to continue their education in Ivy League colleges in the United States. Normally, those children would graduate and return to their countries to work in the family business. However, due to social instability and drug cartels, the crime has considerably increased in recent years. Thus, we are starting to see an increased number of EB-5 investors coming from the Central American Region. The investors coming from these countries are not as wealthy as Venezuelans, Brazilians or Mexicans, but it is a region to watch very Brazilians have been enjoying a very good closely in the coming years. Since there lifestyle the last couple of years. However, is no control exchange in these countries, we are starting to see a great influx of normally the source of funds can be easily wealthy Brazilians moving to Miami and President of Argentina, Cristina explained, especially as most of the invesElisabet Fernández de Kirchner Central Florida areas, such as Orlando. tors are entrepreneurs who have owned That is because Florida is, and continues to their companies for decades. be, a top destination for Brazilians. Now they are taking advantage of the favorable exchange rate to buy properties and move to the United States. This should not be surprising when the current GDP in Brazil is $2.4 trillion USD, with an economic growth of 4%, despite the worldwide economic crisis. In Brazil — as in Mexico — there is no monetary control exchange. Wealthy Argentineans are mainly immigrating for fear that the current president will start implementing more rigorous measures to control the private wealth of their country. Argentineans, like Venezuelans, are suffering from the government monetary control exchange. The current president of Argentina has implemented very rigorous polices for those who once were able to transfer funds to the United States. These rigorous controls are distorting the economy in their country, and Argentineans believe the country is following the path that President Chavez implemented in Venezuela almost 15 years ago. Thus, wealthy Argentineans are looking to immigrate to the United States as they did over a decade ago, with the main difference being that more wealthy individuals are now looking to move to the United States. Even though Argentineans also suffer from high crime, that social issue is not yet at the level of Venezuela or Mexico. Wealthy Argentineans are mainly immigrating for fear that the current president will start implementing more rigorous measures to control the private wealth of their country. Lastly, we have Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador. These countries maintain a very elite upper class, and similar to other nationals, send their children to study in the United States. These nationals are motivated to permanently move to the United States, mainly due to political reasons. In the case of Bolivia and Ecuador, the upper class has felt a social instability and fear of the current government persecutions due to their opposition to the current governing political party. We will also see a slight increase in investors coming from these countries, especially from Bolivia and Ecuador. Peruvians, however, are enjoying large economic growth, primarily due to the coal industry. The foreign investors have invested, not only in coal mines, but in the infrastructure that supports those mines as well. The government has benefited from the influx of capital and the citizens have benefited from an increase in jobs. Peru’s economy grew by 6.92% in 2011, compared to the 8.8% in the previous year. Peru’s gross domestic product has grown for 28 consecutive months and has expanded for the past 13 years. In December, Peru’s GDP expanded by 5.96%, which was higher than many economists expected. The Latin American client places their family above business. The comfort and happiness of the family is extremely important. w w w. E B 5 I n v e s to r s . c o m Continued on page 64 63