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Ukraine could interest foreign investors with its citizenship

Author : Olexiy Doroshenko

Why Ukraine does not learn from the experience of the developed countries of the world, in particular, to accelerate its economic growth?
22:36, 5 February 2019

RBC-Ukraine

The world realized that some countries that do not belong to the richest club have found a niche allowing them to attract investment not because of stable economy and financial system, but because of what interests foreigners - their own citizenship.

These countries of the world have created special conditions for the granting of citizenship to foreigners investing in their economies. This is usually called "selling a country passport." The island states, which earn a long time on this, do not require the conditions of stay on their territory, but the foreigner receives a passport with which he can travel to many countries, taking advantage of visa-free.

The island state of the Caribbean, St. Kitts and Nevis is a professional merchant of its citizenship, which according to the H & P Passport Index in 2019 will provide the opportunity to travel without visas, receive a visa upon arrival or order an electronic visa in 151 countries of the world, that is, almost in 75% recognized and partially recognized states.

It can only offer its passport, because the rest does not interest the citizens of other countries. The neighboring islands of Antigua and Barbuda are not far behind from their neighbor, providing an opportunity to travel without borders in 150 countries of the world. In 2017, Moldova decided to grant citizenship in exchange for investment, comparing itself with the Caribbean countries in terms of the amount of investment.

But Moldova is inferior to Ukraine in the number of countries that can be visited without a passport: 122 against 128. With the passport of Japan, which is now in the first place in the ranking, you can travel without borders to 190 countries of the world, and with the Cyprus passport, which occupies 16th place, you can visit 173 states.

Many European countries also attract those who invest in their economies with their own citizenship. But if the rich countries like the UK offer only a residence permit in exchange, then smaller countries have to offer a full-fledged citizen passport.

Great Britain has always invited all the rich people of the world after de jure it has ceased to be a colonial country, and now it calls it an investment visa. Some EU countries also offered citizenship in exchange for investment.

The most famous country in such group is Cyprus, which since 1991 has been considered a safe haven for capital and their owners from the post-Soviet space. But this is being also done by Malta and Bulgaria, and also Greece appears in the reports of the European Commission.

Portugal also provides foreigners with residence permit if they stay on its territory for only seven days. Residence permit is being sold by 20 countries of the European Union out of 28. Even Luxembourg offers the richest get their place in this country.

To obtain citizenship of Malta, Bulgaria or Cyprus, you need to invest from 1 to 2 million euros. Mostly mandatory is the purchase of real estate for a certain amount, but sometimes the state expands the list of sectors for investment, directing them to industries that need strong financing, for example, to purchase securities, both public and private.

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Residence permit in the EU countries costs from 15 thousand to 5 million euros. Island Caribbean countries offer a passport for a period of 5-10 years for contributing about 180 thousand dollars to the state fund. Moldova wants 146 thousand euros from those who want to become a citizen of the country.

Approximately the same conditions should be offered by our country for those who want to be a citizen of Ukraine and invest in it. Ukraine can offer investors the purchase of real estate, investment in industry, or the purchase of government bonds.

The success of such programs is different. If Cyprus for only three years has attracted 4.8 billion euros, then Bulgaria has already interested 50 foreigners in five years.

This year, the European Commission began to act, directing its efforts to ensure that when granting EU citizenship in exchange for investments, countries make a thorough verification of the origin of capital to prevent money laundering and corruption. Bulgaria has already agreed to close the program due to its failure, and Cyprus last Friday confirmed and even expanded the program of "gold passports".

I am writing all this only to ask the question: why Ukraine does not learn from the experience of the developed countries of the world and Europe, in particular, to accelerate economic growth? The rope of the IMF is increasingly tightening on our neck, private domestic and foreign investments are not coming, and it seems that there is no other way out. But there are many options, it is just necessary to actively learn from those who stimulate the economy of their state in various ways.

Ukraine can offer foreigners who have money (according to the H & P Passport Index) visa-free stay in 128 countries around the world, particularly in the EU. The active work of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs suggests that every year there will be more such countries.

In conditions when the supply from the EU countries will decrease in quantity, the cost will increase, the demand for passports will be present. And it is present mainly for immigrants from Asian countries, namely China, India, Vietnam, etc. Asian countries are carefully studying Ukraine, considering it as the eastern gate of Europe. Those books about the history of our country, which we give out in thousands of copies, are published in China in millions of copies.

Ukraine can identify priority sectors in need of investment, for example, the purchase of government securities - domestic bonds. Due to such bonds, Ukraine will be able to reduce borrowing in the International Monetary Fund and its dependence on it.

The income from government bonds is not subject to personal income tax. And since currency operations are being liberalized by the NBU, Asian businessmen who want to conduct business with Europe and require an intermediate place may be interested in this opportunity.

Today, it is difficult for foreigners to obtain both Ukrainian citizenship and a residence permit. At the same time, lawyers offer different schemes, according to which its receipt is greatly simplified. To do this, you will not need to change a lot of legislation, as it sometimes happens.

We are talking about the Law "On Citizenship of Ukraine" and related regulations, which makes the possibility of such changes probable and quick.

Some will ask: what about the dual citizenship prohibited in Ukraine? When hundreds of thousands of citizens of our country have double and sometimes triple citizenship, the question disappears.

When we make living conditions in our country on the level when obtaining Ukrainian citizenship will be honorable, then the question will gradually be removed for the overwhelming majority of citizens. And how many of those labor migrants who are currently working abroad get a residence permit and citizenship of European countries?

Should they refuse to give up Ukrainian citizenship or do we still not want to lose touch with them? And what to do with those who live in uncontrolled territories and got passports there? Are they citizens of our country or not?

Therefore, having solved the issues of economic development and social welfare, the political issues caused by dual citizenship will be resolved by themselves. And if Ukraine does not become rich, then even a single citizenship will not help the country to remain completely independent.

Read original article at 112.ua

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