July 29, 2020 2 min read
An investment expert has called to boost immigration for wealthy people to assist Australia's recovery out of the current Covid-19 recession.
With virus-induced restrictions on people's movements into the country this year, Australia has lost much external capital coming in.
But Atlas Advisors Australia executive chair Guy Headley said an immediate fix would be to increase the proportion of high-net-worth immigrants.
"These investors have a far greater capacity and can inject more capital into the Australian economy to assist our recovery," Mr Hedley said.
"Increasing the proportion of high-net-worth migrant investors could also counterbalance the impact of falling overall immigration numbers while boosting employment and productivity and funding new innovation and industries."
Atlas Advisors is an investment advisory business that spans across Australia and China.
Wealthy individuals migrate into Australia via permits such as Significant Investor Visa, Investor Visa and Premium Investor Visa, which are under the auspices of the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP).
In the 2019-20 financial year, the number of BIIP places was limited to 6,862, which is just 4.3 per cent of 160,000 total immigrants.
This cap on the total number of BIIP immigration slots, and the current freeze on applications, was costing Australia millions when the country needed it most, according to Hedley.
"Australia risks losing millions of dollars of investment to other countries that are increasing their incentives to better compete in today’s hungry international market for investment," he said.
"BIIP applications were supposed to reopen in July but have remained closed despite the clear economic benefits it could immediately bring."
The call comes as the Federal Government seeks input into a potential reform of the BIIP.
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