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We have all heard of multinational companies – business organizations that operate in several countries and takes advantage of various local laws and resources to maximize their profits and growth. This Sunday (2/26/2017), New York Times business section has a story about multinational millionaires. These are wealth persons who are millionaires in one country but chose to become citizens or residents of another country or to hold dual citizenship to take advantages of local country laws and resources. The story carried several surprising facts that are new to me:
1. The number one country for emigration of multinational millionaires is Australia, US is only number two with Canada in the third spot.
2. China is no longer number one in departing multinational millionaires. France is number one in recent years followed by China, Brazil, India and Turkey
3. Tax is no longer the #1 reason for re-location for millionaires. Stability of wealth and education for their children are main reasons (this is not a surprise for Chinese multinationals)
4. The growth of multinational millionaires are in double digits percentages for the past decade.
The reasons for the above facts are not hard to decipher:
· English being the most popular second language makes Australia a natural choice
· Australia recently institutes “golden ticket visa” similar to the EB-5 visa of the US where if you are wealthy and willing to invest you get preference in obtaining residency and citizenship.
· With availability of 10 year visa to the US, it is not even necessary to change residency and citizenship for the essential green card in the US.
· With the recent abduction and disappearance of HK Chinese billionaire and the killing of the half brother of North Korea leader in Malaysia many wealthy Chinese feel insecure living in Asia.
· The flight of French wealth is due to recent change in French politics and religious tension there.
· “The wealthy today do not have a country nor do they feel their successes are related and dependent on a single country” according to Withers Worldwide, a NY lawfirm specializes in relocating wealthy clients.
Ancedotal evisences even in local Lexington, Mass give evidence to these multinational millionaires. We live in strange times!