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Business migration is an untapped potential in Bangladesh

  • Published at 04:39 pm November 11th, 2020

If done right, business migration can benefit the host as well as native countries

According to a UN estimate, there were 272 million international immigrants around the world in 2019. One aspect of migration is through setting up a new business or investing in the migrating country, typically known as business migration. 

Two of the top 10 destinations for business migration include Australia and Canada. As stated by 2018-19 statistics, the UK ranked third in the list of Australia’s source countries for business migration, with 10,534 citizens immigrated to Australia. In terms of migration to Canada in 2018, the USA ranked sixth and the UK tenth, with 10,907 and 5,663 citizens immigrated to Canada respectively. 

Applicants for business immigration to Australia and Canada include millionaire entrepreneurs and investors, who migrate for business purposes irrespective of the fact that these first-world nations are already economically well-performing. Naturally, one would ask why such business migrations are taking place from developed countries? 

The answer lies in the world economies being increasingly intertwined through globalisation, which has led millionaires to extend the boundaries of their business operations for personal and professional reasons. Research by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)  and 

RBC Wealth Management show that 88% of the migrating millionaires considered the quality of life as the most significant reason, while 79% stated family needs. Privacy is also a big concern for many such mobile millionaires. 

The same research also shows 60% of these High Net Worth Immigrant (HNWI) millionaires create most of their wealth in the newly migrated country. Amongst them, 32% reinvest this newly created wealth in their country of birth. Also, these mobile millionaires are found to stand out in terms of donating to charity purposes compared to millionaires in their countries of origin. Interestingly, high taxation in the land of birth was found not to be a reason for emigration, as a report by The Guardian  states.

A screenshot from Visualcapitalist.com show the HNWI (high net worth individuals) inflows around the world  

The top destination for the mobile millionaires, as seen in the above statistical infographic, is Australia, which has a robust economy with the safest environment to raise a family. Besides, Australia does not have an inheritance tax which attracts such entrepreneurs and investors, while the low healthcare cost adds to the value when compared to the healthcare costs in countries such as the USA. Furthermore, in 2018 Australia jumped ahead of France and Canada in terms of becoming the seventh-largest wealthy nation.

Bangladesh in the global business migration picture

Focusing on our nation, we find that business migration from Bangladesh is comparatively lower than the USA, UK, European countries or Malaysia. If business migration and investment are done right, then the benefits and its concurrent impact can be positive for the host country as well as the country of origin.

Recently, the Bangladesh government is encouraging local companies to invest in foreign nations, as stated in the recent “Capital Account Transaction (Overseas Equity Investment) Rules, 2020” draft. 

Only a handful of large companies are permitted to invest at present, but if allowed, SMEs can also be innovative and contributing to the new policy guidelines. 

Our neighbouring nation India had already implemented such investment policies back in the 60s, which can be seen from the recent investments in Africa that will generate a revenue of $160 billion by 2025, as per McKinsey & Co. 

The investment outcome was so encouraging that, in 2016, the Reserve Bank of India doubled the amount to $250,000 per year, to invest abroad by an individual. 

Bangladesh and its businesses will also be able to yield similar benefits within the span of one or two decades if business migration and investment are explored and encouraged to its full potential.

Will the next immigrant success story originate in Bangladesh? 

Some prominent billionaires with migrant backgrounds include Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and SpaceX – who migrated from South Africa to the USA. Other examples include Sergei Brin, co-founder of Google, who was born in the Soviet Union, and George Soros, prominent Investor and Philanthropist who migrated to the USA from Hungary. There are numerous other famous immigrants whose contribution to humanity is immense. 

As evident from the EIU statistics, if we see the background of such global fortune hunters, irrespective of whether they migrated willingly or unwillingly, we find that their fortune massively increased when they emigrated. 

Bangladeshi entrepreneurs could be only a few right policies away from becoming the next big success stories. And there is no reason why Bangladeshi businessmen could not become the next Elon Musk or George Soros. 

Kazi AHS Ahsan is Regulated and Licensed Immigration Adviser of Australia and New Zealand. He can be contacted at [email protected], [email protected]

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