The importance of the Golden Visa regime for economic recovery

José Cardoso Botelho, CEO of Vanguard Properties, took part in COPIP, Portugal’s 1st Real Estate Development Conference which involved movers and shakers from the private sector and representatives from the government and municipal councils who spoke on various panels.

Throughout the day, various current themes concerning the industry were debated, including the effects of the pandemic on the market, the ‘Kickstart’ programme, reducing costs in real estate development, and the importance of the Golden Visa regime in attracting investment and its importance in economic recovery.

José Cardoso Botelho was among the invited guests for the last panel, the topic ‘Golden Visa’ of particular relevance for Vanguard Properties of which he is one of the managing partners. Vanguard Properties is currently the largest luxury real estate developer in Portugal.

The panel discussed the future of the ARI (Authorisation of Residency through Investment Activity), more commonly known as the Golden Visa. Also discussed was the importance of the NHR (Non-Habitual Residents) scheme which is currently under review as part of the State Budget for 2021.

Various panelists were unanimous in defending the importance of this overseas investment attraction tool for the real estate sector but, above all, for the economy of a country at a time when it is economically vulnerable.

José Cardoso Botelho had the opportunity of contributing with some concrete proposals to fine-tune the Golden Visa programme, namely changing the programme’s name and upping the minimum investment value required to apply.

The channelling of part of these investments towards scientific innovation and a requirement to buy property assets with energy saving certificates were other proposals put forward by José Cardoso Botelho, who considers it vitally important to clear up the many misunderstandings that are at the root of an incorrect perception that many hold about this overseas investment attraction programme, which over eight years has shown its effectiveness.

Since it was launched in 2012, Portugal’s Golden Visa programme has attracted nearly €6 billion in direct overseas investment and has stimulated Portugal’s property market, especially within the niche urban rehabilitation segment which has seen the regeneration of many of Portugal’s historic inner city areas.

By CHRIS GRAEME/ESSENTIAL BUSINESS