Parliament: Investor residency programme brought in $1.8 billion from 2011 to 2016

Investments under the Global Investor Programme created over 6,000 job opportunities in Singapore, in industries such as infocomm media, engineering and financial services.
Investments under the Global Investor Programme created over 6,000 job opportunities in Singapore, in industries such as infocomm media, engineering and financial services.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Investments brought in under the Global Investor Programme generated $1.8 billion in total business spending, which includes rental and wages, from 2011 to 2016.

These investments created over 6,000 job opportunities here, in industries such as infocomm media, engineering and financial services, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Sim Ann said in Parliament on Tuesday (Jan 9) when answering a question about the scheme to attract high-level investors and entrepreneurs to live in Singapore.

"The primary objective of the GIP is for Singapore-based companies to benefit from the injection of capital from GIP funds and tap on the GIP investors' entrepreneurial track record," she said, in response to Nominated MP Thomas Chua, who asked for updates on the programme.

Foreigners can apply for permanent residency here under the programme if they invest at least $2.5 million into starting or expanding a business here, or into a GIP fund that invests in Singapore-based companies.

This figure is higher than the minimum required for investor residency programmes in other countries such as Australia, the United States and United Kingdom, said Ms Sim.

A Ministry of Trade and Industry spokesman said 1,826 applicants of the GIP scheme, launched in 2004, have been granted permanent residency, as of June 2017.

On measures to prevent the abuse of the scheme, Ms Sim told Parliament the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) assesses each applicant's track record, business and investment plans, and potential contribution to Singapore.

EDB also engages a risk assessment consultancy to run independent checks, and works with relevant agencies for security screening. Investors undergo a fresh round of checks before their re-entry permits are renewed, she said.

GIP funds are assessed by an independent rating agency and a fund selection panel, and managers of GIP funds are subject to the Monetary Authority of Singapore's regulatory regime for fund management companies, she said.

She added that the GIP funds totalled $1.5 billion as of last year (2017), though performance varies from fund to fund.


Correction note: This article has been updated to reflect the fact that managers of GIP funds are subject to MAS' regulatory regime for fund management companies. We are sorry for the error.