New Zealand follows in Australia’s footsteps; introduces new visas for global entrepreneurs

Global Entrepreneurs

New Zealand’s Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse introduced, on 29 April 2016, a new visa named Global Impact Visa (GIV), with an intent to attract more enterprising global entrepreneurs to the island nation.

Analysts view it as a measure on New Zealand’s part to outpace its neighbour, Australia, to become the IT capital of the South Pacific.

Around 400 GIVs are to be issued as a part of the four-year experiment, which is slated to begin in late 2016, according to an announcement by the New Zealand government. It is following the footsteps of Australia, which announced the launch of an entrepreneur visa in December 2015. It was one among a slew of measures that New Zealand has taken to ramp up innovation.

While Australia is battling a slide in commodity prices since the last two years which has stalled its mining boom, New Zealand, the world’s leading dairy exporter, has been affected adversely as diminishing dairy prices have hurt its farmers’ incomes. This has caused both the nations to diversify, prompting them to lay thrust on technology sector.

The aim of the GIVs is to aid in boosting the smart capital pool by enticing individual entrepreneurs to come and live in New Zealand.

Although there is scepticism whether this visa campaign would be sufficient to place New Zealand on the global map and attract highly skilled technology investors from around the globe, certain incentives announced could draw some enterprising individuals from emerging nations, such as India.

Australia’s visa plan announced in December, on the other hand, is part of an initiative of 20 measures. Estimated at $841.50 million, it is designed to give innovation in that country a shot in the arm and trigger a boom of ideas. Included in its incentives are discounts in the capital gains tax for new businesses, substantial income tax price cuts for retail investors and reforms in bankruptcy laws. These initiatives, it is hoped, would lead entrepreneurs to invest in Australia.

Both these countries, located in the southern hemisphere, have a lot of scope for development. Indian entrepreneurs seeking a good quality of life, which is on par with that in the EU and the US, could, therefore, choose either of these two countries to settle down in.

Other factors working in the favour of these two countries are that their population is extremely low; they are more peaceful than most other parts of the globe; and that there

are a sizeable number of Indians who have made these countries their homes, among others.

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