Armand Arton is the founder and CEO of Arton Capital and executive partner at Arton Investments. Like Kylin Prime Group, Arton Capital empowers people to become Global Citizens by investing in secondary residence and citizenship. He sat down with the Future Citizen Institute during the 2018 International Migration & Investment Summit in Beijing and shared his vision of the global citizen, how it is a force for good, and how it is leading us towards the future.
Q: I can kind of tell you’ve been doing a lot of choices in terms of immigration and investment programmes, and you also mentioned the concept of "global citizens", so would you quickly introduce to us your understanding of the “global citizen”?
Thank you, thank you for the question and for being here. For me it’s a first acquaintance with your firm, Ousheng Partners
and Kylin [Prime] Group
, and I’m very impressed with your professional level of understanding of how this industry works and how it should be.
You know we’ve been since 2006 in the world of global citizenship by investment. We started in Canada where we’re still one of the partners of the government. But today we have expanded this to many other jurisdictions [a list is available on the website]. We believe this industry is moving forward to many countries, as well as many citizens are looking to expand their reach and attract foreign investments, and we are more than happy to be an important cornerstone in this development for global citizenship.
As you know, the place where you are born and the passport that you have at birth today limits more than two-thirds of the global population, based on their mobility and ability to travel without a visa. Our industry is a force for good and it is trying to change and solve this problem for millions of people. And as much as we take care of the more wealthy migrants, the 0.1% of the global migration, we are very conscious about the responsibility we have for the less fortunate: the refugees, and the connection we have to make between these two worlds. We hope that this will be brought up in our presentation about the global citizen tax.
Q: Thank you, and also, you have travelled all the way to China, what do you think of the Chinese market? And what do you think about the Chinese investors playing a role in the immigration industry?
A: China is the single most important country in this industry. [Each] of the 25 countries [that] is attracting global migration through investment, on average have more than 50% of the applicants being Chinese nationals, so it is a very important market for us. We have worked only with the big firms, and the oldest in this industry, again that started in Canada, now they have expanded into many European jurisdictions, same like us, many [in the ] Caribbean. So for us its very important to come here to see your old friends, make new friends, like the Kylin Group, and to how to find synergies, because with the liberalisation, which was announced by the entry-exit agency yesterday, we believe that a new era of agents in China will be seeing light, and we [would] like very much to be part of this new development of the Chinese agents market, and we welcome any liberalisation of the market and new competition.
Q: Also, as the CEO of Kylin Prime Group, Martin O’Connor, mentioned last night during the cocktail reception: he said that a lot of debates and controversies have been happening in Europe, that they are still discussing if they think these industries are good for their countries or not, so what’s your opinion about the debate?
Martin O'Connor, CEO of Kylin Prime Group
A: Yes, Martin mentioned yesterday about the latest wave of negative views, mainly drafted by extreme right political parties across the world. And you don’t only have to listen to Martin, you can just turn CNN and listen to Trump sending messages to these migrants in the caravan, so it is a very current and actual topic anywhere around the world from Australia to the United States, to Europe, migration is on the first page of every newspaper and magazine. So, no question that our industry being part of this migration is very often at the top of the discussions.
Now, I think the shortfalls of the politicians in the OECD report and the European commission is [that they do] not see the economic impact made by this 0.1% of the migrants that everybody talks. Nobody talks about the wealthy migrants, and their economic impact, the jobs that they have created, the foreign investment that they have poured, have helped very important countries to turn around from financial disasters, to refrain a loan from the IMF. And all this data is missing, so we welcome very much, even though we may compete with Kylin Group and their products, to collaborate on policymaking, industry fact-findings, in order to defend and sustain this industry for generations ahead.
Q: So the Future Citizen Institute of the Kylin Prime Group: their slogan is “Bringing the future closer”, so what’s your opinion about the future of the global citizen?
A: Our slogan is “Empowering global citizenship”, so it is part of bringing the future closer. So we believe the next generation, or at least we hope the next generation of our kids and their kids, will be able to move more freely and not be judged by the passport they hold.
[The passport] was not their choice, and, as I said, the GIIC, the Global Investments Immigration Council, Arton Capital, and the Future Citizen Institute will be more than happy to collaborate and report initiatives to make this industry more well understood, more transparent, and by doing so, more sustainable.