50,000 gain residency via property investment scheme in Macao

18:38, March 22, 2010      

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About 50,000 immigrants have gained their right to temporary residency through the government's now suspended property investment scheme, the local Macao Post Daily reported on Monday.

The newspaper quoted Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM) President Cheong Chou Weng as saying that most of the scheme's beneficiaries were nationals of Guinea-Bissau, Gambia, Niger, China's Hong Kong, the United States and Canada.

Cheong made the revelation in a letter responding to lawmaker Kwan Tsui Hang on the controversial program, which was launched by Macao's then Portuguese administration in the late 1990s but suspended by government of Macao Special Administrative Region ( SAR) in April 2007.

Macao Post Daily quoted an informed source as saying " basically all" of the property investment immigrants holding passports issued by Guinea-Bissau, Gambia, Niger and other impoverished third-world nations were actually mainland Chinese who had "somehow" been able to obtain those countries' nationalities, which entitled them to apply for Macao's property investment residency as "foreign nationals."

Cheong also pointed out that Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On recently announced plans to launch an in-depth study this year on the government's overall population and immigration policies in an attempt to attract "talents" to local labor market and investments benefiting the economy in general and the government' s fiscal revenues in particular.

Source: Xinhua
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