BEIRUT, June 2 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of Lebanese people flocked to the seventh edition of the Residency, Citizenship by Investment Expo and Conference in Beirut on the opening day on Thursday, looking for real estate investment opportunities in more than 25 countries of Europe, the Caribbean region, and other places around the world.
"The expo offers attractive programs for those capable of paying sums of money for a real estate investment in other countries," Mohamad Chaar, a Lebanese businessman, told Xinhua, saying he is personally considering investing in Greece to secure a residency for his family.
"One should think of alternatives nowadays," he said, adding the current economic and political uncertainty in Lebanon has pushed lots of his friends to opt for such programs.
Lebanon has been suffering an unprecedented financial crisis, leading to a collapse in the banking system and depriving the Lebanese of their long-time savings and deposits. This situation has forced many who managed to withdraw their money ahead of the crisis or could generate new income to invest their cash in real estate projects outside their country to secure a second citizenship or residency while earning a fair return on their investment.
Elias El Khoury, CEO of PromoTeam, the organizer of the expo, told Xinhua that companies had informed him of the high demand by the Lebanese, encouraging him to continue the three-day event this year.
"The different crises prevailing in Lebanon encouraged people here to opt for such options more than ever before," Khoury said.
According to companies participating in the expo, there was a remarkable increase in demand by the Lebanese for the programs offered in several countries, notably in neighboring Greece and Cyprus.
The Lebanese have also been asking about a large-scale foreign investment project on the island state Grenada in the Caribbean, noted Arash Bahrim, regional marketing director at Singapore Hengsheng (Grenada) Development Pte. Ltd.
"Lebanese businessmen have also shown interest since Grenada imposes no personal income tax, capital gains tax, net assets tax, or inheritance tax on investors," he explained. ■