Comment: Small EB5 world

Small EB5 world

1. Where is the money? Historically, the 5 countries of China, India, Vietnam, Korea and Taiwan have accounted for 90% of EB5 demand in the last 5 years, the last 10 years, the last 15 years and likely the next 5 years (the EB5 world therefore is a very small world, just 5 countries). The rest of the world put together is only 10% of EB5 demand, and is fragmented across multiple countries.

2. What does it take to tap these small markets? If you already have a network in one of these countries that has generated 10 wires for you in 2019, you can certainly use it to get wires in 2023. Only the top 25 EB5 players who have had the time and resources to establish active networks in a particular country have succeeded in generating 10 wires from that country. If you have not already succeeded in getting 10 wires from one of these smaller EB5 markets in 2019, it is folly to expect to get wires now.

3. How can one evaluate the EB5 potential of a country? It is not just about having a reason to leave the country–one must consider the GDP of the country and the population of the country: 
Two illustrative (and real) examples: 
o One of the luminaries in the EB5 field told us when Chinese investments fell off in 2018 due to retrogression that he was planning to replace Chinese EB5 investments by going to Cambodia! The absurdity of the idea is clear when you consider that the GDP of Cambodia is barely $100 billion as opposed to $33 trillion for China, and the population of Cambodia is a mere 17 million as opposed to 1.4 billion for China.
o The Courier Journal of Louisville, Kentucky reported on a Kentucky EB5 project that decided to look for countries not impacted by retrogression and put all their efforts in raising EB5 investments in Peru! The newspaper quoted the project principal saying “We tried to raise money in Peru […] and […] came up empty.” The absurdity of the attempt is clear when you consider that the GDP of Peru is $0.5 trillion as opposed to $33 trillion for China, and the population of Peru is 34 million as opposed to 1.4 billion for China.

4. What is the take away? Unless you are in the top 25 projects with an already active EB5 network that has generated 10 EB5 wires for you from a country in the past, you should strongly consider restricting yourself to the top 5 EB5 markets because–as the bank robber said - “that’s where the money is.”

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