Fresh off Program re-authorization in September 2012, IIUSA acted on its recognition of the vital importance for the EB-5 industry trade association to maintain a consistent and active presence in China, by far the largest EB-5 investor marketplace, and lead in investor market diversification efforts. For the past 18+ months, with the leadership of IIUSA members and support of the American Chamber of Commerce South China (as well as China’s provincial-level Exit/Entry associations), IIUSA has been successful in promoting the EB-5 Regional Center Program, educating the investor/adviser marketplace, and advancing the message of progressive international investment as a means toward tangible economic development in the U.S. that are enabled by global economic relationships.
A hallmark of IIUSA events and conferences have always been to foster ample opportunities for cross-cultural exchange. In 2014, IIUSA has taken that aim a step further by designing its three cornerstone events to serve as “workshops” in which EB-5 stakeholders from across the world will gather to discuss important issues such as due diligence, industry education and transparency in the marketplace – and then go put the collective industry knowledge to use in the marketplace to make the Program more successful through our never ending quest to hold industry practices to the highest standard.
Association-to-Association Ties Formalized in May at the EB-5 Advocacy Conference
At last month’s EB-5 Regional Economic Development Advocacy Conference, (Read Highlights From D.C. Conference), IIUSA set in motion several association-to-association agreements that are designed to foster collaboration and transparency in the EB-5 marketplace. These moments are nothing short of milestones for our efforts to date – and lay the foundation for important collaboration to address industry issues that are distorting the marketplace through education and self-regulation. It is important to think of these international accomplishments in the context of our domestic operations to implement new best practices each year that raise the bar of professional conduct in the industry. EB-5 Regional Centers hold the fate of where individuals are allow to be on the planet and their personal assets, making IIUSA’s responsibility to educate the international marketplace all the more imperative.
IIUSA’s partnerships with both the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Shanghai (which is brand new) and AmCham in South China (nearing 18 months) were solidified with agreements to share information and collaborate on EB-5 related industry events, professional development and due diligence initiatives. Ken Jarrett, President of AmCham Shanghai and Cindy Chen, Area Development Manger for AmCham in South China both addressed conference attendees on how the American Chambers of Commerce in China and IIUSA will working together to build opportunity and integrity for the EB-5 Regional Center industry in the largest investor market, China.
IIUSA also signed MOUs with Eight Chinese provincial-level Exit Entry Associations,which collectively represent nearly 550 migration agents. The MOUs cover a range of activities including best practices in agent conduct and due diligence, compensation practices, industry education and transparency (especially as it pertains to payment arrangements), establishment of mechanisms to report misrepresentation and fraud in the marketplace, membership exchange and professional development. These MOUs mark the beginning of IIUSA becoming more assertive in our efforts to build an informed EB-5 marketplace and will be an essential component of programming at CIFIT this year.
Next Step: Trade Mission To China International Fair For Investment & Trade (CIFIT) in September
Only three months remain until IIUSA leads its delegation of members to Xiamen, China to take part in the the China International Fair For Investment & Trade (CIFIT) -the largest international fair in the world focused on foreign direct investment. This will be the second year in a row that IIUSA will partner with the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) South China to co-host the USA pavilion. Last year, over 115 IIUSA Members joined a combined U.S. delegation of over 300 delegates and 50 exhibitors. Delegates will have a chance to exhibit their projects, meet potential investor leads, other EB-5 stakeholders, and international business/government leaders.
Over the course of the four-day conference, IIUSA will organize seminars and meetings to continue the important dialogue among EB-5 stakeholders – much of which is driven by the events in Washington, D.C. in May at our annual Advocacy Conference. On September 8th, IIUSA will convene an intimate meeting in which Chinese migration intermediaries and IIUSA members (one representative per organization) will examine pertinent issues such as securities laws and execution of the Entry/Exit Associations’ MOUs, USCIS policies, retrogression scenarios and the legislative outlook for 2014 and beyond. It will be designed to serve as an open forum and dialogue in a private setting.
Like last year, IIUSA will also host a bi-lingual EB-5 Seminar which will include speakers from IIUSA leadership, AmCham South China, Entry-Exit Associations, and guest of honor speakers. Last year’s seminar, attended by hundreds, featured panels and case studies on U.S. immigration reform, USCIS policy and Due Diligence. This year’s event, presented in partnership with Fujian Entry-Exit Association, will highlight the international relationships that have been forged over the past year and will also feature practical examples of EB-5 success resulting from effective cross-pacific partnerships. This seminar, in tandem with a first-class exhibiting experience and several exclusive cocktail receptions, provide the optimal platform for EB-5 stakeholders to engage and conduct business in the industry’s largest investor marketplace.
Crossing the Bridge – IIUSA’s 4th Annual EB-5 International Investment & Economic Development Forum in San Francisco this October
Following a successful trade mission in September, IIUSA members will have a unique opportunity to build upon the connections that were established or enhanced in China the month prior and invite potential business partners to visit them in San Francisco at the EB-5 industry’s largest conference of the year from October 22nd-24th. Well over 600 people are expected to attend IIUSA’s 4th Annual EB-5 International Investment Economic Development Forum, which will include three days of exhibiting, six keynote speakers and six keynote panels, 10 “breakout sessions” and two entertainment-packed evening receptions. Additionally, there will be a special “kick-off” event which will allow attendees to see the beautiful San Francisco landscape in style and celebrate the coming together of old and new friends. Furthermore, host city sponsors and other local members will be offering tours and special events to attendees to bring the EB-5 Program to life through project site visits and local fare.
Furthermore, with the help of IIUSA international partners, event sponsors, the forum committee, members, and YOU, we will be inviting international partners from all over the world – and invite them to use this conference as the beginning of a tour of site visits of EB-5 projects across the U.S. We believe in the power of all corners of the industry coming together under one roof to at our conference to build relationships around collective knowledge, with special focus on due diligence and best practices, followed by project site and/or office visits while international partners have the opportunity in the same country – and fresh off the industry event of the year!
Preliminary Conference Schedule (Oct. 22-24, 2014)
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With Questions, Call Allen Wolff, 312-283-8167.