EB5 Investors Magazine (English Edition) Volume 5, Issue 1 | Page 98

Coming in From the Cold: Prospects and Challenges of Working with EB-5 Investors from Russian-Speaking Markets The EB-5 option is gaining momentum in Russia among its high net-worth residents despite cultural and financial challenges. By Charles Raether K nowledge of the EB-5 program has gradually improved over the past few years among Russian investors and other Russian-speaking investors in surrounding markets. However, despite the program's increased profile, these markets continue to be underrepresented among EB-5 investors, particularly in light of the number of high net-worth individuals in these markets. Likely explanations for this phenomenon are multifold, including a low level of knowledge of the program in general and typical structuring of projects, the absence of specialized and knowledgeable agencies to assist with project promotion, and a near complete lack of any concerted marketing efforts by EB-5 stakeholders to promote the program in general. Many of these factors can be easily remedied by more direct engagement in these markets by EB-5 stakeholders. At the same time, other indirect factors are likely to improve awareness and interest in EB-5. The wave of anti-Americanism that was widespread at the time of the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014 has significantly subsided. The continued economic stagnation in Russia and elsewhere in the region has caused many to seriously consider offshore options for their capital and families. The election of Donald Trump has also raised hopes of a reset of relations between Russia and the United States, although that optimism now seems to be a bit misplaced. All of these developments will 97 EB5 INVESTORS M AGAZINE