Could you tell us about Temple’s relationship with China?
My father had the vision 20 years ago of analysing opportunities in China. We started a coffee-roasting factory in Macau; we have brands that sell in China. Nowadays real estate is our core business. We saw China opening the doors a few years back – coincidentally, at the time of the ‘golden visa’. That helped a lot.
In what way?
The golden visa program is straightforward and, compared with others, not expensive. There is no inheritance tax and a new regime for non-habitual residents. Lots of foreigners have shown interest, for instance french – because tax is high in France. If they declare residency, they pay zero tax on pensions. There is more to be done to attract big companies. But we are on the right track.
You mentioned contacts with Chinese developers. How can you help?
We can do the development together, just provide the services, or put together the vehicle through which to invest. We also have an agency in China with current opportunities – not just ours.
How much business have golden visas brought you?
I’m not going to give numbers, but I will say this: there are a lot of intermediaries and huge commissions involved. If we paid these kind of commissions, we would probably be the best seller.
If someone is interested in finding a house, how can they be sure of getting a fair price?
The first thing we want to do is earn their trust with our presence in China and with our experience in the Real Estate industry. The clients can go online and get an idea of prices, but travelling to Portugal is key. One thing worth mentioning is that we are starting investment tours for Chinese investors. We introduce them to Lisbon or Porto and other opportunities. We also put them in contact with Portuguese investment agencies.