The Year Ahead
Key staff convened in the offices of our headquarters here in Panama City Friday afternoon to plan for the year ahead. Where will we focus our resources?
Here in Panama, the Veraguas Province has our full attention…and, increasingly, the enthusiastic attention of other investors, expats, and adventurers, as well. This western sunset-facing coast of the Azuero Peninsula is dramatically more developed than when we first identified it as this country’s Next Big Thing about four years ago, but we predict that the rate of development will accelerate in 2010. This is your last chance to get in early. We’ll continue to show you where, specifically, and how.
Looking north from our vantage point here in the Hub of the Americas, we’re most interested in current and emerging opportunities in Belize. We’ve been long sold on this English-speaking country with both a Caribbean coast and a pristine rain forest interior. Plus, right now, in the current global climate, Belize’s residency, tax, and banking advantages are more appealing than ever. Furthermore, friends are launching interesting new Belizean ventures. For all these reasons, we’re re-focused our attention here and are planning a Live & Invest in Belize Conference for early June. A house scout will visit the country next month to finalize the details.
I’m hoping to slip away first quarter 2010 for a few days on the Pacific coast of Mexico, where a particular development on the Riviera Nayarit has my attention.
Looking south, our radar picks up Colombia. Lief and I will visit in February.
Farther south, we’re most sold on Chile. A key correspondent will report in March.
Waaay down south, we remain sold on Argentina, not for any particular current reason, but because, in our experience, life in this country is lively and unpredictable. I defy you to be bored in Buenos Aires. This part of the world has grown more expensive, but, remember, cost of living is relative. A British reader living in San Rafael wrote recently to point out that, compared with the cost of living in the UK, that in Argentina remains a screaming bargain.
Lief and I intend to spend the month of July in France, first, because, given a choice, we’d rather spend time in France than anyplace else on the planet…and, second, because we want to verify for ourselves just how affordable France beyond Paris can be right now. Not that we doubt our correspondents’ field reports. Rather, cost of living research provides a great rationalization for doing a thing we very much want to do anyway (spend a month in France).
Lief and his new Director of Real Estate Research Harry Kalashian are off as soon as their schedules allow to the other side of the world for some extended scouting in the Philippines and Malaysia (two places in this part of the world where foreigners can own real estate).
Lief also sees opportunity in Australia and would like to add this to his travel schedule for 2010. On our joint travel wish list for this New Year are the Dominican Republic and Croatia (for business) and Paraguay, Bolivia, and Mongolia (for fun).