The recalibration of the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme was a major highlight and accomplishment for the Government of National Unity in 2015, as noted by Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, reports St Kitts & Nevis Observer.
Dr Harris made mention of past factors that threatened the viability of the programme.
“The Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme was seriously under threat of collapse as a result of the Federation’s loss of visa-free access to Canada for our citizens and the US FINCEN Advisory against our country,” he said. “Similar sanctions from other major jurisdictions such as the United Kingdom were coming fast on the heels of these two injurious body blows.”
He noted that his Government took steps to address and solve some of the issues that surrounded the credibility of the programme.
“The Team Unity administration brought a Fresh Start to the CBI programme by making quick work of corrective steps to co-operate with the Governments of Canada and the USA in revamping the programme,” said Dr Harris. “We hosted two service providers seminars here in the Federation. These were the first of their kind to take place in the region. We attracted top level representation from the governments of Canada, the UK, the USA, and the EU. They have commended us on our leadership and our taking steps in the right direction.”
The prime minister noted that the CBI programme will continue to improve in 2016, as the Government is willing and ready to support all CBI-related projects, as well as the work of the St Kitts Investment Promotion Agency (SKIPA’s) Technical Committee.
“In 2016, efforts will be sustained to ensure that close working relations are maintained with the UK, the USA, Canada, and the European Union,” he said, while noting that the programme is now more respected, better managed and supported.
Prime Minister Harris revealed that the Federation has reaped significant benefits from the CBI programme for 2015 as the programme brought in a 42.5 per cent increase in the revenue projections for that year.
In October 2015, Prime Minister Harris attended the Inaugural Asia Citizenship by Investment and International Residence Summit in Singapore, as well as the Global Citizenship Seminar in Miami. At both events the prime minister delivered the keynote address.
The CBI programme was established in 1984, making it the longest of this kind in the world. The Government of St Kitts and Nevis utilizes this programme to attract investors of good character to make a substantial contribution to the development of the Federation. These investors are then given the opportunity to apply for citizenship and passports within the strict guidelines of the law and the relevant regulations.