CBI Programme will not ‘engage in a race to the bottom’

From the press unit of the Office of the Prime Minister

 

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – The Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) – and by extension the government of St. Kitts and Nevis – remains resolute in protecting the high standards associated with the federation’s Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme, which is widely considered to be the platinum brand of the industry.

This comes after news broke earlier this month that Antigua and Barbuda’s citizenship, under the National Development Fund (NDF) option, has been reduced by 50 percent to US$100,000.

St. Kitts and Nevis’ CBI programme presently has three distinct citizenship options: the real estate product priced at US$400,000, the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF) option at US$250,000, and the recently introduced Hurricane Relief Fund (HRF) option where investors can make a nonrefundable contribution of US$150,000. The Hurricane Relief Fund, which was introduced last month, will be available for a period of six months.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Citizenship by Investment Unit Les Khan stated during an interview with the press unit in the Office of the Prime Minister that there is a consensus among international marketing agents that there has been “consistent excellence and professionalism associated with the platinum brand of the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship programme: the oldest and best programme in the Caribbean.”

During a recent trip to the Middle East, Khan reassured agents that St. Kitts and Nevis has not engaged and “will not engage in a race to the bottom.”

Khan explained that “we originally set a price that we felt was competitive, but was also one that maintained the standard of a platinum brand and one that was still higher than everyone else’s. There will be further adjustments, I believe, by other countries, but we will not be engaged in that race to the bottom.”

This point was further reinforced by St. Kitts and Nevis’ prime minister, the Honourable Dr. Timothy Harris, when he addressed members of the national media corps during a press conference held Oct. 25. Harris noted that his Team Unity administration will always seek to maintain the platinum standard of its CBI programme and reiterated that St. Kitts and Nevis has not reduced the price of any of its CBI products, but instead is now offering a third option in the form of the Hurricane Relief Fund (HRF).

“Having regard to the reality of the hurricanes, we had to address that via a new offering,” he said. “We are not giving undue consideration to what has happened in Antigua or in any other country. We remain focused on promoting and marketing our programme as the one which the discerning investor would want to pay attention to, and we would want to invite those investors who are looking for an enduring relationship with our country and not just for the mere acquisition of citizenship.”

Harris added “we do not have an OPEC-like arrangement, where countries participating in the citizenship programme come together and determine the price, and so each country, each jurisdiction at its sovereign wish, would make those judgment calls. We respect that and we will let the market play out in terms of its responses to these issues.”

The CEO of the Citizenship by Investment Unit earlier reported an increase in the level of interest in all three CBI offerings of St. Kitts and Nevis, as well as the signing on of five additional international marketing agents to promote the federation’s CBI programme.