LONDON– PR Newswire — After Hurricane Maria, the Dominican government spent EC$582.6m from Citizenship by Investment (CBI) receipts to support the island’s recovery and broader economic growth.
This is according to a new report elaborated by leading multinational firm PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC) who visited the small Caribbean island in July and assessed its CBI Programme.
In 2017, Hurricane Maria caused damages worth ≈226% of Dominica’s GDP and recovery was expected to take decades. However, Dominica beat the odds remarkably quick only two years later and is now “undergoing a long-term transition to a climate resilient, service-based economy,” the report cites.
This was possible mainly due to the vigilant use of the larger financial reserves Dominica had accumulated especially since 2015 from its CBI Programme, which allows highly vetted investors to obtain second citizenship from the Commonwealth member in exchange for an economic contribution.
Since 2014, Dominica’s CBI Programme improved dramatically which gave the island the fiscal space to recover exemplarily and devise a sustainable economic plan.
As a result of CBI contributions, 15 schools, 19 bridges, 15 road sections, three hospitals, six health centres and many other areas were rehabilitated.
CBI also fully funds the construction of 6,680 hurricane-resilient households which, once completed, will add to the state’s housing stock, aligning with Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit’s pledge to make Dominica “the world’s first climate resilient nation”.
Furthermore, CBI supports the development of several luxury hotels which will boost Dominica’s flourishing ecotourism, creating ≈1,000 temporary jobs and 900 permanent ones while supporting the livelihoods of farmers, fishermen, tour operators and other tourism-related specialists.
PwC predicts that, “The investment in hotels and tourism should generate future revenue streams for the island, which could be between EC$90m and EC$140m each year.”
They estimate that CBI “will have had a significant long-term impact on the economic potential of the island” and could increase tax receipts by ≈EC$30m and GDP – by ≈EC$150m.
PwC concludes that Dominica’s CBI Programme “has had a major impact on the island’s resilience and is likely to remain a significant driver of sustainability.”
In August, the Financial Times publication – PWM – ranked Dominica as the world’s best economic citizenship country in its prestigious CBI Index. FT specialists praised the island’s high due diligence standards and suggested that Dominica was this year’s role model for transparency and accountability of how CBI funds are used.