Government holds discussions on way forward for CBI programme
From the press unit in the Office of the Prime Minister
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – The government of St. Kitts and Nevis held productive discussions March 9 with more than 30 major players in the economic citizenship industry in an effort to apprise and update them of the likely direction the Team Unity administration intends to take with respect to the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme.
The discussions, held at the Ocean Terrace Inn (OTI) Conference Room, were attended by Prime Minister the Honourable Dr. Timothy Harris; Senior Minister the Hon. Vance Amory; Attorney General the Hon. Vincent Byron; and CEO of the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU), Les Khan.
Developers in attendance represented major real estate companies in St. Kitts and Nevis, including Beaumont Park, Range Developments, Kittitian Hill, Ocean Grove Development, Golden Rock Commercial Park and Christophe Harbour, among others.
The government representatives used Friday’s meeting to advise the economic citizenship players on several amendments to the CBI programme being proposed at the Cabinet level, including changes under the real estate option.
Prime Minister Harris stated that his Cabinet has been having ongoing consultations with a number of stakeholders with respect to introducing new measures to the CBI programme, noting that “we have as a Cabinet been attempting to put those reforms, which in our view would help to incentivize our CBI programme and make it much more attractive. The exercise today was basically to give you a sense of where we are likely to end – nothing is cast in stone – and by and large to get some feedback with a view of crystallizing…so, some of the issues raised, we certainly are taking notes and we are going to have further reflection on these with our technical team.”
The informative and interactive discussions were applauded by those in attendance. Arthur Sharpe of Beaumont Park St. Kitts and Nevis commended the Team Unity government for its transparency and inclusive approach to the further development of the country’s citizenship programme. “You [the government] made the call, invited us and we’ve been discussing this thing back and forth getting closer to a resolution,” Sharpe said.
“We have already had success with the reduction in fees and I want to leave no doubt that everybody is standing in full support with you,” he added, noting that the efforts of the government are highly appreciated in this regard.
In February of this year, the government, after consultation with real estate developers, announced an adjustment of government fees for a family of four downward to US$75,000 under the real estate option of the CBI programme.
St. Kitts and Nevis’ Citizenship by Investment Programme remains the leading option for obtaining citizenship in the Caribbean. The programme recently achieved the No. 1 ranking in the OECS by a quality of passport index survey conducted by Henley & Partners in January. The federation was also recognized for offering the World’s Most Innovative Investment Immigration Programme at the 2017 Russian Global Citizen Awards Ceremony.