As published on antiguaobserver.com, Monday 27 June, 2022.
The government’s efforts to bolster investment in Antigua and Barbuda have seemingly been achieving the desired result as a Lebanese investor has expressed interest in conducting business in the country.
The potential unnamed investor, according to reports, is hoping to become a citizen of the twin island nation Barbuda through its Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP).
The connection was made during a recently held meeting in the Middle Eastern country when Prime Minister Gaston Browne and Tourism Minister Charles ‘Max’ Fernandez attended a meeting with Antiguan CIP citizens in Lebanon to seek further investments.
“The purpose of the meeting was for them to officially meet the prime minister and, of course myself, and to hear about Antigua and Barbuda and to further invite them, not just to visit but to come and invest,” Fernandez told this newsroom.
He revealed that the talks were promising, and interest is high in the country as the grouping in Lebanon is currently looking at organising a group called Antiguan Citizens of Lebanon to further help boost the CIP through several projects, one of which is a duty-free investment.
“After the initial meeting, a follow-up meeting with about five individuals who want to come and ask about doing business in Antigua [was held]. Since I got back from the Middle East, I got a call from one of them, specifically, and he wants to do two investments in Antigua.
“One of them is a duty-free investment with warehouse and shipping-out as far as Europe because of the fact that Antigua and Barbuda has a very modern port facility [and] a very modern airport with interconnectivity right through. Antigua would become the hub for his business throughout the region, and, as I said, even as far as Europe,” Fernandez explained.
Despite the longstanding controversies that the country has faced because of its CIP, Minister Fernandez was adamant that there are great linkages still to be explored between the programme and the tourism sector as opportunities like these will do nothing but help to boost the country’s economy and international footprint.