As published on caribbeannationalweekly.com, Thursday 29 September, 2022.
The Government of Suriname says it is seriously looking to implement the citizenship by investment program that grants citizenship to foreigners who want to invest in the country, President Chandrikapersad Santokhi announced in Parliament on Thursday.
He disclosed that an expert team is studying the possibility of introducing a citizenship by investment program that is present in several eastern Caribbean islands, as he pointed out that the population numbering just over half a million will not be able to achieve the desired development and workers from other countries will also be needed.
Santokhi said the country has enormous potential in the agricultural sector, tourism, and mining, especially in gold, granite, oil, and gas, which would attract foreign investment.
“And with the oil and gas, we look forward to the decision of the international oil companies regarding the final investment decision which is projected for the coming year,” he said, adding that further development of those sectors not only requires significant capital but also expertise and manpower that Suriname does not currently have in sufficient quantities.
“One fact is clear to me: with 600,000 people in Suriname, approximately 150,000 households, we will not be able to sufficiently develop the indicated sectors, and therefore not be able to earn optimally for the further development of our country.”
Consideration is also being given to allowing companies to recruit workers from abroad under certain conditions, Santokhi said.
He said both initiatives would make a positive contribution to the earning capacity and further development of the manufacturing sector, in keeping with the relevant international regulations and the national legal framework.
“We hope that this discussion can be conducted in a businesslike and down-to-earth manner, underpinned by data and solid analytics, with the involvement of relevant stakeholders,” President Santokhi said.
The Citizenship by Investment Program been criticized by the United States and the United Nations in recent months with several Caribbean countries defending the right to have the program.