As published on: guardian.co.tt, Tuesday 5 December, 2023.
St. Kitts-Nevis Prime Minister Dr. Terrance Drew has underscored the importance of the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CBI) to his twin island Federation saying it remains “an illustrious pathway” for high-net-worth individuals and families seeking legal citizenship in the Caribbean.
Speaking at a CBI event on the sidelines of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 28), Prime Minister Drew said that under his administration , the CBI has undergone “a rigorous reformation aimed at fortifying its integrity and reliability”.
Under the CBI, foreign investors are granted citizenship of the twin island republic in return for making a substantial investment in the socio-economic development of the country.
“We are a new government that is committed to continually improving our programme. The integrity of the programme is my priority” Prime Minister Drew told the even, reiterating that “the integrity of the programme is our priority”.
Drew said that pivotal changes such as mandatory interviews and stringent due diligence checks, align with both national regulations and global best practices.
“We require mandatory interviews and have multilayered due diligence checks at every stage of the process. Each stage has sub-stages, showing the depth of our commitment to due diligence. We are thereby enforcing strict compliance with the rules both within our country and within the internationally accepted best practice.
“We serve as an inspiration to the rest of the world in our programming, and the international community is taking notice of our work. For example, Saudi Arabia recently granted us e-visa access, the only Caribbean country that has this.
“We unveiled a new set of regulations to maintain our programme’s integrity in July, just to demonstrate our commitment to providing the premium service that the world has come to expect from us” added Dr. Drew.
But even as he acknowledged the ongoing changes, Prime Minister Drew expressed optimism and a commitment to continually reassessing and refining regulations.
“We will continually assess and reassess these regulations in due course, but at present, we are giving these regulations a chance to take hold. We are optimistic about these new changes, but our ambition goes even further.
“We do not only seek to continue being the most secure CBI programme; we also seek to continue being pioneers in the industry, through a programme that provides multifaceted benefits to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis.
“Our sustainable island state contribution allows aspiring investors to take part in the social, environmental, and economic goals of the country. From the transition to green energy to economic development to evolving the creative economy, this fund is helping us do great things. The energy transformation is a fundamental aspect of our Sustainable Island State vision”.
Drew said that the sustainable island state contribution stands as a testament, inviting aspiring investors to partake in the Federation’s socio-economic and environmental aspirations, particularly its energy transformation journey.