CARIBPR WIRE, Basseterre, St. Kitts, Nov. 16, 2022: St Kitts and Nevis welcomed a new government in August and the new administration, led by Dr Terrance Drew, is ready and determined to usher in a new sense of cooperation, good governance, and transparency – starting with steps to improve the country’s long-standing citizenship by investment (CBI) programme.
In his address on Tuesday, 15 November, marking his first 100 days in office, Prime Minister Dr Terrance Drew provided insight into the focus areas for the CBI changes, which he gave to the citizens of St Kitts and Nevis at an event held earlier today in the country’s capital Basseterre.
Since winning the snap election on 5 August, Prime Minister Dr Terrance Drew has been working tirelessly for the overall development of St Kitts and Nevis and has undertaken various initiatives including the formation of a committee to combat corruption.
The new administration has presented plans for the advancement of the twin-island nation, outlining steps that will pave the way to improving the lives of its people. A large part of these plans is funded by the CBI programme which has secured foreign direct investment into the nation for nearly 40 years since it is independence.
“Our government has been relentless in our pursuit to strengthen and improve our Citizenship by Investment programme, for enhanced sustainability within a framework of integrity. We have held productive discussions with local developers and international investors alike,” said Prime Minister Drew.
“There will be much stronger oversight and leadership in the CBI Unit by a new CBI Board and Technical Committee. I will announce the detailed changes at our upcoming press conference, but I want to be absolutely clear, that our evolved CBI programme will be run with the utmost transparency.”
To help progress the economy, Prime Minister Drew highlighted that more oversight would ensure that the people of St Kitts and Nevis would also benefit from the CBI programme as it was intended. Plans are in place to support women in sectors like construction, to provide more support to small businesses, and to review opportunities for the development of the renewable energy sector, the processing of fish, as well as packaging and exports.
With promises to improve health care, provide more affordable housing and access to better education – Prime Minister Drew understands that all this will be underpinned by a stronger economy.
Speaking at the event Prime Minister Drew said that while the nation has been the benchmark of citizenship by investment value proposition, the new administration understands that in order to remain one of the most sought-after economic citizenship programmes in the world, it needs to evolve and forge a new path for itself and the industry as it responds to a changing demographic.
Through ongoing consultations with all stakeholders during the exploratory phase, the new government aims to have regular engagement with local and international stakeholders in the programme to ensure it meets their salient needs.
Prime Minister Drew also emphasised how his government is on a journey to bring clarity to locals and international investors through constant transparency and integrity. “Our ongoing work to strengthen this programme and the system must result in prosperity for all.”
Consultations with stakeholders have led to the development of committees to supervise the process and implement strengthened legislative and administrative structures to prevent “underselling” and ensure that real estate projects funded by the CBI programme are completed.
The government’s plan is to maintain a progressive programme that cements St Kitts and Nevis’ place as a leader in the CBI Industry.
The government is also seeking out reliable and trustworthy developers who are ready to put capital behind creative and strong projects that will enhance St Kitts and Nevis’ CBI offering.
St Kitts and Nevis holds the oldest citizenship by investment programme in the world – established in 1984, the programme currently allows investors to gain second citizenship by donating to a government fund or by investing in real estate.
The government fund channels investment to projects that will uplift the country and has enabled, in part, sectors such as health, education, tourism, business, and agriculture to flourish.