Economic Undertakings

A new hotspot for Indians seeking another citizenship

Citizenship-by-investment programs have helped many Caribbean countries survive the pandemic by creating jobs and investment

Citizenship-by-investment programs have played a crucial role in funding sustainable projects in many small countries.

This is especially true for the smaller states of the Caribbean, where flows to the private sector have had a dramatic impact on economic activity, particularly by accelerating the growth of important industries such as agriculture, health, education and infrastructure.

In St. Kitts and Nevis and Dominica, for example, inflows have improved fiscal outcomes, facilitated debt repayment, and spurred economic growth.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) research has highlighted the significant macroeconomic impact of CBI programs in the Caribbean region, where five small states offer economic citizenship, industry has grown from 0% of regional GDP in 2007 to 5.1% in 2015.

Read: Portugal, Turkey and Greece remain top destinations for Indians considering citizenship (February 19, 2022)

The head of St. Kitts and Nevis’ CBI unit, Les Khan, has previously openly said that revenue from the country’s CBI program was a ‘main driver’ during the lockdown, when tourism was at an all-time low .

In Dominica, the IMF said “strong growth” in the construction sector was “funded by record CBI revenues”.

This shows that this influx of money can make a major difference in government performance for small countries that face major natural disasters like annual hurricanes.

Dominica’s CBI program has helped fund a number of development projects on the island, creating jobs. One of the critical areas attracting local and foreign workers is Dominica’s construction sector.

With a slew of internationally branded hotels set to debut on the island, alongside the ongoing construction of more than 5,000 hurricane-proof homes, Dominica has been compelled to diversify its workforce and even to find specialized labor in the neighboring islands.

This goes hand-in-hand with hoteliers training the local workforce to acquire new skills, especially those necessary for the proper functioning of new resorts.

To support this economic boom over the long term, Dominica favors its local workforce and invests in the diversification and professionalization of certain trades. This requires close collaboration with CBI property developers.

While in St. Kitts and Nevis, Nevis Island Administration (NIA) signed a groundbreaking multi-film production deal with MSR Media to shoot multiple films over a three-year period.

Read: Indians among top countries get Portuguese visas (September 17, 2021)

The deal was negotiated with Nevis Foreign Minister Mark Brantley and the transformation deal officially launched the film industry in St. Kitts and Nevis.

So far, 80 full-time jobs have been created and 40 crew members have been hired locally.

MSR Media also launched the Acting Academy under the direction of MSR Media chief producer and director Philippe Martinez, assisted by acting coach Winston Crooke.

The acting academy equips locals with invaluable skills that will help them prepare for paid film roles.

CBI also enables the Caribbean region to be an investment hotspot. Citizenship by investment in Dominica is available through two options – the Economic Diversification Fund or the Approved real estate option.

The Economic Diversification Fund (FED) is a Dominican government program supporting socio-economic initiatives with the aim of stimulating national development and is a component of a national capital mobilization portfolio.

Applicants can acquire economic citizenship of Dominica by making a financial contribution to its EDF. All funds generated for the EDF fund are intended for the improvement of projects in the public and private sectors that need financial support.

These include the construction of schools, the renovation of hospitals and the creation of a national sports stadium, as well as various other undertakings in many sectors such as tourism, information technology and agriculture.

Under the real estate option, applicants are required to purchase Government Approved Property worth at least $200,000 and the property must be owned for three years from the date citizenship was granted or, if the prospective purchaser is also an applicant for citizenship by investment, five years from from the date of grant of citizenship.

Dominica has attracted serious world famous brands such as Anichi Resort and Spa from the Autograph Collection brand, a premium brand of Marriott International.

Other options include Jungle Bay Villas, secret bay, hilton, Kempinsky and eco-friendly boutique hotels like the Sanctuary Rainforest Eco Resort and Spa.

Read: Want to escape America? 12 countries where you can buy citizenship (and a second passport) (July 28, 2020)

To be a citizen of Saint Kitts and Nevis, investors can contribute to the Sustainable Growth Fund, which is the most direct investment route to citizenship of the country. Income from the fund is also used to support sustainable growth initiatives in the country.

CBI programs focus on the overall quality and integrity of its applicants, accepting only individuals of exceptional character and reputation.

To ensure that credible individuals of excellent reputation are granted citizenship, extensive due diligence checks are carried out on all applicants over the age of 16.

(Paul Singh is the Director of CS Global Partners, a global marketing agency specializing in attracting foreign direct investment through powerful marketing, headquartered in Mayfair, London)