St Kitts-Nevis Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris is calling for closer collaboration as Caribbean countries seek to implement various forms of a Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) as a means of boosting investments in their respective countries, reports the Antigua Observer.
Harris said that the programme is a massive revenue earner but warned that new entrants may take action that could undermine the programme.
St Kitts-Nevis, Dominica, St. Lucia and Antigua and Barbuda have CIP programmes allowing for foreign investors to make significant investments in designated areas outlined by the countries and in return have the opportunity to receive citizenship from the country.
“We have been arguing that there is a need for all countries in CARICOM (Caribbean Community) that are participants in this programme to come together to develop standards for the industry and for the region as a whole so that we do not get into cut throat competition with ourselves,” said Prime Minister Harris.
Speaking on the state-owned DBS radio here, Harris said such infighting would “damage the programme as a whole because you only need one major incident involving one country for that to tarnish the programme for the entire region.
“So it is in our self-interest we believe that we should come together, establish what are the best practices…harmonise our legislative framework,” he said, urging the region to avoid being played against one another.
“So that wherever you go, if it is a no in Dominica it is a no in any other island of the region to which you go,” he said, adding that speaking with one voice “we can give assurance to the critical international stakeholders, the US, the Canada, the EU (European Union) regarding the quality of our programme and that there is no risk to the security of the programme”.