Investment Never Looked Better

20 Jun 2017

Representatives from the region’s five Citizenship by Investment Programs (CIP) met in Saint Lucia on Friday, June 16 to explore opportunities for increased collaboration and harmonization of due diligence processes.

The meeting, convened at the behest of the Heads of Government of OECS member states with CIP programs, provided a platform to discuss further harmonization of CIPs across the region, and consider ways in which strategic collaboration could enhance the quality and efficiency of the Citizenship by Investment service.

Among other agenda items, the establishment of an equal standard for the vetting of candidates and the implementation of an information sharing mechanism were outlined as areas for deeper cooperation.

Prime Minister of Saint Lucia and incoming Chairman of the OECS Authority, Hon Allen Chastanet, said that a shared intelligence system would streamline the due diligence process in each member state.

“If an applicant applies in Saint Lucia and is rejected, mechanisms must be in place to ensure that this person does not surface elsewhere in the region as a citizen through another CIP,” Prime Minister Chastanet said.

The meeting also reviewed and proposed amendments to a Policy and Procedures Manual prepared by the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS). This feedback is to be forwarded to the CIP Standing Working Committee established by CARICOM.

In his remarks to the gathering, Director General of the OECS, Dr Didacus Jules noted that many of the leading western economies had some variant of a Citizenship by Investment Program, but still exerted pressure on poorer, more vulnerable countries doing the same.

“When the weak and vulnerable are able to successfully engage on playing fields like these, every effort is made by the strong and powerful to change the rules of the game. Our only chance of winning is to make the integrity of these programs unassailable,” he asserted.

The maintenance of international credibility and integrity for the region's Citizenship by Investment Programs was outlined as a priority.