In the wake of rave reviews last year, the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis is hosting the event again this year, coinciding with the 35th anniversary of its pioneering Citizenship by Investment Programme – the oldest and best of its kind.
Noting that the CBI industry contributes significantly to government revenue in St. Kitts and Nevis, as well as in “other member states of our sub-region like Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada and St. Lucia to a lesser extent,” Prime Minister Harris said that, ultimately, the measure of success of CBI programmes is indicated by the extent to which countries are able to convert CBI revenue inflows into “real, sustained and meaningful improvements in the lives of our people, and in the overall development of our island nations.”
The Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis said an important lesson, therefore, is that “the socio-economic empowerment and the improvement in the quality of life for all our citizens should remain the lifeblood and calling of each of our programmes.”
Prime Minister Harris continued: “Our policies, pricing strategies, and even our discourse about Citizenship by Investment must always emphasize the inextricable link between successful applicants to our programmes and the observable, actual development in and around our countries. Across our region, we see the positive impacts our Citizenship by Investment Programmes make on construction, job creation, hotel stock, housing stock, social safety nets, etc.”
The Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis said the country’s landscape has been transformed, as construction is a major driver of economic growth. “The build-out of the Four Seasons Residences, Ramada, Wyndham and Park Hyatt all owe their progress and success to the CBI Programme here in St. Kitts and Nevis,” Prime Minister Harris said.
“These transformations – made possible by the careful management of our citizenship programmes – are the ultimate purpose of CBI in our region. It is a lesson we can hardly remind ourselves of too much,” Dr. Harris added.
Prime Minister Harris mentioned one of St. Kitts and Nevis’ innovations under its CBI Programme – the Hurricane Relief Fund (which preceded the Sustainable Growth Fund) – noting, “Since the Fund was established in October 2017, its proceeds have improved the quality of life of over 2,000 households through the Government’s Hurricane Repair Housing Assistance Programme.
The incredible success of St. Kitts and Nevis’ CBI Programme has also provided the fiscal space for Prime Minister Harris’ Team Unity administration to pay a double salary in December for the last three consecutive years and to introduce the $500-monthly Poverty Alleviation Programme.