The five Eastern Caribbean countries engaged in the Citizenship by Investment Programme are looking to establish a stronger regulatory framework with the hopes of becoming more effective and competitive on the global market.
On Thursday, the Citizenship by Investment Programmes Association –CIPA began its fifth meeting at the Fort Young Hotel.
CIPA was formed just over a year ago with the primary aim of establishing collaboration among the five countries promoting the CBI programme in the Eastern Caribbean; collaboration specifically as it relates to the due diligence process of the industry.
CBI unit representatives and agents from these five countries, namely St. Kitts, Antigua, Grenada, St. Lucia and Dominica are meeting here for two days of discussions which will help formalize the association.
The Hon Minister for Foreign Affairs, Francine Baron speaking on behalf of the Hon Prime Minister said, “While our efforts have been laudable in following best practice and in maintaining strict due diligence procedures, it is to our benefit to strive always for enhanced systems and practice. If we are to truly embrace an integrated approach with our programmes we need to think and act in unity and this can only be effectively achieved if we have a single standardized regulatory system; one that amalgamates the very best of the five islands.”
The initiative for CIPA came from international investigative due diligence company – IPSA which felt Caribbean islands could benefit more from collaboration as opposed to competition.
Thomas Anthony of the citizenship by investment unit of Antigua shed some light on the association’s first meeting in St. Kitts.
“After all the passport of Dominica gives one rights of establishments in the other OECS countries and so we felt that collaboration was indeed necessary and so going back more than a year ago our first meeting was held in St. Kitts. It was quickly established that there were some areas that we could rally around; one of those being setting standards having to do with the requirements for applicants, having to do with documentation that needed to be provided from applicants and having to do with the background check that’s done so that all of us would benefit from having the same multi-tiered due diligence background check,” he said.
He said at that first meeting it was also decided that countries would share information on application denials so that applicants who were refused entry in one state would not be able to apply to another. Anthony further revealed that the joint regional communication center in Barbados would be the central point for such information. Meetings were also held in Barbados and Antigua.
Head of Dominica’s CBI unit, Emmanuel Nanthan says over the next two days countries will discuss how a unified goal of prosperity for the Caribbean can be achieved as one Caribbean Citizenship by Investment Programme is promoted for the OECS.
“We will also look at current endeavours to bring together all actors in the citizenship by investment market filtering down to worldwide agents and promoters and what actions we can take or should take for the future in developing our programmes,” he said.