Caribbean nations with Citizenship by Investment schemes ranked in the top 30 per cent of this year's World Citizenship Report. The Report measures 188 countries across five motivators deemed as most relevant among the mass affluent – Safety and Security, Economic Opportunity, Quality of Life, Global Mobility and Financial Freedom.
This year, St Kitts and Nevis kept its position of 48th out of the 188 countries while Grenada (49), Antigua & Barbuda (50), the Commonwealth of Dominica (52) and Saint Lucia (53) followed closely behind.
The Caribbean is considered the cradle of investment immigration due to the high concentration of countries that offer CBI programmes in the region.
Caribbean nations are becoming investment hubs in the global arena, offering attractions such as safety, lucrative financial diversification options and idyllic lifestyles that make them desirable places to take up second citizenship. For example, all the Caribbean nations hosting CBI programmes are members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) which is committed to promoting and supporting a unified Caribbean community that is inclusive, resilient, and competitive to share in economic, social and cultural growth.
These CARICOM members have also pledged to continue to be vigilant in managing the threats to sustainable development in the region.
This includes implementing initiatives that attract foreign direct investment, ensuring that the region is not perceived as high risk by investors, lobbying against the proposed global minimum corporation tax and continuing to build relations with the OECD (Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) and European Union.
For example, earlier this year, heads of state from all five?Caribbean?nations offering citizenship by investment programmes met with several US government officials to discuss ways to enhance security and due-diligence checks which will minimise any potential risks of the various CBI programmes on offer.
Prime Ministers from?St Kitts and Nevis,?Antigua & Barbuda,?Saint Lucia,?Dominica?and?Grenada?were all in attendance, alongside the heads of each nation's Citizenship by Investment Units (CIU). The meeting, which was led by the Assistant Secretary of the US Department of the Treasury had some positive outcomes and all nations agreed to follow six processing principles which were suggested by the United States, including:
This year's World Citizenship Report found that high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) and the mass affluent are in search of greater freedoms, and in preparing for the future, they want to have more control over their freedoms.
This group of HNWIs and mass affluent are securing these freedoms by ensuring that they have a second home through residency and citizenship programmes.
For decades countries like the US, Canada, the UK, and France were attractive destinations for many who wanted to migrate. However, those popular countries are all struggling, both financially with threats of a recession and high inflation, as well as experiencing civil unrest in the form of protests and strikes. The mass affluent and HNWIs have begun to look for alternative destinations as a bolt-hole for future crises, countries that offer the freedoms that are lacking in their home nations.
Caribbean nations have been offering precisely this for decades – Dominica ranked the safest and most secure Caribbean CBI nation, and all five countries were almost equal in terms of economic opportunity.
Small island nations are ensuring their prosperity and sustainability through CBI programmes which continue to be a viable way for Caribbean nations to attract foreign direct investment into their economies which is then used for significant developmental projects.
Dominica's construction of a geothermal plant, another tangible example of how the nation is moving away from fossil fuels in order to become a greener economy, was made possible by the revenue from CBI.
The nation of St Kitts and Nevis is following suit, also moving away from fossil fuel. St Kitts and Nevis has taken the seriousness of its CBI programme one step further by instituting innovative and industry-first regulation that will not only enhance the programme's international reputation but will also ensure that international investors and citizens alike benefit from a safe, secure, stable and economically prosperous nation.
The inflow of funds to the private sector has had a noticeable impact on the economic activity of island nations, in many instances improving fiscal outcomes, facilitating debt repayment and spurring economic growth.
Caribbean nations continue to be politically and economically stable, with a low crime rate and rich investment opportunities – therefore solid investment options for those looking to attain freedom.
The World Citizenship Report is published by CS Global Partners, a leading investment migration advisory firm.