(ZIZ)– CARICOM leaders have commended St. Kitts and Nevis’ Citizenship By Investment Programme.
During a national address to mark the St. Kitts Nevis Labour Party’s 19th anniversary in office, Prime Minister the Right Hon Dr Denzil Douglas quoted a communiqué issued by CARICOM heads which praised the Federation on the CBI Programme.
“The communiqué reports that heads of government, and I quote, ‘commended St. Kitts and Nevis for its economic performance, acknowledging the importance of such programmes in improving the fiscal position of some member states at a time of acute economic and financial stress, thereby assisting in maintaining their development efforts’,” he said.
The prime minister noted that the communiqué also commended St. Kitts and Nevis for strengthening the CBI Programme’s legal framework.
“Although our progamme is still the oldest and most reputable of its kind in the world and although our due diligence procedures are rigorous and second to no other country we intend to raise the Citizenship By Investment Programme to an even higher level of transparency, accountability, and regulation than already exists,” he said.
He said the government has already taken steps to maintain and exceed international standards in several key areas.
“The Federal Cabinet has approved an action plan involving enhanced security, regulatory compliance, and administrative strengthening to achieve this important objective and a specially appointed implementation team has been given the responsibility of executing the action plan in keeping with the policies established by the government,” he said.
The Prime Minister also condemned what he calls malicious criticism of projects such as the Citizenship by Investment Programme by a minority group of individuals.
He said these attacks are not rooted in fact but are meant to push a political agenda.
“Every programme or innovation that has brought significant benefits to the citizens of this country has been subjected to vicious attacks and malicious falsehoods by minority elements in our society who set out to grab power at any cost. Even at the risk of reversing the great strides as a nation and undermining the well being of our very people,” he said.
Dr. Douglas said these programmes provide several benefits for the country including strengthening the government’s physical position, building the tourism industry and providing funding and support for local businesspersons.