Conference reviews Regional Approach to Citizenship Programmes

Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS) — An integrated approach towards the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Programme was addressed at the Caribbean Region Citizenship by Investment Programs Inaugural Meeting which concludes today (June 16) at the Ocean Terrace Inn.

Prime Minister the Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris said a concerted effort should bolster safeguards.

“The establishment of common standards and codes of conduct will ensure that we leave them no avenue to avoid their obligations to our friends and partners or to play one jurisdiction off against the other,” Prime Minister Harris said. “The sharing of information, best practices and personnel will allow us to spot and monitor criminals and flag them appropriately.”

He advised that no mistakes should be made stating “although we are separate jurisdictions; in bad times we will all be seen as simply Caribbean jurisdictions and whatever virus infects an individual jurisdiction we could easily see the contagion erupt throughout the sub-region.”

As such, partners were encouraged to be dedicated to the programme.

“We need concerted and dedicated action now,” he said. “We can’t wait for the horses to bolt and then become overly exercised in trying to fix the fences and gates. We have to begin visioning exercises, to develop prescriptive solutions and remedies as well as action to show the world that we are not only open for business but that in terms of transparency and integrity we also mean business.”

Prime Minister Harris stressed his government’s commitment to the programme and welcomed the support from IPSA International – an American-based consulting and investigative firm, that helps clients make informed decisions to protect investments and assets.

“I welcome the support of IPSA International in facilitating our presence here to discuss the possible establishment of a common framework for a professional association,” he said. “We need appropriate regulation, we need reliable and proper due diligence from multiple and reputable international sources. We need codes of conduct. We need regimes that sanction offenders. We need on-going inter and intra-Government cooperation. We need to share best practices and relevant information; and importantly also, we need leadership.”

In order to achieve these goals, stakeholders were urged to work together and were reminded that unity is strength.

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