(ZIZ News) — Prime Minister, the Right Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas, has dismissed allegations that the country’s Citizenship by Investment Programme is likely to fail as a result of Canada’s recent decision to impose visa requirements on St. Kitts/Nevis Nationals.
During his most recent Press Conference, Dr. Douglas said the country’s CBI programme serves as a model for many other countries, including Antigua and Barbuda.
He said, “We have assisted, in several ways, to have Antigua’s programme off the ground and running. Our programme has been the model. Presently, St. Lucia is looking at introducing the programme. My programme is a model as well to St. Lucia. Malta had a programme; it modelled to a large extent from what was here in St. Kitts and Nevis. With what is happening with Canada, I don’t really see this seriously affecting our programme.”
Prime Minister Douglas said there are several features of the Citizenship by Investment Programme which make it marketable and in demand.
“We are not running any fly by night programme here. This is a programme that has been in operation for 30 years. It has survived this long because it has not been a programme that has been impacted by any form of corruption. We’ve had these issues that I mentioned. Only here in St. Kitts and Nevis you hear people talk about our programme being corrupt, those who want to damage the image of the country because they want to get into political office and they think that by damaging the image of the country make the Labour Party Government look bad and so they will get into office.”
He also stated that the programme facilitated several development projects to the benefit of local people and businesses.
“It is the programme that has cost us to do what we’re doing today. It is the programme, the Citizenship by Investment Programme that has over 2000 young people out there, all over the country getting $360 every week to learn a skill. Where else in the world is that happening? It is that programme which has supported so many investment projects in Nevis and in St. Kitts. It is that programme which has Kittitian Hill today where it is. It is that same programme that has invested, given support to OTI as it refurbishes itself and becomes again the landmark of tourism for small tourism here in St. Kitts and Nevis,” the Prime Minister disclosed.