Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS) — The importance of reforming the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme, came to the fore, during the first National Consultation for CBI, held today (July 30) at the Ocean Terrace Inn.
More than 120 stakeholders participated in the working sessions, which included a panel discussion, as they deliberated on the theme: “The Way Forward through Collaboration.”
“For me, the citizenship of my country is a prized and precious connection to the land that I love and to which I will always return,” Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris said at the opening. “It is not something to be commoditized nor bartered away easily.”
Dr. Harris appealed to persons interested in becoming an economic citizen, to enjoin him to build the country and help make it the best small island state in which one would want to be born, to grow up, and to work, to play and establish a family.
“You build, not just through a contribution to the St. Kitts and Nevis Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF) or real estate,” said Dr. Harris. “You build this country by supporting other projects and special purpose infrastructural work, in which the government may engage from time to time.”
Prime Minister Harris deemed the programme as an excellent product, and market leader.
“It is an enormously invaluable vehicle for promoting national development and economic resilience,” he said, while noting that it is a tremendous resource. “Like all resources, it needs to be managed carefully with credence, integrity and diligence.”
According to the Prime Minister, the benefits from the CBI are clear to all. The International Monetary Fund recently reported that St. Kitts and Nevis has the strongest growth in the region. Growth for 2015 is projected at 4.5 percent, which is partly due to the CBI programme, as it contributes 30 percent of annual revenue to the twin island federation.