Why investors are eyeing St Kitts and Nevis in 2019

Friday, January 18, 2019

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This year is looking up for St Kitts and Nevis, following a stellar economic performance last year.

Last March, the country introduced the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF) as the quicker and safer route to its citizenship. According to the government website, the new channel asks main applicants for a minimum US$150,000 contribution to the SGF, in their bid to become St Kitts and Nevis' economic citizens.

The money is transferred directly to the government, thus there are no escrow or real estate agents to intermediate the transaction. This means that it is easier and faster for the government to acknowledge the payment without further paperwork. It also makes the country's due diligence process more transparent and more in line with international standards.

Overall, the twin-islands' Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme is becoming more streamlined, catering to investors' need for efficient, high-quality services.

Before the year drew to a close, Prime Minister Timothy Harris delivered his annual Budget Address, where he announced that nearly half of the recurrent revenues came largely from the country's CBI Programme.

Harris said that, in 2018, CBI contributed to bringing approximately US$159.5 million to the dual-island nation, a 20 per cent increase from 2017. According to PM Harris, “the prospect for growth in Foreign Direct Investment remains very optimistic for 2019 and beyond as investor confidence in our Citizenship by Investment Programme remains high”.

St Kitts and Nevis is the first country ever to have a CBI programme in place. Since 1984, it has managed to attract the more exclusive end of the investors' spectrum.

This is partly why this small but visionary Caribbean country is said to offer the “Platinum Standard” of CBI. Global families – who can register jointly as part of one application – often opt for St Kitts and Nevis because it is the most established citizenship programme. It also allows them to travel with a visa on arrival or visa-free to over 150 countries and territories and access better health care and education.

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