(CMC) – A report by the London-based CS Global Partners, described as the world’s leading government advisory and marketing firm, says Caribbean nations are becoming investment hubs in the global arena, offering attractions such as safety, lucrative financial diversification options and idyllic lifestyles that make them desirable places to take up second citizenship.
CS Global Partners on Thursday released its World Citizenship Report (WCR), which ranked countries that provide Citizenship by Investment (CBI) options in the region in the top 30 per cent.
CS Global Partners said it developed the new “one-of-a-kind report” in which WCR measures 187 countries against five motivators that are relevant among High Net-Worth Individuals (HNWIs) – Safety and Security, Economic Opportunity, Quality of Life, Global Mobility, and Quality of Life.
It said the report considers data from the Global Peace Index (GPI) 2021 and World Governance Indicators (WGI), scoring the Caribbean region highly in the Safety and Security, Quality of Life and Global Mobility motivators.
“The Caribbean is considered the cradle of investment immigration due to the high concentration of countries that offer CBI programmes in the region,” CS Global Partners said. “These countries’ proximity in the WCR ranking reflects a sense of community and collaboration that characterises nations in the jurisdiction.”
For example, it said all the Caribbean nations hosting CBI programmes are members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) which is “committed to promoting and supporting a unified Caribbean community that is inclusive, resilient and competitive to share in economic, social and cultural growth”.
At its 33rd meeting, CS Global Partners noted that CARICOM members pledged to continue to be vigilant in managing the threats to sustainable development in the region.
“This included implementing initiatives that attract foreign direct investment, ensuring that the region is not perceived as high risk by investors, lobbying against the proposed global minimum corporation tax and continuing to build relations with the OECD (Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) and European Union,” it said.
In order to achieve this prosperity for the people, it said Heads of Government at CARICOM also agreed that the immediate and urgent implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy or CSME was “imperative for responding to the current developmental challenges and for building a more resilient region”.
CS Global Partners said another way that small island nations are ensuring their prosperity and sustainability is through CBI programmes, stating that CBI is a well-documented and viable way for Caribbean nations to attract FDI (foreign direct investment) into their economies, which can then be used for significant developmental projects.
For example, CS Global Partners said Dominica is constructing a geothermal plant that is expected to be operational by 2023, in partnership with the United Kingdom, the World Bank and Kenesjay Green LTD, a local green energy company.
“The plant will ensure that the country is powered by renewable energy, reducing energy costs and carbon emissions while simultaneously creating jobs,” CS Global Partners said.
In St. Kitts and Nevis, it said the construction of the second cruise pier at Port Zante was financed via various local and international sources, “of which US$5 million came from the country’s CBI”.
“The pier has allowed St Kitts and Nevis to host the world’s largest cruise vessels, which has been particularly important for the tourism sector. The small but ambitious Caribbean country now has the marquee status of larger cruise destinations in the region,” CS Global Partners said.
It said the inflow of funds to the private sector have had a noticeable impact on the economic activity of island nations, in many instances improving fiscal outcomes, facilitating debt repayment and spurring economic growth.
From a country perspective, CS Global Partners said CBI contributed more than 30 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in St. Kitts and Nevis in 2020.
In Dominica, it said the IMF noted that the “strong growth” in the construction sector was “financed with record-high CBI revenue of 30 per cent of GDP” in 2021.
In 2017, CS Global Partners said CBI accounted for 20 percent of the GDP in Antigua and Barbuda – “showing that inflows from CBI programmes are making a major difference in the performance of government of smaller countries”.
“Taking a deeper dive into some notable CBI programmes in the region, St. Kitts and Nevis established their CBI programme in 1984 and is the longest-running in the world,” CS Global Partners noted, adding that it is also “one of the most reputable and has become known as the ‘Platinum Standard’ brand in the industry”.
“After over three decades, the twin-island nation continues to be a popular option for investors and their families due to its longevity and commitment to due diligence processes,” said CS Global Partners, adding that the country scored “a respectable score of 66.8 points out of 100 in the overall rankings in the WCR, the highest of all the Caribbean CBI nations.
“It reached top marks in the Safety and Security, Quality of Life and Global Mobility motivators.”.
It noted that Dominica’s CBI programme was launched in 1993 and has been ranked as the number one CBI initiative for five consecutive years in the CBI Index, published by the Financial Times’ Professional Wealth Management magazine.
“The nation is politically and economically stable, with a low crime rate and rich investment opportunities,” CS Global Partners said. “Known as the ‘Nature Isle’, Dominica placed in the 52nd spot, achieving high marks for Safety and Security, Quality of Life and Global Mobility motivators.”