St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Against the backdrop of questions regarding the rationale behind St. Kitts and Nevis establishing consulates in countries such as Vietnam and the Philippines, Foreign Minister Mark Brantley says expanding the nation’s diplomatic footprint around the world has a number of benefits for its citizens and the country’s Citizenship by investment program.
“In the past year we saw the need to expand our diplomatic footprint, we’ve been working on that so what we are trying to do now is formalize the actual opening of consulates in Bermuda because of the large number of Kittitians and Nevisians there, Vietnam is an emerging country, the Philippines is a large country with a large population and we are looking for visitors and we are looking for investors.”
The consulates in Bermuda and Vietnam are still being formalized, and the vetting process for Consuls is underway.
“There is some diplomatic work to be done in terms of the approvals and the various agreements. We have to get approval from the host country and all those matters are being attended to. Persons have applied and we have a very rigorous vetting process that we are going through at the moment. I can provide the names at a subsequent time.”
WINN FM asked if St Kitts and Nevis can afford the consulates, Minister Brantley gave this response.
“There are some consulates that are the direct responsibility of our government, there are others that we are contemplating where it’s an honourary consulate arrangement and so the expenses are borne not by us but those but by those who have sought to play that role for us. That is why I say we have been careful and gone through a very careful vetting process, very extensive due diligence to ensure that we get the right people, so not all of the diplomatic efforts are at a cost to us.”