St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The current Timothy Harris-led Team Unity government is hoping it will be able to strengthen other pillars of the economy significantly enough over a period of time to be able to phase out the country’s Citizenship by Investment programme.

Prime Minister Harris has signaled that intention, even while boasting that the St Kitts and Nevis programme can be considered a platinum-rated one.

So it is a a complex business really, there are attendant risks and we want to resolve them and certainly I hope the time will come in the not too distant future where we can as a people reach that level of development that we can easily exit from this programme, because although it has brought significant benefits, the evolving market place show that there are significant downsides and risks to this programme.  We have to go back and strengthen our tourism sector, our agricultural sector, our manufacturing sector, our education sector in terms of our ability to bring more of the kind of institutions that we have here, some call them offshore educational facilities, but if we can improve upon that and achieve a level of self efficiency.”

Dr Harris says ensuring that the other sectors can pick up the slack would make it possible to eventually end the programme.

He made the observation while pointing to the government’s efforts to ensure that the CBI programme does not attract tainted funds.

“And we have a number of variables that we would look at, for example in our vetting process we look to see if these are politically exposed persons and politically exposed persons are people with political contacts and political relationships and generally they get  a lower score, less favourable score when you are dealing with financial institutions, unfortunately. If they are from high risk countries, a high risk country would be for example a country like Iran, a country like North Korea, a country that has been described as a state sponsor of terrorism,  all these are matters that we take into account. We do a broad check of media, and of criminal databases, sanctions list and so on and make a determination whether they are serious or pending legal regulatory or political matters that would require consideration.”

Prime Minister Harris’ comments follow a statement by China suggesting that economic citizen, Chinese Ren Biao, had become a citizen of the federation by using illicitly obtained funds.

Ren is alleged to have swindled hundreds of millions of dollars in China.

 

 

Ken Richards
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0 #1 Jeffrey L Donovan 2017-05-16 10:58
Tech and Education produce jobs that are more socioeconomical ly elevating. CBI right now is a cash cow and while the idea of phasing it out may be a good thing, it is going to be extremely hard to say goodbye to the bee that is producing so much honey. And because the tourism sector is service oriented its salary is not at a level to compensate persons who have expended so much intellectual and financial resources and time to acquire their skills and certification. In conclusion, while one said that the sugar factory will close over their dead body but eventually closed it, the other may be talking about closing the CBI program and never close it.
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