NEW YORK and LONDON, Jan. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The United States' investigative show, '60 Minutes,' recently focused its attention on the citizenship by investment programs offered by Caribbean and European jurisdictions, expressing a particular and unfair viewpoint on the programs in the Caribbean.
Initially, the 60 Minutes crew approached CS Global Partners, requesting the company, as the leading firm specializing in citizenship solutions, to participate in the show. Wisely, we declined to partake, aware that regardless of our accurate portrayal of the industry, a salacious and prejudiced rendition of citizenship by investment would be presented.
This burgeoning industry is often misunderstood, despite the importance of the outcome for countries offering their valued citizenship, and in return attracting investment from legitimate persons seeking security for their families.
CS Global Partners recognizes the tremendous impact that citizenship by investment can have on countries, and above all we are committed to producing a win-win scenario where clients attain greater personal freedom, safety, and security through citizenship, and Governments ensure sustainable growth.
The Caribbean pioneered citizenship by investment – with the twin-island Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis launching its Program in 1984. This small country has, for the past three decades, embodied all the many benefits that citizenship by investment can bring to a nation and its people: investment in infrastructure, real estate, and housing, encouragement of entrepreneurship and schooling, and myriad of other opportunities for national development. This has been reflected in its shrinking national debt, and impressive economic growth rate. In particular, under the strong leadership of Dr. the Honorable Timothy Harris, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, the Program has become one of the best-managed immigration and nationality programs in the world.
Dominica, another key champion of citizenship by investment, stands as a second core example of how citizenship by investment can provide a lifeline for local communities. Struck by a devastating storm less than two years ago, the nation is now welcoming world-famous hotel brands to its shores, and expecting solid growth for the coming years. None of this was touched upon by 60 Minutes. In a press conference following the 60 Minutes show, Prime Minister Dr. the Honorable Roosevelt Skerrit articulately addressed the various misconceptions created by the broadcast. Notably, Dominica derived 39% of its GDP from investment through its Citizenship Program. The importance of this Program is evident as is the Prime Minister's commitment to ensuring best practice.
More importantly however, the episode failed to draw adequate attention to the unparalleled emphasis placed on due diligence by these Caribbean countries. The longevity of these programs, and the value of the citizenship offered by these nations, rests entirely on the programs adhering to strict governance mechanisms and international best practice. In our role as consultants to many of these nations, we have witnessed first-hand the commitment that each of them makes every day in making certain that their processes are adequate every step of the way. To name but a few of the systems put in place, these countries do not only perform their own due diligence on applicants, but they also outsource due diligence to international, world-esteemed risk management firms that independently assess applicant backgrounds, the source of their funds, and their family ties over an extended period of the applicant's lifetime. There is very little that can escape these due diligence checks, and the Caribbean programs should serve as models to follow for other, even much larger and wealthier, jurisdictions, rather than be characterized as a "security threat."
Much of the integrity with which the Caribbean runs its programs today can be attributed to the steadfast dedication of its leaders to improving their nations and their international rapports. Shortly after coming into office, Prime Minister Dr. the Honorable Timothy Harris redefined the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Program, introducing strict checks and balances that resulted in a methodical and systematic evaluation of applicants. This was a departure from the St. Kitts and Nevis that, badly advised by a consultant that has since been dismissed, received criticism for removing 'place of birth' from its passports. Upon CS Global Partners' recommendation, the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis once again issues passports containing the traveler's place of birth.
Dr. the Honorable Roosevelt Skerrit has also excelled in his pledge to uphold openness. All funds received under the Dominica Citizenship by Investment Program are regularly outlined and reviewed by parliament for distribution in the national budget, and each stakeholder – including developers of real estate and other projects associated with the Program – is thoroughly vetted. Prime Minister Skerrit also introduced training in anti-money laundering for all Government staff working with citizenship applications.
CS Global Partners is proud to be working in an industry where nations strive to welcome individuals of talent among their citizens, and where countries show regular commitment to enhancing their citizenship programs, creating barriers against illicit actors whilst supporting their own economic development.
ABOUT CS GLOBAL PARTNERS
CS Global Partners is an award-winning industry-leading legal consultancy firm specializing in citizenship and residence solutions. CS Global Partners liaises between governments wishing to promote foreign investments into their countries, and individuals wanting to secure their future and become global citizens through intelligent economic citizenship.
Standing apart from competitors, CS Global Partners holds government mandates to promote and develop the citizenship by investment programs of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, Grenada, and Saint Lucia. Moreover, CS Global Partners is highly versed in the citizenship and residence programs offered by the United Kingdom, Cyprus, Malta, Portugal, Greece, Singapore, and Antigua and Barbuda.
North 6th Agency (On Behalf of CS Global Partners)
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SOURCE CS Global Partners