(Photo Caption: Local and regional stakeholders participating in the CBI conference in St. Kitts)
Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 15, 2015 (SKNIS): The future of the Caribbean’s Citizenship by Investment Programme is greater transparency and integrity, said St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris as he addressed the inaugural Caribbean Region Citizenship by Investment Programme meeting being held in St. Kitts-Nevis 15-16 June.
“This is a remarkably rewarding industry, poised to grow and benefit many, but opportunity and responsibility must be partners in this enterprise,” said Prime Minister Harris. We need greater transparency, good corporate governance, efficiency, integrity and exclusivity.”
Prime Minister Harris further stated: “we have to invest the time, energy and resources necessary to restore confidence locally and trust internationally in our Programme. I am a definite supporter of this Programme. And I will not apologize because I know its potential for transformative development, for empowering our people and supporting our economic resilience and prosperity agenda.”
Speaking to the future of the St. Kitts and Nevis programme, Prime Minister Harris stated, “I also know that an effectively run Citizenship and Investment Programme, organized with the proper structures and systems, rigid and reliable due diligence practices, transparency, parliamentary and or cabinet oversight and in the full view of public scrutiny, is and can be an invaluable asset for any country. Malta knows it. Cyprus knows it. Canada knows it. The United States knows it. We all have similar programmes even if we call them by different names and our primary objectives are dissimilar.”
He encouraged fellow Caribbean countries such as Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica and Grenada, which already have national programmes, and others who are considering their own, to work with St. Kitts and Nevis to build the best programmes.
“As the industry grows, it must be better managed, staffed by professionals, guided by transparent rules and regulations. We have to work together to frustrate criminal intent, activities and resources that seek to find any weak link and to exploit it,” he stressed.
“We want and will work with a coalition of the willing to promote greater transparency, good corporate governance, efficiency, accountability, integrity and exclusivity,” Prime Minister Harris reiterated.