CIP changes will make Saint Lucia more competitive, says PM

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CIP changes will make Saint Lucia more competitive, says PM

st-lucia-passport

Recent changes to regulations of Saint Lucia’s Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) will make it more competitive, says Prime Minister Allen Chastanet.

The prime minister was responding to questions posed to him by members of the local media on Thursday evening during a live press conference, explaining the reasons for these changes.

Chastanet, who is the minister responsible for the CIP, said that Saint Lucia was selling citizenship for US$200,000, when Dominica already offers the programme at US$100,000.

“I heard this idea that we are selling ourselves cheap, but the fact is, when people are buying a citizenship programme, they are buying it because it has a value. And unfortunately, we don’t necessarily like to hear that, but the value is not necessarily the country, the value is what access the citizenship gives you,” he explained.

Another interesting fact he pointed out is that Saint Lucia was indirectly in the “citizenship business,” mainly due to the fact that if a person purchased a passport from Dominica, Antigua, St Kitts or Grenada, they had full rights in Saint Lucia.

This is one of the reasons why Chastanet said he will support the idea for the CIP to be an OECS programme, as he believes the programme could be better managed at the regional level.

While shifting back the prime minister’s attention to the reduction in the price for a passport through CIP, reporters asked him if it was justifiable. Chastanet responded in the affirmative, again defending the reasons for the change.

He explained that other countries are offering discounts or incentives off each US$200,000 for every citizenship except Dominica, which is by far the biggest seller in the Caribbean with an almost 1,500 annual limit of passport sales.

“What’s interesting is when Saint Kitts was the only country, they had 22-2500 at peak. Now, 5 countries are offering the same programme, and in fact the demand hasn’t grown…We are now sharing that number in the Caribbean. So you tell me, how is it we can offer the same programme, selling the same passport, in terms of where I can get access, for twice the price?”

The prime minister also pointed to the growing interest in the United States where persons are looking to own an additional passport mainly because of threat of terrorism in that country. He explained, that is one of the legitimate reasons why people want to have a second passport.

Chastanet who took the reigns of leadership in June of 2016 after an election victory, said his government plans to make good use of the monies that are obtained through the CIP.

He said his administration will set up a sovereign fund and an announcement will be made soon, as to how it will be regulated and who will manage it.

“It will not be government, but completely independent. It will be assets of the state. And it could be used to lend money to projects in Saint Lucia, buy bonds and interact with other countries. We will try to sell as many CIP as we can in the shortest period of time, in order to get that money to be able to feed the sovereign fund.”

Further, the government will also be introducing a new component of the CIP programme called the “residency programme.”

This programme has two options: permanent and temporary residency. The temporary residency aspect will be used to attract high-end foreign nationals who are willing to invest in real estate.

(4)(9)

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27 COMMENTS

  1. The SLP having given us the tyranny of ignoramuses for a government, has laid bare our defences against the tyranny of economic prostitution. Nothing in all this nonsensical back and forth addresses our social problems with unemployable young people killing themselves and others.

    What a curse is SLP's leadership. It just keeps on creating ghettos as its signature legacy for this poor country.

    (0)(1)

  2. Letès hope that our PM does not do with the CIP what he was aruably culpable to when with Air Jamaica and Butch ended up selling his holding copanyès significant interest in the airline to the government of Jamaica, who was told by the IMF to dump it, a merge with Caribbean Airlines happens, Chas and Butch parachute out, and TT now lives with the train wreck:
    http://rjrnewsonline.com/local/loss-making-air-jamaica-bleeding-tt-opposition-leader

    The scary part for SLU taxpayers is that the PM was recently quoted in the media as SLU needing a so-called National Carrier. Something else t bleed the island and line the fat pockets of the few --- something SLU does not need at this tenuous economic stage, and something that the PM does not exactly have the best history of being associated with historically.

    Hope for the best...

    (4)(0)

  3. Competitive advantage? On price only? Is this sustainable? What part of this not copiable? And what about DSH? Is this not cheapening or removing the patina from DSH customers who will not wish to rob shoulders with $100,000 rich people?

    Who are you kidding?

    (12)(0)

  4. Selling one's sovereignty in the name of investment? What a shame! Shame on SLP for introducing it and shame on UWP for making it worse. Both parties are just disappointing!

    (7)(0)

  5. I am totally against the CIP. However looking at things objectively If it must be, I would prefer the original bill put forward by the previous administration. It was better thought out and certainly gives us better control of our nationality. This watered down version only makes us look worse than Dominica and the other pimps.

    G.J

    (5)(0)

  6. What don't he understand. We are disinterested in CIP. This is a national issue which can affect the way we live. We prefer the way it is. Look for other means to boost the economy. Black Bay and other development initiatives have failed with the same leadership. We are bound to lose whether or not DSH succeeds. We must protect our national interests. This is not about party, but NATIONAL. Who needs competition in selling out nationality ?

    (19)(3)

  7. Chastanet is an idiot. Mercedes Benz sell luxury cars. It does not reduce the price of it's luxury car because Nissan sells Maxima. It may produce a car that matches that segment of the market to compete against Nissan Maxima. So just because Dominica sells passport for $100K, we have to match their price? You get what you pay for? St. Lucia is not Dominica and we have more to offer in St. Lucia than Dominica.

    (21)(1)

  8. I wish nothing but the best for my country regardless of who is in power because if the government fails, we all fail.
    Mr. Chastenet we are not trying to compete with Dominica re passport sales. We should never lower our standards. Please revisit this CIP agreement. I want to see cross sectoral discourse and engagement of the populace in discussions etc before we rush to put our country for sale

    (16)(1)

  9. There is cynicism often times displayed by clients and I find it a bit strange that Chastanet with all Degrees and experience in commerce has not grasp. It is simply this: if the service or product supplied by provider A is curiously cheaper than that provided by another provider, the services or products of provider A are then seen as being of an inferior standard or quality.

    This unfortunately is the label Chastanet has posted the country. St Lucia a late comer to the trend should had had the benefit of hindsight and therefore create a sound program and that should have been reflected in how much it cost investors to invest in the country. This man as usual is bungling what should have been a profitable business opportunity. That's his habit some will say.

    i

    (13)(1)

  10. but it was OK when Kenny was doing it? the slp is so hypocritical. as usual when Kenny launched a program it stayed stuck in the mud. the real pm is making the program work and delivering money to the island. that iis something the slp and Kenny could never do. the cip will not effect any one in a negative way. the people who are buying passports are rich and not the dregs of society. they will bring more tax dollars and jobs something the slp does not want to do.

    (2)(22)

    • Are you crazy or on medication? What planet are you from? Have you opened your eyes to see what is actually happening to our island? Please, remove your political glasses and boy would you be in for a surprise!

      (13)(0)

      • yes, I can see someone who is trying to correct all the wrongs of the past five years. get off your meds because you are in a fog of unprogressive slp funk. you are acting like the island is going to crumble. we are rid of your govt and moving forward. have any of the other islands crumbled? of course not. get over your hysteria and open your eyes. not a damn thing is going to change in your life or any other st. lucians. it is here and your crying about is not going to change it.

        (2)(9)

  11. We need to come out as ONE PEOPLE against CIP, there is no investment component to this program. Pay your money and here's a Passport.

    Protesting the streets of Castries will not work, what is needed in an island wide strike for 24 hours in the 1st instance and if that doesn't work we need to increase the pressure...

    Again we must come together as ONE PEOPLE.

    (19)(3)

    • An island wide strike as you propose, watermark, would trly be useful and very eye-opening for some. A one-day strike would truly demonstrate how many idlers and lazy passengers there are, since most everyone would not notice wit the exception of vendors who would sell more chicken and beer to hose that see it as a good excuse to take a day off using a good excuse.

      it is foolish to think that island commerce would grind to a halt. And those countries sourcing our products and services will see it as yet another example of instability and simply go elsewhere. Shoot your nose to spite your face. Good luck with that.

      (2)(0)

  12. CAN'T TRUST NONE OF THESE PARTIES !!

    When SLP in power they squeezing us; when UWP in power they selling out !!

    It's like Lucians stuck between the rock and the hard place with these F***ERS !!

    THESE TYPE OF THINGS THAT GETS ME MAD !! So if all what Hilaire is saying is true Allan is basically selling out the island for CHEAP COMPENSATION and to add insult to injury not even having criminal background checks on investors after we already have so many problems. And using the excuse because others are doing it so should we...THIS GUY WASN'T EVEN BORN HERE !!

    MORAL OF THE STORY: LUCIANS DON'T LET FOREIGNERS RUN YOUR COUNTRY !! That should be a law; only people who was born on this soil should be Prime Minister.

    People regardless of what side of the political spectrum you side with. This cannot be a good move for any st.lucian. Because foreigners will be claiming our LANDS FOR CHEAP. I don't like this selling of our passport business !!

    We need to keep on eye on this guy and if push come to shove WE SHOULD KICK ALLAN OUT NOW !! EMERGENCY ELECTION !! ASAP !!

    BECAUSE THIS FOREIGNER DOES NOT REPRESENT OUR BEST INTEREST !!

    (25)(2)

  13. Our nation faces significant challenges both on the monetary and the fiscal sides.

    many of the factors, but not all, have been self-caused, independent of party stripe.

    The here and now is that there will be difficult, unpopular decisions to be made.

    From a fiscal standpoint, we spend more money than we generate. One reason that the lage part of the civil service payroll is bankrolled by foreign loans on an on-going basis. Clearly, this is not sustainable, and there needs to be fiscal belt-tightening so as to maintain our standing in good order on the world stage.

    From a monetary standpoint, our island faces a critical point of socio-economic inflection with respect to risk exposure, maintenance of reserves, and the looming regional "Big Ouch" that will be a consequence of a mandated regional currency devaluation.

    Our PM has been straight-up in carrying forth on an initiative conceived by the previous government. Our island has commodities with a market value. The passport is one of them. And every last one of us, as voters who could have made their voices known over the past 15 or so years of good times, could have made our voices known. We didn't. And now we must find opportunity in the consequences of a historic laissez-faire level of engagement by Looshans.

    (7)(7)

    • iF HE DID NOT WATER DOWN THE ORIGINAL BILL TO MAKE IT LOOK LIKE THE STUFF WE HAVE FLOWING INTO THE CASTRIES HARBOUR DAILY. I MAY NOT HAVE BEEN SO REVOLTED WITH THE WHOLE CIP THING,
      100.000 THOUSAND,DOLLARS( 2 KILOS 0F COCAINE) IS THAT WHAT CITIZENSHIP IN THIS BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY IS WORTH? AND TO TELL ME THAT OUR NEW CITIZENS WON'T EVEN HAVE TO COME HERE TO SWEAR AN OATH OF ALLIGENCE, LIKE THE PRIME MINISTER AND ALL HIS MINI-STARS HAD TO, AND TO TOP IT ALL THEY DONT HAVE TO SHOW ANY KIND OF NET WORTH. MESSIEUR GIVE ME A BREAK. HOW COULD ANY RIGHT THINKING ST.LUCIAN GO ALONG WITH THAT TRAVESTY.

      (0)(0)

  14. Mr Hurricane. Oh, excuse me, it is Chastenet. The value is in the PASSPORT! This is what you are selling for CHEAP! Competitive!? Where!? We will be encouraging all dregs from across the world to get hold of OUR passports to undertake all kinds of COCOMACKACKRY!

    I for one CANNOT and WILL NEVER support this. I am ready to march against this BLUNDER!

    (21)(1)

    • I will stand with you on this. We can also be competitive to see who gets to the bottom first , with more poverty, more crime, more foreigners to compete with our meager resources, more drugs, more people that cannot afford to buy land or a house, more restriction on where we can go. In the mean time, Chas and his cohorts will get better returns from their businesses like hotels etc. While we poor Lucian figure out how we obtain our next meal. Chas also knows that the terms of the agreements are not the same throughout the region...but he thinks we are dumb enough to believe his story.

      (17)(2)

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