Four Caribbean nations sign MOU to adopt stricter measures for CBIPs, agree to increase investment

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Caribbean: The Four OECS jurisdictions offering Citizenship by Investment Programme signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to enhance the integrity and transparency of the CBIPs on Wednesday. With the agreement, the CBI nations have agreed on the same ground of increasing the minimum investment threshold to USD 200,000.

Nations such as Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis attended the signing ceremony where their leaders pledged to adopt stricter regulations for their respective programmes.

The decision to increase the investment amount is aimed at tackling the concerns raised by international entities regarding the underselling of the programmes. The accountability and competitiveness of these programmes have always been questioned across the industry and the agreement is intended to improve those loopholes and maintain the reputation of the CBIPs.

The deadline for implementing the minimum investment threshold of USD200,000 is set for June 30, 2024. The MOU will also mark the steps of these four nations to enhance the security and transparency of the programme which will foster collaboration and cooperative efforts.

It will also aim to raise the standards of the scrutiny aspects of the programmes as the agreement asked the nations to implement a range of commitments such as sharing of information on CBIP applicants.

Aiming to enhance transparency, the MOU stated that the nations will have to disclose funds received by CBIPs and establish a regional authority to determine the same. The need of conducting independent financial and operational audits has also been raised, enhancing the best practice standards.

The agreement also talked about the management of the communication and promotion of the programmes which will enhance consistency and clarity. The unified regulations for agents of the CBIPs will be established to streamline process and maintain integrity.
The need for the implementation of capacity-building initiatives for officials and agencies has also been raised in the MOU so that their skills and knowledge could be enhanced and efficiently used.

Notably, the agreement is the result of the roundtable discussion of the OECS nations with the United States which established six principles.

The four nations have been appreciated by the Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis- Dr Terrance Drew who is currently chairing the OECS. He said that the MOU will enhance the best practices and due diligence processes of the CBI Programmes.

He said that the MOU will provide a proper framework for he cooperation among the OECS member states. It has also marked the seriousness of the four nations in operating the programme which will abide by the rule of law and sustainability.

The MOU will ensure the standards laid out by the global community and enhance accountability. It will prioritise transparency and cooperation and maintain the reputations of the programmes.

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