Saint Lucia to sign MOA to align with four OECS CBI jurisdictions, proposes changes

Saint Lucia to sign MOA to align with four OECS CBI jurisdictions, proposes changes

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Saint Lucia: In an official statement released by Saint Lucia’s Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre it has been clearly stated that the government after intricate research, has decided to sign the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) and align its CIP Programme with the other OECS CBI countries that have already signed the MOA.

The other four countries include Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda and Grenada signed the agreement in March. Whereas, Saint Lucia asked for some time to carefully review and undertake extensive discussions with stakeholders and other OECS Heads of Government with Citizenship by Investment programmes.

It is to be noted that the Memorandum sets the common standards and procedures in several areas that will harmonize the policies in all the region’s that has Citizenship by Investment programmes. The areas for commonly decided factors will include Pricing of the Programmes, smooth information sharing and enhanced transparency standards.

Additionally, all the regions will work on setting stricter regulations and proper security screening and frameworks. Further, they will also set Regulations for Agents and for Marketing and Promotion of Programmes.

The small island nations also signed up for Joint Training and Capacity Building, Dispute Resolution and Amendment and Termination.

Sharing about the signing of MOA the Deputy Prime Minister Ernest Hilaire stated, “The government of Saint Lucia is dedicated to consistently prioritizing the well-being of its people by doing things the right way.”

“We will continue to make careful and timely decisions related to the CIP program while closely collaborating with our regional community,” Minister Hilaire noted while sharing the proposed changes in the CIP.

Prime Minister Pierre, who also holds the designation of Minister for Finance, Economic Development and Youth Economy and Minister for Justice and National Security, has declared that in addition to signing the MOA, the government of Saint Lucia has gathered and put forward some suggestions. They are aimed to strengthen the regional agreement which includes proposing legislative changes to address change of name requests. PM Pierre shared that, this has been agreed to by the other Heads of the Government.

The released statement quotes the proposed changes by the government of Saint Lucia to the CIP Programme which includes an annual quota that should be pre decided. Applicant’s net-worth being the second suggestion. Followed by Escrow accounts to be held in Saint Lucia or in the individual islands.

Additionally, the Saint Lucia proposed change includes a requirement that only licensed promoters will be allowed to submit applicants to local authorized agents, and these promoters will have to submit a due diligence report on each applicant.

The statement further declares that over the last year the Citizenship by Investment Unit in Saint Lucia has introduced all six principles agreed to with the United States Government. The principles include banning the applicants from Russia and Belarus. The island of Saint Lucia has implemented applicant interviews.

Further, they have started vetting all applicants through the local Financial Intelligence Authority. The administration has also shared denials with the Joint Regional Communication Centre (JRCC).

Saint Lucia has further introduced an operational review of the programme by an international consultancy firm which will commence shortly. Also, the Saint Lucia CIP Unit will seek international support with the recovery of revoked passports.

Informing the public about the transparency regarding the CIP, PM Pierre shared, an annual report is published by the Saint Lucia CIP Unit and is shared in the Parliament. The report also includes audited financial statements.

Also, the Government of Saint Lucia remains committed to maintaining and reinforcing the integrity of its CIP programme. Keeping that in view all the fee structure for different options is published in the Official Gazette to promote transparency.

Notably, Prime Minister Pierre, Deputy PM Ernest Hilaire and Saint Lucia CIU Head Mc Claude Emmanuel have been constantly proposing and implementing measures to boost the standard and integrity of Saint Lucia’s CIP Programme.