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Caribbean Investment Summit 2024

St David’s, GrenadaMay 22—24th, 2024
Caribbean Investment Summit 2024
Event

Caribbean Investment Summit 2024

Location

St David’s, Grenada

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The Caribbean Investment Summit 2024 became a pivotal gathering for regional delegates, discussing the significance of citizenship by investment programs, the challenges these programs face, and the necessary changes to maintain their effectiveness and operation.

At the welcoming ceremony, Prime Minister of Grenada Dickon Mitchell warmly greeted all participants and encouraged them to network extensively. Prior to the discussions on the first day of the Summit, attendees had an opportunity to enjoy Grenada’s cultural presentation.

The first day featured in-depth discussions on the challenges and risks associated with citizenship by investment programs and explored measures to mitigate these risks. On the second day, delegates delved into various models for development and resilience within the sector.

Immigrant Invest representatives at the summit

    Avril Blanchette

    Avril Blanchette

    Citizenship by Investment Advisor

Key point of the Caribbean Investment Summit 2024

  1. Security risks related to CBI programs must be addressed and discussed with the USA, UK, UAE, and other stakeholders.

  2. Due Diligence must be enhanced to allow stricter and more comprehensive checks, aligning Grenada’s and other regional members' security standards with those of the EU.

  3. The process of working with marketing agents needs improvement to eliminate underpricing and discounts.

  4. New investment options must be introduced to ensure the longevity of CBI programs.

  5. Requirements to personal presence on the island during application and a residency by investment program may be introduced in Grenada.

Caribbean passport by investment

Grenada welcomed over 200 delegates at the Caribbean Investment Summit’24

Importance of Citizenship by Investment programs

Grenada’s Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell emphasised the crucial role of CBI programs in countries' economic development. He noted that the program is vital to the tourism sector and served as a major tool for survival following the COVID‑19 pandemic in Grenada.

The funds received from the country’s CBI program are used as the primary source of funding for certain initiatives, thereby helping to ensure economic stability.

According to Grenada’s Ministry for Finance, the CBI unit approved about 1,000 applications from investors from Q1 to Q3 of 2023. The amount of funds attracted during this period exceeded $289 million, which is the highest value in the last four years.

Considerations on the Memorandum of Agreement

The Memorandum of Agreement, MOA, was signed in March 2024 by Caribbean countries offering citizenship by investment to standardise and enhance the integrity of CBI programs across the region. The Memorandum is set to become effective on June 30th, 2024.

In his address at the Summit, the Prime Minister of Grenada highlighted that the MOA will enable Caribbean countries to implement a unified approach to CBI programs. This will help ensure cohesiveness, enhance CBI standards, implement new regulations, and adopt new strategies.

St Lucia, the only country that has not yet joined the Memorandum of Agreement, confirmed its intention to sign the document. According to the statement from the country’s CEO, St Lucia will do this once it addresses its internal organisational issues.

Necessity of industry regulations

It was stated that the Caribbean’s CBI industry requires collective standards to ensure its successful future development.

Changes in Due Diligence are required to enhance security and mitigate risks. Countries discussed the necessity of conducting environmental and regional Due Diligence on applicants. Other proposed improvements to Due Diligence included introducing automated searches, reducing report turnaround times, and developing APIs for regional communication.

The countries agreed that sharing information among regions is crucial for consistent Due Diligence. Such an approach will help prevent applicants with negative backgrounds from exploiting different jurisdictions.

Ways of working with marketing agents should also be improved. It was suggested that countries adopt St Kitts and Nevis’s approach, requiring agents to register in the country to be allowed to work with a CBI program. This will ensure that only the most qualified agents can offer services, thereby eliminating underpricing and discounts.

Caribbean citizenship by investment

Ensuring resilience and enhancing cooperation between countries were agreed to be the pillars of the successful development of CBI programs

Provisions on the development of CBI programs

Delegates highlighted that new investment options are required to ensure the longevity of CBI programs in the Caribbean, which will complement the traditional donation and real estate options.

The list of new proposed options included the following:

  • development of local projects funded by CBI;

  • social programs projects;

  • climate change projects;

  • residency programs;

  • government bonds;

  • enterprise options, with a suggestion for other islands to adopt Antigua and Barbuda’s model of local investment areas funding various projects.

Grenada mentioned the recent transformation of their Citizenship by Investment Unit to the Investment Migration Agency, IMA Grenada.

The new body plans to adopt a strategy that may include the following provisions:

  • encouraging potential applicants to visit the islands for biometrics, contribution payments, and passport finalisations, which will boost investments and tourism;

  • introducing a residency program where applicants will pay a fee for residing on the island for several years before applying for citizenship;

  • exploring investments in the medical field.

Additionally, representatives of different Citizenship by Investment Units shared information on their initiatives and their commitment to advancing and unifying CBI programs across the region.

Grenada passport by investment

The summit started with beautiful presentation of the Grenada’s culture

Dominica passport by investment

Mr Dickon Mitchell explaining the importance of CBI programs to Caribbean countries

St Lucia passport by investment

Immigrant Invest booth at the Caribbean Investment Summit 2024

St Kitts and Nevis passport by investment

Avril Blanchette, Immigrant Invest representative at the CIS’24, and Mr Michael Martin, Head of St Kitts and Nevis CIU

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