Basseterre, St.Kitts (October 20th 2015):- St.Kitts-Nevis Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris is touting his country’s recent revamping and revitalization of their Citizenship By Investment programme , the oldest and long considered most respected and best programme of it’s kind in the world. Mismanagement of the programme and mistakes made by the previous Dr. Denzil Douglas government along with the natural need for enhancement resulted in a need for a total revamping of the programme. The election of a new government led by Dr. Timothy Harris precipitated this much needed revamp of the long esteemed programme.
In addressing the Global Citizenship Conference in Miami on Monday October 19th, PM Harris updated the conference on the country’s efforts to enhance, revamp and upgrade the CBI programme. He outlined a number of initiatives that have been taken to better prepare the country to deliver the best quality programme in the world beginning with the restructuring, reorganizing and re-energizing of the Citizenship Investment Unit.
“We have moved to restructure, reorganize and re-energize the St. Kitts and Nevis CBI Unit,” PM Harris informed the Conference.
PM Harris then outlined the recent changes that his new Team UNITY Government has made to significantly improve and enhance the programme .
“Allow me to give you a brief overview of some of the recent changes we have made to the St Kitts & Nevis CBI programme.
First, we have bolstered the management of the Citizenship-Investment-Unit. We have added staff, given everybody training courses, and initiated organizational changes that allow for a more client-focused team.
Second, we have also adopted a new citizen case management system, the first of its kind in the Caribbean, which will give a faster turn-around for applications. This system allows 24-hour access for the input of applications, as well as tracking of applications as they work through the system. On Friday last at the prestigious St.Kitts Marriott we launched this new case management system in the presence of service providers, developers, agents and officials of government as well as representatives of industry and commerce. It was warmly received. We are continuing the leadership ways of the St. Kitts and Nevis and we are doing this in a transparent way.
Third, we have adjusted workflows to allow for faster response times in application processing. We are no longer processing applications in a linear fashion. Due Diligence reports are received and files are reviewed immediatelythereafter rather than being held until old files are cleared.
Fourth, we have commissioned a Technical Committee, in accordance with a 2015 amendment to the law. This institutes a more formal and documented process over the denial of applications and is in line with recommendations made by IPSA.
Fifth, we have improved the acknowledgement phase of the processing cycle. Files are now being acknowledged on an average of 5 days after receipt, well within the 10 day window, and much improved from earlier this year and last year. Finally, we have tabled changes to the law regarding escrow accounts. This will assist in protecting the applicant’s investments in real estate transactions.
One might think these changes are very particular and specific and one would be right. You would be right. These are not just cosmetic changes being suggested by a Public Relations man. Image is important, of course, but unless one is willing to back up talk with action, one will eventually be found wanting. Without this program, our economy would have foundered. Our citizens, rather than welcoming individuals willing to invest in our island, would have been joining the wave of economic migrants looking for jobs elsewhere or a Promised land, possibly even here in Miami. I am delighted to say that in the main that has not happened. Our country is experiencing job rich growth. However, we need to be sure that we have a viable and robust program that creates both investments and jobs.”
Dr Harris also expressed the government’s view that the newly revamped programme presented the country with a once in a lifetime opportunity to finance wholesale development of the country mainly infrastructural .
“Our government is of the view that we have been presented “a once in a generation opportunity” to finance infrastructure development on our islands via the CBI. We want more developments such as the Park Hyatt St Kitts, Koi Resorts and Residences, Pelican Bay, and The Four Seasons in Nevis, which create jobs while under construction, and will also provide jobs for many years into the future once operations commence.
That’s why it was important that we paused. We evaluated the programme and we are now pursuing essential reforms,” Dr Harris declared.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to announce that we in St. Kitts and Nevis are now better prepared – administratively and legally – to deliver a better quality program. I want all of you to know that St. Kitts &Nevis remains ready and open for legitimate business,” continued Dr. Harris
The Prime Minister concluded by announcing the country’s readiness to lead the Global Citizenship Industry into the future.
PM Harris concluded “We are taking the CBI program in a new and sustainable direction. The past is the past. We are ready to launch into the future. We welcome you to be a part of future progressive and profitable development in our beautiful Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. Come make St, Kitts and Nevis your home.”