BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – AS a result of an article published on Tuesday (May 16) headlined “Alternatives to CBI Programme may be imperative”, I, Stanford Conway, Editor-in-Chief of SKNVibes and author of the article, hereby offer my sincerest apology to Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris for inadvertently misconstruing the intent of his statement.
However, following the publication of that article, I was made privy to activities in strengthening the Citizenship by Investment Programme on all fundamental levels favouring its service providers and developers in relation to mid and long term enhancement of the programme.
After being exposed to those activities, I have realised that the article was written out of context.
One of the documents that I reviewed is that of the “Prime Minister’s Remarks at the National Conference of Service Providers and Developers for the Citizenship by Investment Programme”, which was held at the Royal St. Kitts Hotel on Monday, September 12, 2016.
At that forum, Dr. Harris explained to the participants what his Team Unity Administration had done in relation to the CBI Programme since taking Office in February 2015 and what it intended to do in the coming years.
Of note, were: plans to recalibrate the Government’s relationship the European Union, the United States of America and Canada; implement well-needed reforms to the Programme; and to develop a marketing strategy to inform sustainability of the Programme.
In furtherance to that, he announced the appointment of Mr. Les Khan as the new head of the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU), noting that that decision was part of the reform process that placed the Government in a position to implement its rebranding effort.
“Les will be leading a well-disciplined local team with a broad cross section of skills to strengthen our resource capabilities in order to deliver a platinum service. We have people with high-level expertise in marketing, immigration, international banking, anti-money laundering and administration.”
He was however misquoted in my article, which should have read: “So it is a complex business, really. There are attendant risks and we want to resolve them. And certainly I hope for the time will come, in the not too distant future, before I die although I don't know the hour nor the time where we can as a people reach that level of development that we can easily exit from this programme...”
Omission of the bolded words in my reportage had contextually changed the Prime Minister’s intent and might have given rise to speculations.
I therefore, once again, humbly apologise to the Prime Minister, his Cabinet colleagues, service providers, developers and all other stakeholders, as well as potential applicants for inadvertently conveying a misconstrued statement of his intent.
The article has since been retracted.