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Posted: Tuesday 7 May, 2024 at 2:12 PM

IMF MD Reiterates Volatility of Local CBI Programme

By: Staff Reporter,

    …MD urges caution  


    SANTIAGO, Chile -- THE Federation is once again being reminded of the volatility of the Citizenship By Investment Programmes, which has been the lifeline of the economy over the last decade. 


    Statistics by the government have shown that it has consistently recorded between 40-60 percent of the country's revenues. But now, with the United States and the European Union placing the programmes under the microscope, the International Monetary Fund has reiterated its challenges and urged caution. 


    Kristalina Georgieva, IMF’s Managing Director, highlighted the challenges facing the programme and called for the Federation and other territories to shift focus as climate change remains an existential threat. 


    While responding to a question from SKNVibes News in Santiago, Chile, Georgieva acknowledged the role the programme has played in the development of countries from education to healthcare to infrastructure. But she cautioned that “The longer-term prospect cannot be dependency on the citizen-by-investment. Why? Because while it remains quite attractive, as you know, there is now competition within the Caribbean countries. There are costs involved.” 


    Her comments come against the backdrop of Prime Minister Dr. Terrance Drew underscoring the challenges facing the programme and findings which highlighted that the Federation has been dependent on the programme. 


    But the local programme has long been under a cloud as many passport holders under the CBI programme have been arrested and charged in recent years. 


    “If you want to do it properly, you have to ascertain the candidates and make sure that you're bringing in the country, credibly, citizens. Because if you fail, then it becomes useless. People come because with this passport they can go to Europe easily,” the MD told reporters at an IMF training session. 


    She continued: “If the programme.s are compromised, no more they can be attractive to people to come…the Caribbean is faced with very significant climate challenges. In fact, when you look at the last decade, the frequency and severity of climate shocks increased everywhere.” 


    Just recently, territories offering the programmes signed a Memorandum of Agreement, with the exception of St Lucia, to have standardized offerings.


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