The general public on St Kitts-Nevis is curious to understand the reasons behind the establishment of the second discount option to the country’s citizenship by investment programme (CBI) under the guise of a fund for sustainable growth and development.
The country’s Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris has just concluded a trip to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the sole purpose of which was to announce and promote the establishment of the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF) real estate investment discounted option to the CBI to current and hopefully, future investors in the UAE. The SGF allows for an applicant to obtain citizenship for SKN with just a US$150,000 investment amount into the real estate market (government fees are included) and an additional three dependants to gain citizenships alongside for a mere total of US$195,000.
The citizens and residents back home, however, are questioning the reason for this new fund’s existence because not only was it started immediately after the Hurricane Relief Fund ended on March 31st, 2018, it also represents a duplication of the original sustainable growth and development fund, the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF).
After the closure of the sugar industry on St Kitts, the original citizenship by investment programme was revamped for the purpose of becoming a steady stream of revenue for the Federation. Economic citizenship was obtainable via two avenues: a minimum donation of US$250,000 to the SIDF for one applicant, or by making a minimum investment of US$400,000 into the real estate market of SKN.
The purpose of the SIDF was and still is to provide a steady stream of funds for sustainable development and job programmes geared towards properly assisting the country and its people with the transition from one main industry (sugar) to another (tourism).
Owing to the creation of the SGF alongside the existence of the SIDF, people now realise that Dr Harris and the coalition administration have been using the word ‘fund’ to mean ‘sale’. It is now undeniably evident that both the SIDF’s and the real estate market’s CBI contributions are at an all-time low and the programme is genuinely dying in the space of three short years.