(Tuesday, 6th November 2018)
by Andres Gutierrez, CS Global Partners
The verdict is in: the world’s GDP is forecast to slow down in 2019 by 0.2% YoY, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a leading economic thinktank. With tighter trade restrictions, Brexit uncertainty, exacerbating trade negotiations, rising financing rates, and hyperinflation of several currencies, it comes as no surprise that global growth is predicted to continue deflating in 2020. What this means for businesses that operate in local, unstable currencies but indebted in US dollars, for example, is that they might be forced to make cutbacks, such as increasing staff turnover or reducing their hiring rates. Valuable employees, especially at high-earning senior level, may be prioritised against a number of factors, including increased, cost-effective mobility that facilitates trade and business connections.
World economic growth is traditionally powered by the United States, Europe, and certain Asia-Pacific nations such as Japan, Singapore, and Australia. International, short-stay visa-free treaties illustrate this, with Germany, Italy, Spain, several Scandinavian countries, and the United States consistently benefitting from travel rights to the highest number of destinations. Despite the BRICS balloon fizzling out against the backdrop of high post-recession expectations, the business world continues expanding its epicentres beyond the advanced economies, with emerging markets and developing economies becoming increasingly attractive for international investors. Eventually, as smart businesspersons have learnt, this raises the question of employees’ ease of international mobility.
As nationals of the world’s superpowers rarely need to worry about visa travel arrangements, employers must now be aware of the security concerns posed by the nationalities of executives from offices in developing countries. For these reasons, companies welcome individuals who have the luxury of holding dual citizenship. They understand the importance of efficient and effective solutions to ensure the smooth transfer of employees as they travel for work, and so the prospect of sponsoring executives with a second citizenship has become more common.
If ancestry or marriage are unavailable routes to a desired secondary citizenship, global-minded individuals turn to citizenship by investment (CBI). As people become more aware of the investor immigration industry, especially with the development of more programmes in nations across the world, there will be a need for trusted advisors, like CS Global Partners, to provide expert information about why a certain programme may be right for them, or whether some may not be quite what they seem. Because demand increases and supply follows, and it is, after all, a complex legal process, greater regulation and transparency in how the industry works will be key.
The older programmes will stand out as success stories and continue to set the pace and standards for new entrants. St Kitts and Nevis has unrivalled experience as the cradle of CBI, with the grand success of the six-month Hurricane Relief Fund option reinforcing its status as the Platinum Standard of the industry. Its successor – the Sustainable Growth Fund – is said to be the faster and more affordable route to St Kitts and Nevis’ citizenship, with fees starting at US$150,000 per main applicant.
Meanwhile, Dominica enters the third quarter of 2018 as the world’s best CBI programme, as ranked in the Financial Times’ PWM CBI Index. Dominica’s affordable investment rates of US$100,000 for a single applicant, available through the Economic Diversification Fund option, give it a competitive advantage. According to the same independent report, the Caribbean programmes fill the top five positions of all 13 active CBI jurisdictions.
International companies require globally-minded executives with high mobility that can lead, shape and transform the future. Ultimately, the longevity of the abovementioned programmes in such a complex market prevails, bringing businesspeople and sponsoring companies the reassurance that they look for when investing in an alternative citizenship.
Soon enough, it will not be a matter of simply wanting a second citizenship. Instead, one may want a third or fourth to meet one’s ever-changing business and family needs. The question will shift from what citizenship to how many one may be needing in the foreseeable future.