In an age of increasing need for mobility, becoming a global citizen has never been more desirable.
Despite being a relatively new entrant in the alternative citizenship space, Antigua and Barbuda’s Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) is already proving very popular with investors. Speedy processing and the quality of real estate offerings, give the Programme a serious competitive advantage.
The independent Commonwealth state, located in the Eastern Caribbean, is a lush green paradise that boasts 365 white sand beaches with clear, turquoise waters. Home to over 90,000 people, the twinisland nation is considered to be one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Historically, as a result of tourism and real estate, the country has experienced continuous growth in foreign direct investment. However, more recently, financial services, tertiary education and e-commerce have become significant contributors. Bolstered by generous Government incentives, foreign investment has contributed to the rapid development of the economy, resulting in the country having one of the highest GDP per capita in the sub-region.
Along with seven other states, Antigua and Barbuda is a member of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU), a development of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), using the Eastern Caribbean dollar as its currency. The Eastern Caribbean dollar has been pegged to the United States dollar for the last forty years, contributing to long term financial stability.
The Government of Antigua and Barbuda has set a clear goal for the country to become, according to its Prime Minister, the Honorable Gaston Browne, ‘the economic powerhouse’ of the Eastern Caribbean” and sees its CIP as one of the key drivers that will lead to the realisation of this ambition. Launched in 2013, the Programme is managed by a dedicated Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU), a team of professionals responsible for processing applications and for recommending the approval of real estate and business investment options.
The ultimate responsibility for the programme rests with the Office of the Prime Minister.
According to the CIU’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Thomas Anthony, there are a few factors that contribute to the rapid success of the Programme. “Our productivity and fast turnaround time of about 60 days,” he says, “is due to our highly competent staff, comprising mostly private sector individuals. That meant we quickly became one of, if not the most efficient Unit in the region, surpassing countries that had been in the industry for far longer or just prior to our entry.”
“Secondly,” Anthony states, “the fact that Antigua and Barbuda has had a strong presence in the high-end tourism sector for more than four decades and already had certain infrastructure in place, the country quickly became an attractive place for those seeking to invest in real estate and business.”
“Thirdly,” he adds, “we had the opportunity to learn from the already established programmes and model our real estate offerings and escrow arrangements accordingly. In order to give investors the confidence that developers will deliver on their promise, the Unit exerts some control over the management of the escrow accounts.” “Lastly,” Anthony states, “we have been very visible in the international community by attending and presenting at various industry conferences and having a presence in high-quality publications such as this one.
This visibility,” he adds, “along with the culture of efficiency, a robust due diligence process, transparency and accountability of our Programme made Henley & Partners and Arton Capital quickly brand Antigua and Barbuda as the number one programme in the region. Henley & Partners went a step further and ranked us third globally.”
In addition to its existing marketing efforts, the Unit is now offering a commission to all Authorised Representatives/Suppliers.
Antigua and Barbuda has earned over $100 million from the programme and has conferred citizenship on 1,000 new citizens.
Read the full version on : https://issuu.com/bls-media/docs/cbi_summer_china ( Page 38-39)