LONDON, January 23, 2019
LONDON, January 23, 2019 /PRNewswire/ --
St Kitts and Nevis' Prime Minister Timothy Harris announced earlier this month that business expansion in the country over the last four years was at its peak. The progress has been made possible in large part by the increased popularity of the country's Citizenship by Investment (CBI), specifically via the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF).
This means good news for residents and for foreign entrepreneurs looking to benefit from St Kitts and Nevis' growing economy. During his Fourth Annual Gala Event, PM Harris made the announcement that "over the last four years, the growth in new businesses entering the formal economy has been phenomenal." What has not yet been explained is the significant role played in this by SGF. Additionally, such national growth increases the profitability of entrepreneurs' investments in the fund.
The SGF is the investment fund option under St Kitts and Nevis' CBI Programme. The fund requires a simple, one-time investment in return for the grant of Kittitian and Nevisian citizenship and the numerous benefits of the SGF. For instance, the SGF recognises that many applicants have demanding schedules, and thus follows a quick and efficient timeline. From submission of the application to receipt of approval, total processing time is three months or less. Many applicants receive approval faster, often between 8 and 10 weeks. This is due to the simplicity of the SGF, and the lack of need for additional contracts or later financial obligations. Fund applicants can also apply through the Accelerated Application Process (AAP) which reduces processing time to 60 days or fewer. St Kitts and Nevis is the only jurisdiction worldwide to offer such a programme.
Applications for second citizenship must go through an authorised agent. The agent provides necessary advice and support to the applicant and liaises with the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU), who review their application. Under the SGF, clients can choose any authorised agent they wish, and therefore select one that best suits their needs. The CIU provides an official list of agents here.
Given the array of CBI programmes worldwide, it can be confusing for applicants to identify which is the best quality. A programme's quality is determined by the length of time for which it has been running, and thus gained knowledge of the industry, and its level of due diligence, which maintains its integrity. St Kitts and Nevis' Programme is not only the most experienced in the world, the due diligence procedures conducted under the SGF are internationally respected. Regularly evaluated and awarded full marks in the Financial Times' CBI Index, they have been copied by other countries. By applying to the SGF, applicants ensure their personal information and reputations are safeguarded, and that their applications have the greatest chance of success.
Furthermore, SGF offers protection for entrepreneurs and Growth for residents. The fastest and easiest route to second citizenship, it also provides protection for the applicant's wealth, future prosperity and safety, and their family. This is because all monies invested into the fund go directly to the long-term, sustainable development of the country. This includes everything from education, infrastructure, and healthcare to technological innovation and business. For example, plans are currently underway for a new state-of-the-art High School in Basseterre, the nation's capital. As well as providing employment opportunities to construction workers and teacher, the school will offer high-level education to children of residents and investors.
The historical growth in new business establishment is another example. Since 2015, the net total of annual business licences issued by the Inland Revenue Department has exceeded 400 each year. 2018 especially was a success, in which the top three new business areas were retail shops and stores (except liquor), snackette, and taxi operators. All three are sectors into which funds from the SGF are directed, as is business development itself. Furthermore, as a result of the success in the taxi sector, the significant increase in total passenger spend in 2017/2018 (up 77 percent since 2014/2015) has continued in 2018. This is no doubt influenced by higher numbers of CBI investors travelling to the country.
As the economy becomes stronger and development is conducted on a long-term basis, so the future of Kittitian and Nevisian citizens is protected. For second citizens, this includes their future, those of their children, and those of future generations. Therefore, the more the SGF continues to attract applicants, the more gains each investment generates.