The governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) has urged Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Saint Lucia to come together to create common standards around each jurisdiction's Citizenship by Investment programme (CBI).
There are several differences separating the countries' CBI: the minimum investment required for one applicant in Saint Lucia, Antigua and Dominica is $100,000, while in Grenada and St. Kitts, it's $150,000. Under the real estate option, Antigua's minimum investment is $400,000; Grenada, $350,000; Saint Lucia, $300,000; Dominica and St. Kitts, $200,000.
The Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), Timothy Antoine, said the region is seen as one despite what individual countries do.
We believe that the coming together will help all of our CBI programmes"
"So our view is that we have to come together. We believe that the coming together will help all of our CBI programmes. Set the same standards, ensure that if you get denied in country A, you cannot get accepted in country B, because it's a single space. Set the price reasonable, but not too low. We don't want to sell ourselves short," he told local media during a press conference.
Nestor Alfred, the CEO of Saint Lucia's Citizenship by Investment Unit, admitted that collaboration can be achieved, particularly in the areas of exchange of information, and bringing harmonization to application forms.
"If rain falls on the roof on one OECS island," he said, "it will invariably fall on the roof of every other island. So it's really important that we do this. And because of the common space that we share, it's even more important. There are some things that we have agreed on, which I can't share just now, because each of us has to go back to our islands to make that communication."
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has recently recognised the impact of the CBI to the socio-economic structure of participating countries.
According to the IMF these programmes are a significant contributor of revenues and not only helping to reduce national debt, but also contributing to the countrys' gross domestic product.