BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, DECEMBER 4TH 2013 (CUOPM) – Branding the opposition parliamentarians “economic terrorists,” St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas says the nation’s Citizenship by Investment Programme is being targeted because “it is doing exceptionally well globally.”
“They are angry because it is through this particular programme that we have been able to stabilise the financial situation in St. Kitts and Nevis. They are angry because it is through the Citizenship by Investment Programme that the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation continues to be a leading foundation globally,” said Prime Minister Douglas during a recent sitting of the St. Kitts and Nevis National Assembly.
He told the Nation during a statement which was carried live on radio and television, that the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation Citizenship By Investment Programme has been able to support the diversification economic programme in St. Kitts and Nevis, training and allowing hundreds of young people to acquire skills and also ensuring that persons who have been desirous of owning their own homes, but who did not have the necessary support capital to initiate mortgages with financial institutions.”
“It is through the SIDF that they have been able to own their first home – dreams that they had never expected to fulfil at citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis. It is through the Citizenship by Investment Programme that the SIDF continues to be supporting a number of small businesses. Those small enterprises that are starting from scratch and others which through the Small Enterprise Assistance Fund have been able to expand their businesses,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
He told parliamentarians and the Federation that he had the opportunity recently to visit Hong Kong and the United Kingdom to emphasize what really it is that makes the St. Kitts and Nevis brand of the Citizenship by Investment Programme, a global brand.
He said that he outlined to hundreds of top level service providers, lawyers, accountants, agents who are pursuing opportunities for investment for high end and high net worth investors that the St. Kitts and Nevis brand of the Citizenship by Investment Programme is a global leader.
“It is a global leader because it is the oldest leader of its kind and having started back in 1984 under the former PAM Administration and which over the last few years has been revisited, upgraded and improved by the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party Government,” said Dr. Douglas.
“I have advanced is that it allows for universal access across International borders and assist holders of our citizenship to enter into 150 countries without having a visa. I want to emphasise that one of the countries which continues to support St. Kitts and Nevis in its present visa-free travel as a citizen is Canada,” said the Prime Minister.
“Not only Canada, but the entire European Union and several other countries which in recent times have made it their business to request St. Kitts and Nevis to negotiate visa-waiver agreements with them in order to facilitate movement of our citizens into their countries and movement of their citizens into our country,” said Dr. Douglas.
He used the opportunity to echo what the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Patrice had said earlier that there is no diplomatic dispute whatsoever with Canada.
“The relationship between Canada and St. Kitts and Nevis could not be better. It is only last week that the Minister of Foreign Affairs indicated that he was contacted personally by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada asking St. Kitts and Nevis to do them a favour internationally. It was only last week Friday, I received a personal letter from the Minister of Finance from Canada asking me in my capacity as Minister of Finance of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, to lend support to a nominee that he had made seeking St. Kitts and Nevis’s support for the appointment of a citizen of Canada to work within the Breton Woods Institutions in Washington DC,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
He reemphasised that the relationship between St. Kitts and Nevis and Canada could not be better.
“There is no dispute whatsoever between Canada and St. Kitts and Nevis over any diplomat who used a St. Kitts and Nevis Diplomatic passport to enter Canada,” reiterated Prime Minister Douglas.
He labelled the rhetoric as “continuing attempts by the opposition, performing as expected, their role as economic terrorists; economic terrorists, trying to disrupt and destroy the economy of St. Kitts and Nevis, the country of St. Kitts and Nevis.”
“Trying to destroy the Citizenship by Investment Programme because they know that one of the important attractions of our programme is our ability is to get into Canada and into Europe without the use of a visa and so they are trying to destroy that relationship between Canada and St. Kitts and Nevis as I expected them to do as economic terrorists. That is what the opposition has fallen to in this county! Economic terrorists trying to sabotage the economy of St. Kitts and Nevis; but Mr. Speaker it will not work because the St. Kitts and Nevis brand of the Citizenship by Investment Programme is global; it is strong, it is attractive, it is being sought after globally,” said Prime Minister Douglas.