Several heads of government from nations belonging to the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) are moving to finalize a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to stimulate cooperation and collaboration between their respective citizenship by investment programs.
The MOU has been in development ahead of the 29th Inter-sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM, which is to be held in Haiti on 26 February. The Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica, discussed the MOU at a press briefing after an ECCB Monetary Council meeting in St Kitts:
“We’ve been discussing the issue of the CBI among ourselves as Heads of Government and also at the level of the heads of the various units, and there was a first meeting; there’s a draft MOU, which all of us have agreed to in principle that’s being discussed among our technical people. We’re hoping that we can have a meeting on the margins of the CARICOM meeting in Haiti this month to finalize the MOU that would speak to a number of areas of standardization and ensuring that there is a greater sharing of information.”
The current OECS territories that have CBI programs are St Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St Lucia, and Dominica. The MOU would encourage greater consistency of the CBI programs between these countries through the sharing of legislative specifics, application processes, statistics, and other information.
A mutual agreement on how to go forward with investment migration policy would also bolster due diligence and the collective reputation of the programs.
Prime Minister Timothy Harris of St Kitts and Nevis also spoke to the press after the meeting declaring that there was no race to the bottom in the region as far as CBI contribution amounts were concerned. He further emphasized the importance of the programs to the region as a whole.
“The programmes continue to be of critical importance to the fiscal stability of the region and I think that we will work carefully and thoughtfully to both protect them as long as it is in our power to do so and to ensure that our island states are not disadvantaged.”