Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, has again defended the legitimacy of the much talked about Citizenship by Investment (CBI) program saying it has meet international standards for due diligence.
He stated at a meeting in Soufriere on Monday night, outlining plans for the new Jungle Bay Resort to be built in Soufriere under the CBI, that due diligence of the program is carried out by international firms, some of whom are former members of the FBI, CIA, MI6, and MI5.
“We’re running, in this country, a legitimate economic citizenship program that meets the international standards for due diligence and ensuring that those who acquire Dominican citizenship are citizens who can stand the test of scrutiny anywhere in the world,” he said.
He described a strict and thorough process of due diligence for applicants to the CBI program.
“There is absolutely no shortcut whatsoever in the due diligence process before we provide approval for any applicant…” Skerrit articulated. “We also have very strong partnerships and agreements with governments, internationally, who also assist us in doing another layer of due diligence on applicants to our program.
He explained that applicants are allowed to make either a financial contribution, or invest in real estate, manufacturing, or agriculture.
“So within this program, we have two strands,” Skerrit stated. “One, someone who applies for citizenship can make a financial contribution, and the second is the real estate — and we have not only limited it to real estate — we have also extended it to manufacturing and agriculture.”
Both local and foreign investors can be approved for an investment under the CBI program, in agriculture, manufacturing, or any other type of industry, he stated.
The Prime Minister has previously described criticisms of the program as malicious and unfounded and promoted the program as an important tool of economic activity in Dominica.
In January 2016, Dominica’s Ambassador to the United Nations (UN), Dr. Vince Henderson said the program was managed properly and it had raised about $124-million in six months.
Dominica’s CBI program gained the last spot in Henley & Partners’ Global Residence and Citizenship Programs 2016. Henley & Partners is a residence and citizenship planning company.