OECS countries unite in historic collaboration!

Citizenship by Investment nations of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) have joined forces to enhance the integrity of their Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programmes.

Wednesday, 20 March 2024, marked a significant milestone as four OECS countries – Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, and St. Kitts and Nevis joined forces in a historic collaboration during a momentous virtual signing ceremony.

The initiative signals a new era of cooperation among these nations. This move sets the stage for enhanced regional partnerships.

OECS Countries unite for regional progress

The signing ceremony showcased the firm commitment of these four OECS countries to work together towards common goals and shared objectives.

Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, and St. Kitts and Nevis aim to leverage their respective strengths, resources, and expertise to foster sustainable development, economic growth, and social advancement across the region through this collaboration.

The synergy created by this alliance is expected to yield a wide range of benefits for each participating country and the OECS.

Strategic agreements – the MoU among CBI nations

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed among the four participating Citizenship by Investment (CBI) countries lays the foundation for a comprehensive framework of collaboration and cooperation.

This landmark agreement encompasses a range of key provisions aimed at enhancing the efficiency, transparency, and integrity of the CBI programmes within the region.

Crucial agreements outlined in the MoU:

Exchange of best practices and due diligence processes

One of the primary focuses of the MoU is the exchange of best practices and due diligence processes among the participating CBI countries. These nations aim to strengthen their vetting procedures and enhance risk assessments by sharing insights and expertise. They have the shared goal of ensuring the highest standards of integrity in their respective CBI programmes.

Establishment of minimum investment thresholds

The MoU establishes a minimum investment threshold of USD $200,000 to be implemented no later than 30 June 2024. This amount reflects the actual funds received through the CBI programme. This financial requirement serves as a benchmark to standardise investment levels across participating countries, promoting consistency and clarity for applicants.

Information sharing on applicants

Another significant provision of the MoU is the commitment to information sharing on applicants among the participating countries.

This collaborative approach allows for a comprehensive review of candidate profiles, background checks, and due diligence results, facilitating a thorough evaluation process. It is also in line with the six significant stipulations to their respective CBI programmes earlier last year agreed upon by representatives of the US Government and the 5 Caribbean CBI countries.

Enhanced transparency measures

The MoU emphasises enhanced transparency measures. This includes reporting requirements and financial disclosures. The participating CBI countries aim to build trust, credibility, and investor confidence in their programmes by promoting openness and accountability.

Independent audits

To further ensure the integrity and effectiveness of the CBI programmes, the MoU mandates independent financial and operational audits. These audits serve as a vital tool in assessing compliance with regulatory standards, identifying areas for improvement, and upholding the highest levels of governance.

Creation of regional authority

A significant development outlined in the MoU is the establishment of a regional authority tasked with setting standards and overseeing the CBI programmes’ implementation. This central body will play a pivotal role in harmonising practices, resolving disputes, and promoting consistency across the region.

Adoption of common standards

The MoU calls for the adoption of common communication and promotion standards to streamline messaging, branding, and marketing efforts related to CBI programmes.

By aligning their communication strategies, the participating countries can enhance visibility, attract quality investors, and maintain a cohesive identity in the global marketplace.

Regulation of agents

In line with the commitment to professionalism and accountability, the MoU includes provisions for the regulation of agents involved in the CBI programmes. By setting guidelines, codes of conduct, and oversight mechanisms for agents, the participating countries aim to uphold ethical standards, combat misconduct, and protect the interests of applicants.

Implementation of joint training programmes

Lastly, the MoU emphasises the implementation of joint training programmes for CBI administrations to enhance their skills, knowledge, and capacities.

The participating countries seek to build a skilled workforce, foster continuous learning, and strengthen the governance of their CBI programmes through collaborative training initiatives.

The key provisions outlined in the MoU among the CBI countries signify a significant step towards harmonising standards, enhancing cooperation, and elevating the integrity of the CBI programmes in the region. By embracing these agreements, the participating nations demonstrate a shared commitment to excellence, transparency, and professionalism in their citizenship by investment initiatives, paving the way for a more robust and sustainable future for their programmes and stakeholders alike.

The MoU contributes to the credibility and reputation of CBI nations on the global stage. By demonstrating a commitment to best practices, transparency, and regulatory compliance through the MoU, participating countries enhance investor confidence, attract high-quality applicants, and distinguish themselves as reputable destinations for CBI.