St Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister says his country is open for business and welcomes UAE families

St Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister says his country is open for business and welcomes UAE families

Prime Minister Terrence Drew of the island nation of St Kitts and Nevis made his first official visit to Dubai to strengthen bilateral relations between the two regions.

He was accompanied by Minister of Tourism, Marsha Henderson; Attorney-General, Garth Wilkin; Cabinet Secretary Dr Marcus Natta; Sylvester Anthony and Veira Galloway.

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As St Kitts and Nevis administers one of the most successful citizenship by investment programmes in the world, part of the trip was geared towards showing investors, entrepreneurs and families from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that they are all welcome in St Kitts and Nevis. It is the first country of the Caribbean Community to establish a formal diplomatic presence in the UAE.

The official visit, which took place from 29 November 2022 to 3 December 2022, also provided an opportunity for St Kitts and Nevis to show the world that it is open for business and is ready to attract investors who seek mutually beneficial partnerships with the nation.

The Prime Minister identified new areas of collaboration in advancing economic recovery and stability and reaffirming the solid foundation between the two countries.

Since the snap election in August, Prime Minister Drew and his administration have made upgrades to the country’s citizenship by investment programme, taking measures to sustain and enhance the image of the twin-island federation’s programme so it is more transparent and follows the principles of integrity and good governance.

The programme now offers investors an enviable basket of benefits that UAE families and entrepreneurs can take advantage of and have expanded global opportunities.

With many wealthy investors and their families making plans for a world post-Covid 19 and a very volatile political order worldwide, the largest investment migration of high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) is expected to take place over the coming period. 

According to recent data, the UAE is considered to be one of the fastest-growing wealth markets in the world, overshadowing destinations for the wealthy like the USA and the UK.

The economy of the UAE is the fifth largest in the Middle East, after Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Egypt, with a gross domestic product (GDP) of US$501 billion in 2022.

While the UAE’s economy was heavily reliant on revenues from petroleum and natural gas, especially in Abu Dhabi, in recent years, there has been some economic diversification, particularly in Dubai. Tourism is one of the bigger non-oil sources of revenue in the UAE and a massive construction boom, an expanding manufacturing base, and a thriving services sector are helping the UAE diversify its economy.

The UAE’s financial wealth is expected to accelerate at a compound annual rate of 6.7 percent to reach
US$1 trillion in 2026 from US$700 billion last year, driven by growth in both financial and real assets, a new report by management consultancy Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has said.

When considering billionaires, the number of these present in Dubai increased by one to 13 during 2022, while its population of centimillionaires grew to 202 from 165 in the previous year.

In 2021, St Kitts and Nevis’ GDP by 13.39%from the previous year with an economy reliant on tourism, export-oriented manufacturing, and offshore banking.

With its pristine beaches, rich culture, and holiday lifestyle, St Kitts and Nevis is ranked in the top three for its citizenship by investment programme in 2022 by the CBI Index, an annual publication by the Financial Times’ Professional Wealth Management magazine, which provides a comprehensive rating of all the citizenship by investment programmes across the world.

The country’s citizenship by investment programme has gained favour for family friendliness and new changes recently implemented will enhance the country’s offering thanks to the addition of a new board and technical committee within the CBI Unit who will help with legislative and administrative oversight.

Investors from the UAE can have greater confidence in the programme as measures are being put in place to ensure that programme runs smoothly, is more transparent and funds generated from the programme not only benefit investors, but locals too.

The country’s citizenship by investment programme is the world’s oldest, having been launched in 1984, and these new changes will solidify St Kitts and Nevis’ position as the industry standard when in investment migration.

Saint Kitts and Nevis is well-connected to the rest of the world with international flights available to the US, Canada, and Europe.  It is also in close proximity to the USA. The country’s low cost of living and high quality of life makes it very attractive to foreign investors and HNWIs and their families.

A new embassy of St Kitts and Nevis was opened in Abu Dhabi in November 2021 to strengthen bilateral ties between the two nations. This came after it’s opening was delayed due to restrictions relating to the Covid-19 pandemic. A consulate has also been opened in Dubai to provide visas, passport and consular services.

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