By Caribbean News Global
BASSETERRE, St Kitts – St Kitts and Nevis has completed a new cruise pier at a cost of US$48 million of which US$5 million came from the country’s Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme. St Kitts’ Port Zante can now host up to three of the largest ships in the world accompanied with the stature of the larger cruise destinations in the region.
Michele Paige, Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) president estimates St Kitts and Nevis “is on its way to becoming the regional destination cruise passengers choose to spend the most money in”. The islands welcomed one million cruise passengers before the end of the cruise season.
St Kitts and Nevis’ tourism minister, Lindsey Grant, said: “We understand the needs of the cruise lines and their passengers, receive feedback on our service standards and guest experience and provide insight into cruise industry trends such as new ships and itineraries for upcoming seasons, all of which will help us to remain competitive as a premier cruise destination moving forward.”
St Kitts and Nevis provide its citizens with visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to nearly 160 destinations, making it the strongest passports within the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and the 26th worldwide. The Republic of the Marshall Islands is the 155th destination to which citizens of the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis can travel to without a visa.
The Financial Times’ PWM considered the high global mobility that St Kitts and Nevis offer to its nationals as one of the key advantages for investors looking for its citizenship in exchange for a contribution to the country’s economy, through its CBI programme.
For over three decades, St Kitts and Nevis has dominated the industry higher-end positioning and the initiative to raise foreign direct investment via the islands’ successful CBI programme, considered the ‘Platinum Standard’ of economic citizenship and remains the preferred choice amongst a select category of global investors.
St Kitts and Nevis is ranked 24th worldwide in terms of its passport strength and 30th for its rule of law. It also scored 10/10 points for its high due diligence standards, according to FT Specialist’s 2019 CBI Index. Those wishing to become citizens of St Kitts and Nevis can do so without having a prior connection to the country, however they must pass a series of due diligence checks and make a minimum US$ 150,000 investment into the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF), under the CBI programme. With the optional Accelerated Application Process (AAP), eligible applicants can obtain citizenship within 60 days.
Complimenting the achievement of St Kitts and Nevis’ new cruise pier at Port Zante, Sam Bayat of Bayat Group, a boutique law firm specializing in business immigration, economic citizenship, and corporate immigration for over 25 years, said, “your electorate and the international community, must-see first-hand the results of the CBI programme and thus convince skeptics about the benefits.”
“People only remember what they can see on a daily base … such as new schools, hospitals or industries, hence the importance of taking good bona fide applicants and the very best or unique candidates to supplement the country’s development needs,” Bayat explained.
“St Kitts and Nevis has a brand recognition considered the ‘Platinum Standard’ of economic citizenship, the ability to provide enhanced global mobility, and created a reputation of excellence many years ago. And still, to date, every prospect I meet always ask about St Kitts and Nevis passport.
“The opportunity for growth and development in St Kitts and Nevis is made much easier with the CBI programme promote inward investments, leveraging skills expansion and specialists assign to existing; And with the advancement of new entrepreneurs, St Kitts and Nevis will have all the elements to do very well, increasing the scope of its development lifecycle,” Bayat said.