NEWS

Layou Benefits from Outputs of Citizenship by Investment Programme

The Dominica Citizenship by Investment Programme continues to contribute to the wellbeing of our citizens, as funds are reinvested in local communities and our island’s entrepreneurs. Early in the New Year, $100,000 was presented to the Chairman of the Layou Improvement Committee, Mr Lazare Charles, whose task is to oversee the development of the Layou community.

Layou, a valley on Dominica’s western coast that serves as the home to around 450 people, has a long history of settlement, and was a key outpost in the defence mechanism that alerted the Dominica to foreign invasion. Fishing is Layou’s core trade, although farming in sugar, tobacco, and lime is also prevalent.

The Honourable Kelver Darroux, Layou’s Representative in Parliament, highlighted that the $100,000 would benefit a wide range of small businesses in the community, including “the fishing [industry], the farmers in the community of Layou, the retail shops, hairdressers, restaurants and bars in the community….”

Mr Darroux focused on the far-reaching benefits of the Citizenship by Investment Programme in revitalising and supporting not just the Layou community, but all Dominicans. “So you can see that the [Programme] continues to play a tremendous role in the economic activities in this country. Now, when you have individuals out there criticizing this Programme and trying to bring this Programme down, you can well imagine the impact it can have on the average citizen of Dominica,” concluded the Parliamentarian.

READ MORE January 13, 2017

Growth Predicted for Dominica’s Economy

The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) has confirmed economic growth for Dominica for the next two years. Speaking on Wednesday, 11th January 2017, His Excellency Timothy Antoine, Governor of the ECCB, forecasted a 3.2% economic growth for 2017 and 2018.

The estimated forecast is a testament to our Government’s commitment to ‘building a more resilient Dominica’ following the impact of Tropical Storm Erika in 2015. Engaging with the press, Mr Antoine outlined Dominica’s outlook prior to Tropical Storm Erika as a 2.8% economic growth. In the aftermath of the Storm, the national economy instead only grew by 2.5%.

The rebuilding process, including extensive investment in infrastructure, renewable energy, and real estate accelerated economic growth, resulting in a 1.7% growth rate for 2016 – greater than anticipated for a year of reconstruction – and much higher predictions for the coming two years.

One example of the public and private sector dialogue that has ignited participation in Dominica’s economic transformation is Marriot International’s confirmation that the hotel giant will soon be developing a 5-star resort in Dominica.

Tourism and construction developments will remain a priority for the forthcoming fiscal years, as our Government focuses on the creation of long-term benefits for Dominicans throughout the country. The Citizenship by Investment Programme was a significant contributor to Dominica’s economic growth, and is expected to continue to attract high net-worth applicants to our island each year, raising our country’s profile for foreign investment.

READ MORE January 12, 2017

International Hotel Brand Welcomed to Dominica

Welcoming Marriott to Dominica

Marriott International will be spearheading a new luxury hotel development project in Dominica. The project, which will be part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, will play an instrumental role in attracting visitors to the island and redefining Dominica’s tourism industry.

The project was announced during a conference meeting on the 9th January 2017 in which Marriott representatives, hotel developers, members of Cabinet, and senior public officials met with Dominica’s Prime Minister, Dr the Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit, to formally introduce the project.

Opening the discussion, Dr Michael Lawrence, Director of Silver Beach Resort – the official developers for the project – revealed the project’s core objectives: creating jobs, providing hospitality training for Dominicans locally and regionally, and establishing a relationship with farmers to provide another market for their produce.

As one of the largest international hotels in the world, Marriott represents a monumental milestone in Dominica’s travel and tourism industry and will bring further legitimacy and prestige to its high-end tourism brand. “[C]ompanies like Marriott would conduct strict due diligence to ensure that the economy of the country is suitable, that they fully understand the implications of this country’s Citizenship by Investment Programme, and that the integrity and stature of the directors of Silver Beach is such that the company is willing to align itself [with them],” said Dr Michael Lawrence.

Currently operating in 120 countries, Marriott International has 6,000 hotels, each aligned to one of 30 luxury brands. Speaking on the evening, Dr Bojan Kumar, Marriott International Director of Development for Latin America and the Caribbean, noted that the Marriott Autograph Collection is one of the fastest growing brands in the world and the one in highest demand in the Caribbean.

The Honourable Robert Tonge, Minister for Tourism and Renewal, detailed the steps taken by the Government to enhance the island’s already successful hospitality and tourism industry. As well as resuming dialogue with the public and private sectors, the Government increased its marketing efforts to travel agents, tour operators, and potential investors, and made available $15 million to existing hotels and restaurants to provide a high-quality service. Dominica’s Prime Minister reiterated the Government’s continuing dedication to rebuilding a better Dominica, emphasising the importance of completing the project on time.

The Marriott project will be sponsored by Dominica’s Citizenship by Investment Programme, one of the most popular economic citizenship options in the world. Mr Alick Lawrence, CEO of Silver Beach, explained that the success of such projects “directly depends on the success of the [Citizenship by Investment] Programme,” and commended the Government’s leadership in taking a progressive approach to the development of tourism on the island. Dominica’s Citizenship by Investment Programme continues to attract the interest of luxury hotel brands and foreign direct investment to the island.

READ MORE January 10, 2017

Dominica Hosts CIPA Meeting

On 15–16 December 2016, Dominica was the proud host of the December 2016 Citizenship by Investment Programmes Association (CIPA) Meeting. The CIPA is composed of five nations: Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and Antigua and Barbuda, each of which have adopted citizenship by investment in their laws, and developed programmes to attract investment into their nations.

The CIPA was created out of a desire to improve due diligence checks on applicants. Reminiscing on the first CIPA meeting in St Kitts and Nevis, Mr Thomas Anthony, Head of the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Unit, said that key areas of focus included applicant requirements, documentation, and background checks.

This month’s CIPA Meeting, the fifth-ever meeting of its kind, was held at the Fort Young Hotel in Roseau. It was attended by Minister Francine Baron, who delivered the keynote speech on behalf of our Prime Minister, Dr the Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit. Minister Baron, who is responsible for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and CARICOM Affairs, highlighted the need to endeavour to better the citizenship programmes, and to institute uniform regulations. “While our efforts have been laudable in following best practice and in maintaining strict due diligence procedures, it is to our benefit to strive always for enhanced systems and practice. If we are to truly embrace an integrated approach with our programmes we need to think and act in unity and this can only be effectively achieved if we have a single standardized regulatory system; one that amalgamates the very best of the five islands,” noted the Minister.

Ambassador Emmanuel Nanthan, who heads our Citizenship by Investment Unit, said that this meeting would also look outside the Caribbean, to ways in which the system of “worldwide agents and promoters” could be improved.

READ MORE December 23, 2016

Dominica and Ecuador Expand Visa Waiver Agreement

visa-free-with-ecuador

Signalling the beginning of a profound collaboration between our nation and the Republic of Ecuador, on the morning of 1 December 2016 our Foreign Minister, the Honourable Francine Baron, and Ecuador’s Ambassador to Dominica, His Excellency Dr Galo Yepez Holguin, signed a mutual agreement to waive travel visas for all our citizens.

The visa waiver agreement applies to holders of all passports, and supersedes a previous agreement allowing holders of diplomatic and official passports to travel within the borders of Dominica and Ecuador visa-free.

At the signing ceremony, Minister Francine Baron noted that people-to-people contact was key to successful relations between Dominica and Ecuador. The Minister reiterated the success of the student exchange, between the Dominican and Ecuadorian pupils currently studying at the Dominica State College. Agricultural cooperation was also highlighted by the Minister, who underlined the importance of expanding cocoa and coffee production, as well as learning from Ecuador with respect to the cut-flower industry. Other areas of engagement included the further development of prawn farming.

Ambassador Holguin said he was delighted to be in Dominica, and “very happy” about the student programme sponsored by our nation. He emphasised increased cooperation between South America and the Caribbean, and increased discourse between Dominica and Ecuador.

READ MORE December 2, 2016

Dr the Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit Sends Hopeful Message to the Dominican Diaspora

The Commonwealth of Dominica has called to the Dominican diaspora to assist in the already promising development and rebuilding efforts on the island. At a meeting at the Diaspora Forum on Tuesday 1st November, Dr the Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit articulated the many steps forward taken by Dominica as it strengthens its economy, and brought to light the ways in which the Dominican diaspora could collaborate with locals in ensuring national prosperity.

“We need Dominicans selling Dominica; we need Dominicans selling Dominicans,” emphasised the Prime Minister on this matter. Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit encouraged Dominicans living abroad to consider options for involvement in the Dominican economy, and to facilitate the island’s socio-economic regeneration.

Attention was also drawn to Dominica’s rehabilitation works after Tropical Storm Erika. “Tropical Storm Erika taught us a valuable lesson of the need for constant retooling” was just one of the ways in which Dr the Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit expressed the necessity for strengthening and supporting funding for disaster relief and prevention. Current programmes underway to meet these demands include the Storm Erika Rehabilitation Works Project, which aims to rebuild infrastructure affected by the storm.

Other cause for address on the evening focused on the diaspora’s participation in “building back [a] better” Dominica through investment. Identified areas for investment included Dominica’s health and energy sectors. Geothermal energy was recommended as a key attraction for investment, promising cheaper and sustainable alternatives for businesses and households. “[G]eothermal energy positions us as the leading nature island, not only of the Caribbean but of the world,” said the Honourable Minister for Employment, Ian Douglas, who also actively participated in the forum.

READ MORE November 17, 2016

DOMINICA RATIFIES PARIS AGREEMENT ON CLIMATE CHANGE

The Government of Dominica joined 30 other countries that deposited their instruments of ratification of the Paris Agreement on climate change at a Special Event at the United Nations in New York

New York, September 21, 2016 – The Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica joined 30 other countries to deposit their instruments of ratification of the Paris Agreement on climate change at a special event at the United Nations on Wednesday September 21, 2016. The Government of Dominica was represented by Minister of Foreign Affairs and CARICOM, Hon. Francine Baron.

This brings the number of countries that have joined the Paris Agreement to 55, reaching one requirement for the coming into force of the Agreement. The Agreement will come into force when the total number of countries that have ratified the convention accounts for 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

The Paris Agreement was adopted by 195 countries at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP21) held in Paris, France, in December 2015. The Agreement calls on nations that have ratified to pursue their highest possible ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions using “Nationally Determined Contributions” (NDCs) and monitored through a reporting mechanism.

The overall goal of the Paris Agreement is for countries to take action to keep global temperature rise this century below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels while at the same time using best efforts to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Minister Baron said that she is encouraged by the strong commitments made by the 55 countries that have ratified the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The recent leadership demonstrated by the United States and China, the biggest emitters, gives hope especially to SIDS that the we are on a path to achieving the ambitions set in the Agreement. The next critical step is to ensure that financing is predictable and accessible to Small Island Developing States (SIDS) like Dominica to build resilience and to adapt to the impact of climate change.

READ MORE September 23, 2016

NEW ZEALAND INVESTS IN DOMINICA’S EXPLORATION OF GEOTHERMAL ENERGY

NZ invests in Dominica geothermal

The Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica signed a USD $1.5 million Partnership Agreement with the Government of New Zealand to support the construction of a 7 MW geothermal power plant in Dominica

New York, USA (September 21, 2016) – The Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica and the Government of New Zealand expanded their cooperation in geothermal energy development with the signing of a NZ$ 2.05 million (US$ 1.5 million/EC$ 4 million) Partnership Agreement to support the construction of a 7 MW geothermal power plant in Dominica. The agreement was signed between the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Francine Baron of Dominica and Hon. Murray McCully of New Zealand.

Since 2014, the Government of New Zealand has been providing the Government of Dominica with Technical Assistance for the development of Dominica’s geothermal resources.

The new Partnership will expand the technical assistance and be based on an implementation timeframe of 2016 to 2019. It will include:

  • Technical advice for the front end engineering and design;
  • Project management support to help progress the Project through tendering and award of contracts so that construction can commence;
  • An Environmental and Social Impact Assessment, Management Plan and Management System; and
  • A project manager, to be seconded into the Dominica Geothermal Company to coordinate all activities to execute the Project for a period of up to 24 months once the EPC contract has been signed, commencing in 2017 and concluding in 2019.

The assistance from the Government of New Zealand will provide the Government of Dominica with the technical expertise required to realize the construction of the 7 MW geothermal power plant to be commissioned in 2019.

The Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica expresses its profound gratitude to the Government of New Zealand for providing critical support to Dominica’s geothermal development efforts and in the country’s economic development.

READ MORE September 22, 2016

Signing Ceremony Held Between Dominica and Three Real Estate Developers Under the CBI Programme

dominica__developers_signing_ceremony

Monday, 5 September 2016 marked an important milestone in the development of luxury real estate in the Commonwealth of Dominica, as the Government signed agreements with three developers to become part of the nation’s Citizenship by Investment Programme pre-approved real estate option. The three developers are Oriental Developers (Caribbean) Ltd, represented by Mr Alick Lawrence, Ay Ay Holdings Caribbean Ltd, represented by Mr Samuel Raphael, and Bois Cotlette Estate Inc., represented by Mrs Rose-Anne Charles. The signing ceremony follows months, and sometimes years, of assessment on the part of the Government to ensure that only projects that are sustainable and in line with Dominica’s ‘nature island’ qualities are approved under the Programme.

Oriental Developers (Caribbean) Ltd will be responsible for the creation of Silver Beach Resort and Spa, a 200-room, 5-star development to be located in Portsmouth. Hundreds of local Dominicans are expected to be hired during its construction, and around 600 employees will be required for the effective running of the resort once it is fully operational. The hotel will be developed in the first half of 2017. Silver Beach Resort and Spa will “represent[…] and showcase[…] the natural attributes of the nature island,” said Mr Lawrence at the signing ceremony – something that is also reflected in the development’s motto: ‘escape to nature, surrender to luxury.’ Mr Lawrence also noted Oriental Developers (Caribbean) Ltd’s commitment to the community, and announced that a “substantial financial contribution” would be made by the company “to partner with the people of Portsmouth and the Government to construct a community centre” for local Portsmouth communities.

Ay Ay Holdings Caribbean Ltd is tasked with the redevelopment of Jungle Bay, an establishment with a long history on the island of Dominica, which is now being transferred to a new, larger property overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the island’s famous ‘Scott’s Head,’ and the town of Soufriere. Prior to August 2015, Jungle Bay had been voted the 3rd Top Hotel in the Caribbean and had won the World Responsible Tourism Award, and the new development is vying to be even more spectacular – providing visitors with 120 luxury eco-villas, two swimming pools, yoga studios, restaurants, and other amenities and infrastructure. The new resort will require over 100 staff members, and construction work will provide jobs for 120 workers over a period of three years. Developers plan to open the first 20 suites of the development in December 2018, or early 2019.

Bois Cotlette Estate Inc. is one of the most historical sites in Dominica, dating to 1735 and containing both coffee and cocoa fields. Today, it already holds direct contracts with nine cruise lines to offer tours to cruise passengers. The new development will see the building of 90 rooms, to be held within 20 luxury villas and 15 cottages, as well as the construction of conference facilities and sport and wellness amenities. Ground-breaking is expected to take place in March 2017, and the new development is due to be operational by June 2019. At least 90 direct and indirect jobs are to be created following the commencement of the project.

Dr the Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica, the Honourable Robert Tonge, Minister for Tourism and Urban Renewal, and the Honourable Dr John Collin McIntyre, Minister for Planning, Economic Development, and Investment, all attended the ceremony. Minister Tonge highlighted that these developments would increase the number of high-quality rooms and employment in management, and that staff training and customer service would improve throughout Dominica. He also underlined that the island would be certain to attract international brands to its shores, as well as large conferences. The Prime Minister emphasised that the approval of these three projects under the Citizenship by Investment Programme stands as an example of the Government’s continued effort to create a strong foundation for private sector investment in Dominica. He also said that “the Government has every confidence in the developers to carry through on the terms and conditions of the agreements,” and that he was proud to see citizens become involved with the Programme.

READ MORE September 6, 2016

Dominica Prime Minister 2016 Budget Speech

Dominica Prime Minister Budget Speech: “Building a More Resilient Dominica”

On 26th July 2016, during the financial budget announcement for 2016/2017, Dr the Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit endorsed the nation’s Citizenship by Investment Programme, noting that it stands as an “important non-tax earner” and a “credible means of financing development.”

Recent reforms to Dominica’s Programme have paved the way for it to become one of today’s most popular and transparent programmes. For example, reminded the Prime Minister, it was under his administration that a separate Government Unit was established to run the Programme, and that new, strict supervision of Government funds was implemented. Dominica is also celebrated for its stringent due diligence procedures, which it applies against all investors to ensure that only the “best and most credible applicants” are approved for citizenship.

In the previous financial year, said the Prime Minister, funds from the Citizenship by Investment Programme were directed towards geothermal projects and post-Tropical Storm Erika rehabilitation works.

The Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit also highlighted the impact of the Programme on the property sector. The Kempinski luxury project, which was started in January 2016, will result in a 160-room five-star resort. Tranquility Beach Dominica, the brainchild of a local Dominican, will be managed by Curio, a collection by Hilton, and provide 73 rooms. New projects, including Silver Beach, Bois Cotlette, Jungle Bay, and Secret Bay were also granted provisional approval.

The Prime Minister noted that the proposed fee increases would be deferred, dispelling recent speculation that contribution fees for single applicants choosing the Economic Diversification Fund (EDF) route would be raised by August 2016. The fee for single applicants will thus remain US$100,000.

Click here to see the entire budget speech.
For further enquiries, please contact us at cbiu@dominica.gov.dm

READ MORE July 27, 2016