NEWS

CBI Funds New Sports Complex in Dominica

The Prime Minister, Dr the Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit, announced that Dominica’s new multi-sport complex, a project estimated to cost $40 million, will be fully financed by the Citizenship by Investment Programme.

Dominica’s Citizenship by Investment Programme has been in existence since 1993, and is one of the most trusted economic citizenship options in the world, drawing applicants from all continents. The Programme offers two choices for citizenship: a donation to the Economic Diversification Fund (EDF) or an investment in pre-approved property, particularly hotels and resorts. Qualifying donations made to the EDF start at US$100,000 for single applicants, increasing to US$175,000 for a main applicant plus a spouse, and US$200,000 for a family of four with two children under the age of 18. EDF funds are used by the Government to improve infrastructure, promote personal development, and sponsor state projects including the multi-sport complex.

The Programme is “a major source of non-tax revenue for [the] country,” said the Prime Minister, who underlined: “We are not going to be looking for the money, we have the money to build the facility. The entire sum will come from the Citizenship by Investment Programme.”

Plans for the complex envision outdoor and indoor courts to play basketball, netball, volleyball, and tennis, as well as swimming facilities. “This is going to be a significant investment in our young people and in sports development,” noted Dr Skerrit, whose vision for the sport complex is one of a development that will inspire Dominica’s youth to develop their sporting skills, and even choose professional sport careers.

Marques and Marques Architectos, a Puerto Rican firm, has been tasked with the construction of the complex.

READ MORE June 20, 2017

The Jungle Bay Eco Resort

Perched on an expansive 20-acre plot that used to be part of the Elrose estate that overlooks Scotts Head, the under-construction Jungle Bay Eco Resort will integrate some of the original artefacts into the property when it’s complete. The 60-villa property will boast and two of the Caribbean’s largest yoga studios and will provide full-time employment for at least one hundred citizens when complete.

After the original property in Delices was ravaged by tropical storm Erika in 2015, owner and developer of the resort, Sam Raphael, chronicled the various developments that facilitated the resort’s re-emergence, and was effusive toward the Citizenship By Investment (CBI) programme during the ground blessing ceremony in Soufriere on Sunday.

“We all have a vested interest in our island and our community, and whether we are batting or we are fielding, we are in the same game,” he charged. “We have a lot of opinions in this island, but sometimes we are short of facts. CBI is a gift to this island. I know some of us may have apprehensions, but as small island states we have challenges.”

The Honourable Denise Charles, parliamentary representative for the area, expressed gratitude to the CBI and developers as she spoke on the behalf of residents from the surrounding community. According to Charles, “The relocation of Jungle Bay is truly a blessing to us in Soufriere. I want us to take ownership of it and protect it like it is our own. We have to be the keepers of Jungle Bay. I congratulate Mr. Raphael, Oliver St. Jean and my men from the constituency for their work so far [on the property’s development].”

PM Skerrit praised the CBI programme and said that Jungle Bay was yet another example of the success of the programme and its impact on the country.

“CBI has proven to be an important source of non-tax revenue for Dominica. Because our country was so cash strapped, it was difficult to acquire loans, but look at what we’ve done since Erika, thanks to the CBI,” he said.

 

READ MORE May 23, 2017

New West Bridge Inaugurated in Roseau

Starting the month on a strong note, Dominica celebrated 1 May 2017 with the opening of Roseau’s new West Bridge. The Bridge, an EC$18,182,437.35 project, is one of the crowning projects of the Skerrit Administration following the passage of Tropical Storm Erika in 2015 – demonstrating the ability for resilience and rebirth of the nation’s capital.

Prime Minister Dr the Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit addressed thousands of citizens at the opening ceremony, and launched an appeal to locals to suggest a new name for the Bridge, to be announced on 3 November 2017, Independence Day. He also entreated Dominicans to take care of the Bridge, and proudly noted that: “This bridge we are commissioning today is but the first phase of what is earmarked to become the gradual and deliberate modernization of Roseau. It will not all be accomplished under my watch, but I am determined to lay and leave the foundation of a new Dominica capital city; that will not only be the envy of the Caribbean, but the pride and joy of every Dominican, resident at home and abroad.”

The Bridge was constructed by NSG Management and Technical Services Limited of Barbados, which was in charge of demolishing the previous bridge and completing all aspects of rebuilding. The construction phase alone resulted in the hiring of 253 Dominicans, and seven non-citizens, all of which were applauded by the company for their ability to deliver the Bridge “on time and on budget.”

But the new West Bridge is just one iteration of Dominica’s commitment to restoring its infrastructure in the wake of the storm. Senator Miriam Blanchard, Dominica’s Minister for Public Works, said the project only heralds the end of phase one of the Roseau Enhancement Project – and that more is to follow. Three streets – Independence Street, Great George Street, and King George V Street – will also be repaired.

Another bridge in the capital, the Emmanuel Christopher Loblack (E. C. Loblack) Bridge, which celebrates one of Dominica’s most prominent politicians and trade unionists, was also restored with the consent and approval of Mr Loblack’s children.

READ MORE May 2, 2017

Petite Savanne Constituency Receives CBI Funds Amounting to EC$1,212,441

Our Citizenship by Investment Programme is once again playing a key role in sustaining our people, revitalising our economy, and supporting our country’s journey to prosperity, as over EC$1.2 million of Programme funds were presented to the Petite Savanne Constituency for infrastructure rehabilitation and enhancement projects.

In a special handover ceremony held on 13 April 2017, Petite Savanne MP Dr the Honourable Kenneth Darroux, who is also the Minister for Health and Environment, gave a detailed account of the allocation of funds, stating that the disbursement was the result of “a lot of interaction with the village councils and intercession… on behalf of the council and the communities.”

The Bagatelle Village Council was presented with a cheque totalling EC$365,318, EC$211,008 of which will be used to complete the Stowe community road, and EC$154,310 of which will be used to rehabilitate the Fond St Jean link road. Minister Darroux explained the significance of the Stowe community road funding, adding that “never before in the history [of Stowe] has any government or administration or Member of Parliament paid any attention to the little road network in Stowe, and it’s quite a growing community.”

He also explained that the Fond St Jean area is fast-expanding, and that it is important to make it accessible by “vehicular traffic.”

The Bellevue Chopin Council benefitted from a sum of EC$547,123 for the completion of three main roads. Meanwhile, the Village Council of Pichelin received EC$300,000 towards the construction of a river wall. The Chairman of the Pichelin Village Council, Mr Albert Cuffy, said he was “very happy this morning that the presentation to be made to the community of Pichelin is to put up a retaining wall to mitigate the damage that has already started taking place along this riverside.”

All funds provided were made available by revenue from the Citizenship by Investment Programme, one of the world’s most popular and well-respected citizenship options. Investors under the Programme are encouraged to contribute to the Economic Diversification Fund (EDF), which then redirects moneys towards local development projects. A staunch supporter of the Programme, Minister Darroux remarked that “without Citizenship by Investment funding, none of what we see happening now would be happening.” He also went on to say that citizenship by investment “is a very important source of revenue, because from this revenue we can see now what we are trying to do now to improve the lives of our citizens, especially serving those in the rural areas.”

In 2015, Tropical Storm Erika caused nationwide devastation, and the Citizenship by Investment Programme has been instrumental in hastening recovery and assisting hard-hit communities such as Petite Savanne. It is thanks to the Programme and the leadership of Prime Minister Dr the Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit, that the Government has been able to remain committed to mobilising recovery efforts, promote resilience, and bring about the country’s socio-economic regeneration.

 

READ MORE April 28, 2017

Citizenship by Investment Funds Roadworks in Grand Bay

Over EC$1 million (around US$370,000) in funds generated by our Citizenship by Investment Programme will be used to sponsor roadworks in the Grand Bay Area. The project, funded on seven contracts signed on 5 April 2017, will be essential to improving access to homes and businesses, and will ensure that our roads are made safer for use. Amongst the envisioned changes is the transformation of dirt roads into concrete roads, as well as essential drainage work.

The signing ceremony for the seven contracts was attended by Member of Parliament Justina Charles and two Village Council Officials. Mrs Charles noted that almost EC$4 million had already been disbursed to improve roads in the community, and was optimistic about work being completed by the end of the year.

Speaking on the importance of citizenship by investment for the Commonwealth of Dominica, the Chairman of the Grand Bay Village Council, Mr Edward Registe, remarked: “as Dominicans we need to support the [Citizenship by Investment] Programme because without it our country would have collapsed already.” He also expressed hope that the roadworks would increase employment in the area, particularly for Dominica’s youth.

READ MORE April 6, 2017

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