Grenada considering going the route of economic citizenship
Grenada considering using citizenship rights to attract investment inflows.
ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada, Thursday December 8, 2011 – The harsh economic realities now facing Grenada has led government to consider offering overseas investors citizenship in exchange for large financial injections into the island.
This would put Grenada in the class of Austria, and fellow Eastern Caribbean islands St Kitts and Nevis and Dominica, currently the only three countries in the world who offer such programmes.
The possible move in this direction was revealed recently by Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture, Peter David, as he outlined a new tourism development plan for the island at an all-day conference at the Grenada Trade Centre in Morne Rouge, St. George’s, attended by close to three hundred people including prime minister Tillman Thomas; Richard Sealy, Minister of Tourism for Barbados; and St. Kitts and Nevis Tourism Minister Ricky Skeritt, who is also chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation.
“We have listened with interest to the proposal for an Investment Incentive Package for qualified applicants,’’ Minister David told the conference.
“One component of the proposed package," said the Tourism Minister, “recommends that the government set up a 30-day guarantee on Alien Landholding Licences. This means that an applicant for a licence will get an answer within 30 days. That answer either should be licence granted, licence denied or we have queries on your application and we need you to answer the following questions."
During consultations to formulate the tourism strategic plan, suggestions were made on giving special consideration for citizenship “to persons who are actually investing in the country,’’ said David.
“This investment by bona fide investors must be sizeable," he said. “It must come with certain conditions based on size of investment, numbers of Grenadians employed by the investor and the overall impact on the economy of the investment."
He also acknowledged the need to better streamline and make more efficient the investor procedure process.
In addition, said the minister, recognition is given under the plan of “the need to attract capital into Grenada for the purpose of infrastructure development, in particular for the expansion of our hotel room stock. With just over 1500 rooms, it is necessary to expand that sector. For this purpose it was the view that government needs to come up with creative strategies to attract investors."
One of the proposals outlined to help lure investors and more tourists to the country will be to set up a Tourism Ambassadors’ Program, through the soon-to-be-established Tourism Authority, which Minister David described as “an inexpensive way of marketing this island."
The aim of the program, he explained, would be for the appointed ambassadors “to use their vast network and influence to facilitate investment into Grenada and also find opportunities for Grenadian goods and services on the international market."
Several ideas are being examined on a list of priorities for more efficient and targeted marketing of Grenada. “These include the use of prominent Grenadians such as Kirani James, Rondell Bartholomew, Jason Roberts and Johnson Beharry as spokespersons in effectively marketing Grenada to the world,’’ Mr. David said.
– will consider several options. These include the use of prominent Grenadians such as Kirani James, Rondell Bartholomew, Jason Roberts and Johnson Beharry as spokespersons in effectively marketing Grenada to the world.
He also called on the island’s insurance companies, banks and other financial institutions to invest in the tourism industry and urged local businessmen and women to form consortia to invest in Grenada’s sites and other attractions.