OECS Convenes Citizenship by Investment Stakeholder Meeting

OECS Convenes Citizenship by Investment Stakeholder Meeting

OECS Media Release

Representatives from the region’s five Citizenship by Investment Programmes (CIP) met in Saint Lucia today to explore opportunities for increased collaboration and harmonisation of due diligence processes.

The meeting, convened at the behest of Heads of Government of OECS Member States with CIP programmes, provided a platform to discuss further harmonisation of CIPs across the region and consider ways in which strategic collaboration could enhance the quality and efficiency of the Citizenship by Investment service.

Among other agenda items, the establishment of an equal standard for vetting of candidates and the implementation of an information sharing mechanism were outlined as areas for deeper cooperation.

Prime Minister of St. Lucia and incoming Chairman of the OECS Authority, Hon. Allen Chastanet, said that a shared intelligence system would streamline the due diligence process in each Member State.

 “If an applicant applies in St. Lucia and is rejected, mechanisms must be in place to ensure that this person does not surface elsewhere in the region as a citizen through another CIP,” Prime Minister Chastanet said. 

The meeting also reviewed and proposed amendments to a Policy & Procedures Manual prepared by the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS).  This feedback is to be forwarded to the CIP Standing Working Committee established by CARICOM.

In his remarks to the Meeting, Director General of the OECS Dr. Didacus Jules noted that many of the leading Western Economies had some variant of the Citizenship by Investment Programme but still exerted pressure on poorer, more vulnerable countries doing the same.

“When the weak and vulnerable are able to successfully engage on playing fields like these, every effort is made by the strong and powerful to change the rules of the game. 

“Our only chance of winning is to make the integrity of these programs unassailable,” he asserted.

The maintenance of international credibility and integrity for the region's Citizenship by Investment Programmes was outlined as a priority.

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The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is an International Organisation dedicated to economic harmonisation and integration, protection of human and legal rights, and the encouragement of good governance among independent and non-independent countries in the Eastern Caribbean. The OECS came into being on June 18th 1981, when seven Eastern Caribbean countries signed a treaty agreeing to cooperate with each other while promoting unity and solidarity among its Members. The Treaty became known as the Treaty of Basseterre, so named in honour of the capital city of St. Kitts and Nevis where it was signed. The OECS today, currently has eleven members, spread across the Eastern Caribbean comprising Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and The Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Martinique and Guadeloupe. 

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
Morne Fortune
Saint Lucia