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.