Hon. Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit is defending the economic citizenship programme describing it as a vital part of growth and job creation in Dominica and such ought to be embraced.
At the closing ceremony for celebrations of Petro Caribe’s 10th year anniversary, last Friday July 10th, the Hon. Prime Minister referenced several countries around the world which have done well through such programmes.
“You hear people talking about the Economic Citizenship Programme and all sorts of aspersions are cast but you hear nothing [about] Cyprus which has had the programme for many years; the United States has a programme which grants Green Cards, and tens of thousands of Chinese nationals have invested hundreds of billions of dollars in the United States of America under the EB-5 Programme.
“Malta has an Economic Citizenship Programme, Portugal as well. Canada was a pioneer of the Economic Citizenship Programme; they just stopped it about three years ago and at that time they had about 60,000 applications in their system.”
The Finance Minister continued, “People give you the impression that the only place which has a programme is Dominica and it is this devil which we have to get rid of. Then we find ourselves of Dominica being quoted making malicious and unfounded statements about the programme seeking to undermine the programme and therefore remove…a very important tool for economic activity, growth and job creation in the country; jobs for which we are all yearning.”
A recent addition to the programme is the Citizenship by Investment component which has, so far, attracted investors including Range Capital Partners Dominica Ltd. who will erect a 100+ room luxury hotel in Portsmouth.
The Economic Citizenship Programme, which was started in 1999, gives potential investors an opportunity to contribute to Dominica’s economy in exchange for Dominican citizenship.