St. Lucia Rides COVID Storm as Good Governance Boosts International Investor Confidence
CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Oct. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Prime Minister of St. Lucia, the Hon. Allen Chastanet, says global investor interest in the country has not been curtailed by COVID-19. Speaking at the launch of the St. Lucia Citizenship-by-Investment Program's new brand visual identity and website, Prime Minister Chastanet said the Caribbean island nation has been exemplary in its handling of the pandemic, which has served to increase investor confidence and ensure that applications to the St. Lucia Citizenship-by-Investment Unit have continued to grow, with an impressive double-digit percentage increase in applicants in recent months.
"The current crisis has caused many business owners and investors to realize that they can operate remotely and that there's no need to be based in the big cities. St. Lucia's high-speed broadband network and direct flights to the US and London enable easy access to the rest of the world. Our uncompromising commitment to the highest standards of good governance, coupled with favorable head office legislative provision, makes it attractive for companies to move their headquarters to St. Lucia. We are still on track to meet our target of doubling our GDP in the next six years," explains Prime Minister Chastanet.
Nestor Alfred, CEO of the St. Lucia Citizenship-by-Investment Unit, says there are various options available to investors looking to secure citizenship of the country, starting at USD 100,000. "We offer significant return on investment at a competitive investment level, with visa-free access to 146 destinations worldwide, but our dedication to ensuring rigorous due diligence and accountability at the highest level across comparable options is what really underpins this strategic investment. The long-term growth and legacy options that St. Lucia offers can yield ongoing and exponential value for international investors."
In May, St. Lucia was the first Caribbean country to announce a new investment option for a limited time in response to the coronavirus pandemic. To qualify for citizenship via the COVID-19 Relief Bond option, which runs until 31 December 2020, an individual is required to make a minimum investment of USD 250,000 in a non–interest-bearing government bond that needs to be held for five years.
Prime Minister Chastanet explains that inflows from the program are placed into a national economic fund managed by an independent board and are used to build capacity, reduce debt, and make capital investments in St. Lucia. "Everything that the country was focused on pre-COVID has become even more relevant now: investment in education, building an e-government platform, simplification of the tax regime, investment in infrastructure, modernization of the security force and of the judicial system, and broadening the tourism offering. The citizenship-by-investment program can be a key source of funding in helping us to facilitate these developments, which is why we are constantly and vigorously engaging with key external stakeholders, including governments and supra-national organizations, to ensure that our investors retain the international market access that drove their initial investment decision."