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Harmonization and Cooperation between Caribbean States

While presenting on the topic “The Caribbean Model for Unity” at the 2018 Caribbean Investment Summit being held in St. Kitts and Nevis from May 16-19, Mr. Les Khan, the current chairman of St. Kitts Citizenship by Investment Unit, mentioned that the Caribbean countries count with a platform of common support in matters of international cooperation. For example, Mr. Khan mentioned that cooperation between countries specifically in Citizenship by Investment could serve as an example to further enhance the prospects of this industry in the Caribbean region with the added benefit of bringing about more cohesive programmes as well as silencing dissenters of the schemes.

Mr. Khan, who also serves as Chairman of the Citizenship by Investment Programmes Association (CIPA), made a strong statement on behalf of the Caribbean nations who currently have an active Citizenship by Investment Program. This statement was directly related to a recent report done by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in which mentioned that CBI programs in the Caribbean region should be listed as “high risk”. While these declarations by such a prestigious International Organization such as the OECD can directly affect the economic outcome of this very important source of income for the development of these small island states, unity and mutual collaboration is needed to confront this type of challenges.

Harmonization and cooperation within the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) are of utmost importance in order to keep the Citizenship by Investment industry growing. Apart from the importance of cooperation between them, it is important to note the similarities that this has with the current European project called the European Union. In order for the OECS to carry out its mission, it works with further regional agencies to enhance cooperation. These agencies include the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Caribbean Development Bank. As of now, the OECS benefits from the EU’s €346 million allocations to CARICOM, which goes towards strengthening integration and cooperation within the region (European Union External Action, 2016). Apart from this type of partnerships within the region and in Europe, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States also share a single currency, the Eastern Caribbean Dollar which it is overseen by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, the monetary authority for the members of the OECS. Furthermore, this alliance does not only share mutual economic interests. They also share a common Supreme Court, based in St. Lucia with its two divisions, the High Court and the Court of Appeal. Further organizations that represent even more cooperation within this organization are the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) and the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA).

In lieu of this cooperation, members of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States should also sustain this level of mutual collaboration in the Citizenship by Investment Industry, which comes to be an important source of income for these economies. As Mr. Khan says, members should be united and confront and show the world that the Citizenship by Investment industry works for the development of a country.

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