Speaking to IMI during the Investment Immigration Summit in Ho Chi Minh City last month, Carlyle Rogers elaborated on his recent criticisms of the practice of having Caribbean prime ministers attend the private functions organized by service providers, a modus operandi he thinks harms perceptions of the citizenship by investment industry.
“Among certain quarters of the industry, there’s a growing perception that, perhaps, some of [the prime ministers in the Caribbean CIP-countries] are too close to a few individual service providers,” said Rogers, and pointed out that such relationships could lead to “long-term credibility issues” for the programs.
“So, perhaps it’s time for these beauty parades to come to an end.”
Emphasizing that he believes there’s nothing inherently wrong with such practices, Rogers conceded that there was a time when – due to the relative obscurity of the CIP concept – it was appropriate and necessary for heads of government to play an active role in the promotion of their programs to “lend credibility and build the brand”. He nonetheless indicated that the practice had now run its course and was doing more harm than good.
Questioned as to how he would respond to those who might object that – considering the impact CBI has on the GDP of several of the jurisdictions – such practices were justifiable, Rogers said the argument was a good one “until something goes wrong”.
Specifying what he meant by “go wrong”, he pointed to recent the media furore over the “special access or special sweetheart deals” that certain companies have had in the Caribbean.
“Only when something goes wrong do you see how dangerous these practices can be.”
See the full interview below:
More from Carlyle Rogers:
- Carlyle Rogers: 3 Vital Steps to Ensuring Caribbean CIP Sustainability
- Carlyle Rogers: RCBI-Industry Finds Itself in Crosshairs as OECD Continues War on Tax Competition
- Rogers: EU/OECD’s Real Concern About CIPs Is Tax Competition, Not “Good Governance” – Part 1
- Rogers: EU/OECD’s Real Concern About CIPs Is Tax Competition, Not “Good Governance” – Part 2