In his budget speech, delivered in Parliament on Wednesday, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica revealed his government expects revenues related to the country’s Citizenship by Investment Programme to account for nearly 52% of total government revenue over the upcoming fiscal year.
The total expected revenue, he said, would amount to some EC$788.7 million, of which EC$406.6 million would arise from the Dominica CIP.
Following last year’s hurricane season, the CIP has become absolutely critical to continued economic activity on the island.
“Hurricane Maria wiped out the equivalent of EC$3.51 billion dollars or some 226% of our GDP,” Skerrit told Parliament.
Considering Dominica’s 2017 GDP of EC$1.55 billion, the program not only accounted for more than half of government revenue but also more than a quarter of the country’s economic activity overall.
In an interview with Investment Migration Insider earlier this year, Prime Minister Skerrit said his country’s citizenship by investment program has been “literally, a lifesaver” in the wake of the hurricanes.
Hotel sector rapidly expanding
The Prime Minister was also sanguine in his outlook on CIP-related revenues in light of several important developments in the hospitality sector.
“Madam Speaker, barring any setbacks, we can look forward during the next calendar year to positive outcomes in respect of hotel projects funded under the Citizenship by Investment Programme,” said Skerrit, and went on to list the development status of the respective hotels.
“Within a few weeks after the hurricane, work resumed on the Kempinski Resort project. All major structural works have been completed, with the exception of ongoing roof installation that was damaged by hurricane Maria. Some 450 construction workers are currently on the job and the hotel is expected to be opened by the third quarter of 2019,” said Skerrit of Range’s large-scale project, which will be Dominica’s first five-star resort.
Of Sam Raphael’s Jungle Bay Development, the PM said “phase 1, comprising 30 villas, is targeted for opening by February 2019 and the entire project is expected to be fully completed and operational by December 2019.” The PM also said that Mariott’s upcoming Anichi Resort was “advancing speedily. When completed, this hotel will add 128 rooms to the existing hotel stock and should employ up to 280 persons,” before adding that the Tranquility Beach Hotel was “gearing up for the commencement of construction”.