Ending CBI is “Not an Option” and Antigua Will “Fight it to the Bitter End,” Says Foreign Minister

During an appearance in Antigua News Room last week, Antigua & Barbuda’s Foreign Affairs Minister, E.P. Chet Greene expressed determination on the part of his government not to give up its CBI programs in the face of pressure from Europe and the US.

Questioned as to whether the government was “prepared to disband the program,” Antiguan Foreign Affairs Minister E.P. Chet Greene responded that “disbanding the program is not an option for us at the moment. And we won’t pre-empt losing this fight. We’ll fight it to the bitter end. We are strong in our views because we operate a program that is really above and beyond reproach. Our books can be pulled and can be reviewed; our reports are tabled in Parliament. So, we are doing everything that is required of us by law, in terms of what’s expected by international partners.”

Caribbean programs should be used as best-practice example

Politicians in the EU and the US, Minister Greene indicated, should not “try to broad-brush” Caribbean programs and lump them in with programs elsewhere that did not “operate in an optimal manner”. Rather, he pointed out, “they should look at us for what we bring to the table and how we manage the program and, if anything, cite us as an example of good management.”

Minister Greene also hinted at a certain hypocrisy in the EU and US approach: “They have their programs contributing to their economies,” he said, pointing out that while different terms may be used about investment migration programs in Europe and the US, they are “effectively the same”.

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Caribbean CBI jurisdictions have felt under pressure in recent weeks following a European Parliament vote that attempted to pressure the European Commission into proposing legislation to stop citizenship by investment in the Caribbean and the tabling of a US bipartisan bill aimed at much the same.

Antigua & Barbuda’s government has been the most proactive in its response to the perceived threat. Earlier this month, Antiguan PM Gaston Browne wrote to EU and US lawmakers, stressing CBI’s importance to Caribbean economies and emphasizing the integrity of such programs. The government has also proposed a pan-Caribbean CIP regulator as a means to help mollify European and American concerns.

Christian Henrik Nesheim AdministratorKeymaster

Christian Henrik Nesheim is the founder and editor of Investment Migration Insider, the #1 magazine – online or offline – for residency and citizenship by investment. He is an internationally recognized expert, speaker, documentary producer, and writer on the subject of investment migration, whose work is cited in the Economist, Bloomberg, Fortune, Forbes, Newsweek, and Business Insider. Norwegian by birth, Christian has spent the last 16 years in the United States, China, Spain, and Portugal.

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