CaribbeanInterviews

“We’ll Be Ready by June,” Says Grenada CBI Boss About Caribbean Price Increases


Speaking to IMI during Global Citizen Week in Cairo this week, Thomas Anthony, CEO of Investment Migration Agency Grenada, conceded that it took external pressure to finally bring about a regional accord on CBI pricing and rules after years of stunted attempts.

“We’ve not been very good at arriving at these positions on our own,” said Anthony, pointing out that it has historically taken outside encouragement to bring about talks of regional cooperation and coordination. Previous attempts at Caribbean CBI harmonization, through, for example, CIPA (the Citizenship by Investment Association), have come to naught.

Now, however, more than seven years since discussions began, at least four Caribbean CIPs (the notable exception is Saint Lucia) have rallied around a Memorandum of Agreement that promises joint due diligence, pan-Caribbean standards, and harmonized minimum prices starting at US$200,000.

Anthony indicated recent moves by the EU to make the operation of a CIP grounds for visa-waiver suspension had impressed upon Caribbean leaders the gravity and urgency of the situation and brought all but one of them to the table to produce a tangible agreement.

While the MoA is non-binding, Anthony assured the market that Grenada intends to live up to its commitments and will raise the minimum amount for donations to US$200,000 by the end of June.

“We are really serious about implementing the aspects of the agreement, including price,” he added. “So, we have started the process to be ready for implementation by June 30th, as agreed by our prime minister. We’ve begun the work on the legislative changes that are required […], so we’ll be ready to go by early June.”

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He confirmed that his conversations with leaders in Antigua & Barbuda and Dominica indicate this work is proceeding apace among the other signatory countries. He expects the necessary legislative changes to be completed by June for those programs as well.

Anthony also said he and his Antiguan counterpart Charmaine Quinland-Donovan are urging the other countries to meet under a revived CIPA umbrella to “iron out the technical aspects of this agreement.”

If the MoA, in addition to ETIAS, doesn’t adequately address EU concerns, nothing will

Questioned as to whether the implementation of the MoA in the Caribbean and the new ETIAS framework in Europe will be enough to allay European apprehensions about Caribbean CBI, he indicated he believes that should be the case.

“Once ETIAS, as it relates to Europe, and ETA, as it relates to the UK, are implemented, I think it will ease some of their fears because the overarching issue they shared with us is [the fear that] we are allowing individuals to bypass the visa process […] but ETIAS and ETA give them an opportunity to look at these individuals before they actually travel to their countries. So, my belief and hope is that once these programs [along with the MoA] are implemented fully, that will allay some of the fears of the Europeans and the British.”

He also agreed that – after ETA, ETIAS, and the Caribbean MoA have been fully implemented – the EU should have no remaining legitimate cause for concern and that, if they still do, “it will be clear that they have reasons other than national security concerns” driving the antipathy towards CBI.

In the full 15-minute interview, which our IMI Pro members can find in the IMI Pro Members’ Lounge, Anthony also reveals:

  • His impressions from the talks earlier this year between the EU and the Caribbean CBI countries regarding a possible visa-waiver suspension;
  • Whether the EU and UK are engaging in dialogue with the Caribbean in good faith or if they’ve already made up their minds about CBI programs;
  • How European election campaigns are influencing the EU’s position on Caribbean CBI programs;
  • How he plans to get through the entire application backlog from 2023 before the MoA takes effect by doubling his processing capacity.

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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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