The Cabinet of Ministers recently considered a Report on the feasibility of establishing a Global Residence and Citizenship Programme undertaken by a Committee established in August of last year for this purpose, a government press release this week says. It went on to say that the Committee was requested “to consider the question of broadening the framework under which citizenship [of St Lucia] might be offered as a part of a programme of investing” in the country and, in that regard, to “determine whether Saint Lucia should establish an economic programme and, if so, the best model to adopt”.
The Committee comprised Dr. Vaughan A. Lewis (Chairman), Mr. McHale Andrew, Mr. George Deterville, Ms. Brenda Duncan, Mr. Timothy Ferdinand, Mr. George Goddard and Mr. Nicholas John. Mr. John represented the Opposition on the Committee.
In its Report, the Committee took the view that a programme of this kind could constitute a strategy that could assist in responding to the fact that the some of the traditional economic activities which had been essential contributors to the growth of the St Lucian economy between the 1960s and the 1990s had now lost their significance. This was particularly so as a consequence of the loss of preferential arrangements and other factors relating to the increasing globalization and liberalization world production and trading arrangements.
The Report therefore argues that there is now an urgent need to seek alternative and novel sources of investment that can profit from current global economic arrangements. And in that regard, that there is some validity in adopting an economic strategy relating to widening the benefits to the country’s economy from making citizenship by investment programmes a significant aspect of St Lucia’s development.
The Committee took note of the fact that similar initiatives have been taken in both developed and developing countries, including countries in the Caribbean, and asserted that a model of investment appropriate to St Lucia’s circumstances could be beneficially implemented.
In order to further the process of seeking an appropriate approach to this initiative, the Cabinet of Ministers has decided that recommendations made by the Task Force should now be the subject of wide public consideration as a means of further informing Government’s approach to this issue.
The report is expected to be dispatched to the Leader of the Opposition inviting comments by March 5, 2015. The report was expected to be published along with a statement to the general public on February 11, 2015, inviting comments by March 5, 2015. The comments received are then expected to be reviewed and summarized for submission to Cabinet on March 9, 2015.