Citizenship by Investment programme becomes catalyst in development of St Kitts and Nevis

Basseterre, June 20, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Despite being the smallest country in the Western Hemisphere, the twin-island Federation of St Kitts and Nevis gave the world its first economic citizenship programme in 1984. It provides alternative citizenship in exchange for a financial contribution to the country’s economy.

St Kitts and Nevis is well-known across the world for its pristine beaches and sheer blue waters; it is also among the most stable economies in the region, with tourism being the major source of income. The stability and tranquil environment of the country enable it as an ideal location for people seeking alternative citizenship. There is no denying that the CBI programme of the country offers a much-needed injection of foreign direct investment, often in a way that can make significant developmental differences.

The twin-island nation is indeed home to the world’s longstanding economic citizenship programme and has been providing alternative citizenship for more than three decades. The Citizenship by Investment Programme of the country is the oldest programme across the globe. The CBI Programme guarantees platinum standards with increased mobility, sustainable investment opportunities and greater economic freedom for successful applicants.

For St Kitts and Nevis, the citizenship by investment programme has a vital role to play in its socio-economic development. The programme is crucial for funding many projects. As per the CBI experts, the alternative citizenship of St Kitts and Nevis country is the most powerful in the region and provides access to more than 75 percent of the world. Not only this, but the citizenship is granted for life to the applicants with the ability to add additional dependents.

The citizenship by investment programme has been lauded for its stringent, vigorous and robust due-diligence background checks. The multi-layered background checks are carried out internally by the citizenship by investment unit based on the original and certified supporting documents an agent submits with your application, as well as externally by the third-party firm. The government of St Kitts and Nevis has hired the world’s top-tier independent third-party agencies to check the character, source of investment, and documents of applicants. The checks are not only limited to online information, but also does thorough on-ground examinations to ensure that a person of only the highest character is granted citizenship. The background checks help maintain the integrity of the programme and also ensure national and international security.

The CBI Programme has earned multiple awards and a reputation as the ‘platinum standard’ of CBI. The Financial Times’ PWM magazine lauded Citizenship by Investment Programme of St Kitts and Nevis in the CBI Index. According to the nine pillars of the CBI Index of 2021, St Kitts and Nevis have been ranked first for “Citizenship Timeline”, “Due Diligence”, and “Family”.

Interested candidates may apply for alternative citizenship of the nation through the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF), which is known as the Fund Option. It is considered the fastest investment option, launched in 2018 by Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris. Through SGF, an applicant may contribute to the growing economy of St Kitts and Nevis. St Kitts and Nevis CBI Programme create opportunities for investors and the local community to drive economic growth and build a sustainable future.

The applicant has to follow basic steps to apply for the alternative citizenship of the twin-island Federation –

Step 1: Choose an alternative agent across the globe

Step 2: Complete the applications and documentation

Step 3: Due Diligence

Step 4: If your application is selected, proceed to payment

Step 5: Certification

Located in the Caribbean region, St Kitts and Nevis is easily accessible by cruise ships and planes. The nation is known as the region’s best-kept secret. The stunning beauty, rich history and friendly locals make the country a perfect must-visit travel destination. The nation has been regarded “splendid” due to the seven factors – volcanoes, mountains, coral reefs, protected areas, coastlines, rainforests, and glaciers.

St Kitts is known to be party-friendly and Nevis is all about peace and nature. The Caribbean country will attract the tourists with fascinating activities, including bobbing yachts, swaying palm trees, and jaw-dropping sunset sights. The tourists may also enjoy the warm local feel, island’s rich history or kick back at one of the many incredible resorts.

St Kitts and Nevis, two islands have been separated by a two-mile channel, which is popularly called “Narrows”. The tourists may easily travel between both the nations through excellent ferry services which accommodates both persons and cars. Both are regarded as quaint in nature with cobbled sidewalks and a wealth of history on display. These islands offer magnificent historical sites and landmarks to explore, including the Circus Monument, which adorns Fort Street, the main thoroughfare in Basseterre and the Museum of Nevis History in Charlestown. The Brimstone Hill Fortress and National Park is acclaimed as the largest fortress in the Eastern Caribbean and is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

PR St Kitts and Nevis
Government of St. Kitts and Nevis
pr@csglobalpartners.com

Côte d’Ivoire welcomes families home, as refugee status formally ends

The resolution of a civil conflict fuelled-displacement crisis in Côte d’Ivoire, that at its height forced more than 300,000 people to flee to neighbouring countries and beyond, is “a welcome bright spot amid a rising global trend of forced displacement”, said the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, on Monday.

The process to formally end refugee status for Ivorian refugees comes into effect on 30 June, acknowledging the end of an era of displacement for hundreds of thousands.

The development follows the peaceful resolution of two decades of intermittent civil strife, and political instability I the West African nation.

Last month, UNHCR announced that the war in Ukraine and other ongoing crises, had pushed the number of people forced to flee conflict and persecution worldwide beyond 100 million for the first time.

Homecoming

At a ceremony on Saturday in Abidjan hosted by the President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara, and featuring national representatives and ambassadors from countries that hosted Ivorian refugees, High Commissioner Filippo Grandi met former refugee families and wished them well on their return home.

“For those of us in UNHCR, nothing is better than witnessing the end of exile. After two decades, Ivorian refugees can come home safely and in dignity. They are proud Ivorians – living and working in their own communities or in neighboring countries,” he said.

“The return of hundreds of thousands of Ivorians demonstrates to the region – and the world – what is possible when there is political will to end violence and true cooperation among nations.”

Some staying on

Under the terms of the cessation agreement, countries hosting Ivorian refugees are encouraged to facilitate their voluntary repatriation, or, for those few Ivorians who have chosen to remain, to facilitate local integration, a path to permanent residency and naturalization.

Ivorians fled the country in two distinct waves, following civil strife between 2002 and 2007, and 2011 and 2012, UNHCR noted.

Thousands of people also fled to neighbouring countries just two years ago, amid fears of violence linked to presidential and parliamentary elections.

More than 310,000 Ivorian refugees, or 96 per cent of all those registered across West Africa, have chosen to return.

Over 11,000 of the 14,000 people who have returned this year, have arrived from neighbouring Liberia, where UNHCR is organizing weekly transportation for Ivorians wishing to return home.

Ivorians returning home may face challenges reintegrating, and will need sustained help, said UNHCR, but the Government has committed its support to their reintegration and local communities are welcoming them back.

Grandi at the border

Mr. Grandi travelled to the Liberian border to accompany Ivorian refugees on the last stage of their journey home by ferry across the river that marks the frontier between the two countries.

Liberian authorities formally delivered birth certificates to their Ivorian counterparts, to ensure returnees can enroll their children in schools, obtain national identity cards and register to vote.

The High Commissioner pledged UNHCR’s continued support to Côte d’Ivoire and the countries that hosted Ivorian refugees to implement the cessation clauses, and assist all those wishing to return home.

Source: United Nations

Deputy Secretary-General Hails General Assembly Resolution Proclaiming 24 June International Day of Women in Diplomacy, Calls for Gender Parity

Following are UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, at the General Assembly’s adoption of a resolution on the International Day of Women in Diplomacy, in New York today:

It is a pleasure to be here today at the General Assembly’s adoption of the resolution on the “International Day of Women in Diplomacy”. I welcome the leadership of the Maldives and the core group of countries — El Salvador, Eritrea, Grenada, Guyana, Kenya, Latvia, Lebanon, Maldives, Malta, Qatar, Saint Lucia and South Africa — in tabling this resolution, and of the co-sponsors for its broad cross-regional support.

In 2022, women represent slightly over a third of the Security Council’s permanent representatives. However, this is far higher than the average, and far from enough. Evidence shows that women’s representation has not been linear, with numbers dependent on the women trailblazers we all know.

As Ghanaian barrister, politician and former minister, Hanna Serwaa Tetteh, the current Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Horn of Africa, has said: “Very often, this is a path you walk alone.”

As the Secretary-General often reminds us, gender equality is essentially a question of power. And historically, power has been mostly in the hands of men. Gender equality and women’s equal leadership are fundamental prerequisites for a safe, peaceful and sustainable world for all. We must all do everything possible to ensure women are at the table, our voices heard and our contributions valued.

Women bring immense benefits to diplomacy. Women’s leadership styles and priorities broaden the breadth of issues under consideration and the quality of outcomes, by making decisions more durable and inclusive.

Research shows that when women participate in peace negotiations, they are more durable. And when women serve in cabinets and parliaments, they pass laws and policies that are better for ordinary people, children, the environment and social cohesion.

Advancing positive, proactive measures to increase women’s participation in peace and political processes is vital to achieve women’s de facto equality and sustainable peace, in the context of entrenched discrimination. Addressing violence against women is also critical to protecting their ongoing participation and preventing their voices from being silenced.

The United Nations is leading by example and continues to demonstrate its commitment to women’s equal rights and empowerment within our Organization, and around the world. At the most senior level, we achieved gender parity early last year among Heads and Deputy Heads of missions, and we are working to maintain that.

In Iraq, the United Nations political messaging to boost women’s participation and counter gender-based violence and hate speech targeting women candidates contributed to the election of almost 30 per cent of women to the Council of Representatives in October 2021 — a historic achievement.

The Peacebuilding Fund is also investing in initiatives that address violence against women in politics, and promote peaceful and credible political processes, including in Guinea Bissau, Colombia and Sierra Leone.

From the socioeconomic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to the devastating global effects of the war in Ukraine, the global challenges facing our world are many and multidimensional.

Achieving peace and sustainable development requires that we mobilize the abilities and potential of everyone. We can never succeed without the best efforts of half the population. This means taking bold action to fast-track women’s leadership and participation. I therefore welcome the tabled resolution on the International Day of Women in Diplomacy. I encourage all to see this day as an annual opportunity to reflect on the successes of women who have paved the way. And to recommit to doing everything in our power to promote the cause of women diplomats until we achieve parity in every United Nations organization, the Council and General Assembly. Thank you.

Source: United Nations

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Economic Diplomacy and Openness Kostas Fragogiannis’ interview with ANA-MPA and journalist Sophia Aravopoulou (19. 06. 2022)

The importance of the direct air connection between Greece and Libya, and consequently between Libya and Europe, following an interruption of eight years, which our country has already launched with a call for tenders “running” by the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority since June 9 and the notice of the concession of the relevant rights to be announced in the first days of July, emphasized Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Economic Diplomacy and Openness, Kostas Fragogiannis, in an interview with the Athenian-Macedonian News Agency and journalist Sofia Aravopoulou.

Mr. Fragogiannis also talked about the economic relations that have been further developed recently, opening up new perspectives with Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Regarding Israel in particular, the Deputy Minister believes that his recent trip “offered another vote of confidence in Greece as a reliable interlocutor and a safe investment destination”. He highlighted the excellent and systematic cooperation that has been developed with the “reliable interlocutor and now a friend” Saudi Minister of Investment Khalid Al Faleh, with a roadmap that has been consolidated by the two recent reciprocal business missions to Riyadh and Athens.

He also discussed in detail Athens’ and Dubai’s shared desire “to add even more depth to our genuinely strategic partnership”. A fact that is also vividly demonstrated by the two-day visit next Wednesday in Athens by Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology of the United Arab Emirates, who will launch the Greek-Emirati Business Forum with the participation of dozens of Emirati companies from the tourism, energy, agro-industry, health and pharmaceutical industries, transport and infrastructure, waste management.

Lastly, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs provided an overview of how and where our country is headed in the key area of Economic Diplomacy and strategic investments, and its immediate further prospects. In this regard, he expressed his optimism that “we will reach the target we have set to increase Foreign Direct Investment to 4% of GDP by 2023 – from 1.8% in 2019 – and that we will soon be able to set even more ambitious targets”.

The full text of Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Economic Diplomacy and Openness, K. Fragogiannis’ interview is as follows:

JOURNALIST: You recently returned from Israel having signed two memoranda of understanding on targeted actions. What areas is the Israeli interest focused on and what are the prospects for strengthening bilateral economic relations in the near future?

?. FRAGOGIANNIS: In recent years we have experienced constant, unexpected and challenging disruptions resulting in significant geopolitical turbulence. In such an environment, it is essential to reaffirm our traditionally friendly relations and to understand who our allies are. In this regard, my recent trip to Israel provided another vote of confidence in Greece as a reliable interlocutor and a safe investment destination.

Actually, the two new Memoranda of Understanding we signed, the first with the Israel Export & International Cooperation Institute and the second with the Israel Foreign Trade Risks Insurance Corporation (ASHRA), ratified and institutionalized this relationship of trust. Both organisations are of recognized standing in their respective fields, while the agreements ensure, inter alia, the exchange of know-how, commercial information and information on ongoing projects.

We value our strategic relationship with Israel and our historic ties of friendship.

Our aim is to undertake joint initiatives in critical areas of mutual interest in the field of new technologies: the evaluation of projects to exploit renewable energy sources, to improve agricultural production and to carry out high-tech projects in defence and cyber security, to name but a few.

In this field, there was in fact a strong interest in the “Astypalea: Smart & Sustainable Island” project voiced by companies in the green economy sector, both regarding its evaluation and in the participation for its implementation.

JOURNALIST: How are our relations with Libya, now that the Greek side and you personally have taken important steps: the reopening of the Greek embassy in Tripoli and our consulate in Benghazi, and the large business mission with Greek businessmen last October to contribute to the reconstruction of the country and wider bilateral economic cooperation?

?. FRAGOGIANNIS: Libya is part of our immediate neighbourhood, and unfortunately still continues to suffer the devastating consequences of a decade-long civil war. The Libyan people deserve a peaceful future where their fate will be in their own hands, without the presence of foreign troops, mercenaries and foreign fighters. In terms of Economic Diplomacy, we still want to see the Greeks of Libya and the Greek business community playing a prominent role again in the reconstruction of the country.

Afterall, this is the goal of the intense activity we are engaged in, with our recurrent visits to Libya – five in 2021 – both at the level of political leadership and with a business mission. We intend to strengthen bilateral economic and trade relations as well as the Greek business presence, in the sectors of infrastructure, transport, energy and medical services.

Indicatively, some necessary infrastructure projects in Libya in which we can and want the Greek business world to play an active role include the maintenance and modernization of airports, ports and major road networks, projects to restore the electricity generation and distribution network, while the development and operation of medical units and hospitals is also crucial for the country.

I’d like to emphasize that Greece is fighting the battle for the economic development and improvement of the quality of life of Libyan citizens. Greece is present in Libya and will shortly reestablish connection with it.

JOURNALIST: What do you mean by our country is fighting the battle for economic development and what is the connection that you are referring to?

K. FRAGOGIANNIS: I am referring to the discussions on establishing a direct air connection between Greece and Libya, which we were specifically asked for in our meetings with both Libyan officials and Greek businessmen who are operating there.

We proceeded, through an open and transparent process, after a great deal of effort, and in coordination with the other relevant ministries and departments, to call for expression of interest from all Greek airlines for the direct air connection between Greece and Libya.

The call for tenders was published by the Civil Aviation Authority already on 9 June and the concession of the relevant flight rights will be announced during the first few days of July, which is a first crucial step towards the implementation of the air connection, which is expected to take place in the near future.

The prospect of resuming a direct scheduled flight connection between Greece and Libya, and thus between Libya and Europe, after an eight-year hiatus, marks the major role that our country plays in the effort to create growth momentum in our neighbouring country. The direct air connection will serve as a vehicle for enhancing bilateral economic cooperation, especially in the fields of trade, construction and tourism.

JOURNALIST: Our economic relations with Saudi Arabia have particularly increased recently. As you’ve stated, our relations, are better than ever. Last March you led a major business mission to Riyadh. A large Saudi business delegation led by Khalid Al Faleh, Minister of Investment, came to Athens about 20 days ago. A historic agreement on data transfer was also signed. The interest, as emerged from the contacts in Athens, is great. What follow-up is there to expect?

K. FRAGOGIANNIS: It should come as no surprise that we have strong ties with the Gulf region and Saudi Arabia in particular. After all, we live in the same wider region, and we share the same geopolitical challenges. Indeed, successive trips by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, during the difficult period of the pandemic, as well as contacts with his successor, resulted in the re-establishment of strong ties with the Gulf. We are now in the process of forging a strong strategic partnership between the two countries.

In this regard, we are working diligently with the Saudi Minister of Investment Khalid Al Faleh, who, I must say, has shown to be a reliable interlocutor and now a friend. In fact, the 5th meeting of the Joint Interministerial Committee was convened on 29-31 May 2022 during the recent visit of the business delegation from Saudi Arabia. During this meeting, we also proceeded with the signing of the Heads of Terms of a Greek-Saudi agreement for the construction of a submarine and terrestrial optic data transmission cable system, which will connect Europe and Asia via Greece and Saudi Arabia. It is the East to Med data Corridor, a flagship project that takes advantage of the two countries’ geographical location to establish a much-required data corridor between Europe and Asia for the global economy.

However, it is not only transnational relations that are moving in a positive direction. The informal meeting of the Greece-Saudi Arabia Business Council, held during the recent visit of the Saudi business delegation was an important development. During this meeting heads were appointed – on both sides – per sector of activity (tourism, shipping, infrastructure, innovation, energy), who are tasked with running specific projects and private deals.

As you mention in your question, the overarching issue in our policy and in all the initiatives we take in economic diplomacy is the follow-up, that is, the monitoring of agreements, projects and expected deliverables. It is a challenging task to carry out in a purely political ministry that is not related with the production processes required by economic and business agreements. And in this process, we are now being assisted by the private sector with which we maintain close cooperation through the supervised bodies Enterprise Greece and Export Credit Greece.

JOURNALIST: There is also interest from the United Arab Emirates. Would you like to talk about that?

K. FRAGOGIANNIS: The two countries’ intensive contacts at all levels over the past two years, demonstrate the exceptional level of bilateral relations and the convergence we have on a wide range of issues. At the same time, the business missions from the Emirates to Athens, as well as Greece’s presence at the Dubai exhibition, coordinated by Enterprise Greece, indicate our common desire to further deepen our truly strategic partnership.

In the coming days, on 22 and 23 June, the Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology of the United Arab Emirates, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, will be in Athens to launch the Greek-Emirati Business Forum that will take place in Athens. It is worth mentioning that the Forum is convened on the initiative of the Emirati side and in particular the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund: the ADQ. The entire event demonstrates Emirati companies’ keen interest in cooperating with Greek companies and investing in Greece. After all, just last month the Hellenic Development Bank of Investments (EATE) and the Abu Dhabi State Development Holding Company (ADQ) signed an agreement for the realization of 4 billion euros of investments in Greece.

Dozens of Emirati companies from the sectors of tourism, energy, agro-industry, health and pharmaceuticals, transport and infrastructure, and waste management will participate in the forum. Emirates Telecommunications Corporation – Etisalat, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority – ADIA, International Petroleum Investment Company – IPIC, Eagle Hills Properties LLC, Abu Dhabi National Energy Company – TAQA, Dubai Holding Group, Al Dahra Agricultural Company and Fly Emirates are just a few examples.

The renewal, also in May 2022, of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between EATE and the Mubadala sovereign wealth fund, for joint investments in start-up and innovative SMEs is equally important.

JOURNALIST: Strategic investment is one of Economic Diplomacy’s top priorities. And the results thus far indicate this. Is there something underway? Would you like to share your thoughts about the prospects?

K. FRAGOGIANNIS: The Inter-ministerial Committee on Strategic Investments is meeting next week and it will make new announcements. It is now evident to Greek society that investments unquestionably play a key role in the economic development of a country. At the same time, they are a crucial indicator of the Greek economy’s extroversion, but also of investors’ confidence in its resilience. With our country’s new National Strategic Plan for Extroversion, all our objectives are documented and measurable, all actions are systematic and targeted, and I dare say that the results are impressive.

From July 2019 to date, thirty-five (35) projects with a total budget of around €6.5 billion have been included in the Strategic Investments, projected to create 3,740 new jobs. In addition, dossiers are currently being prepared for at least five (5) new investment projects, while we work to attract more and more and larger capital in every trip abroad and in every contact with entrepreneurs and investors, presenting the opportunities, tax incentives and the favourable environment that has now been created in the country for international entrepreneurship.

It is worth noting that the investment sectors span from tourism, energy, global service centers, information and communication technologies to pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, food and agricultural products, supply chain and audiovisual production.

We are optimistic that we will meet our target of increasing FDI to 4% of GDP by 2023 – up from 1.8% in 2019 – and that we will soon be able to set even more ambitious targets.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic

Trilateral meeting between Greece, Cyprus and Armenia on Diaspora Affairs (Patras, 24.06.2022)

A trilateral meeting between Greece, Cyprus and Armenia on Diaspora Affairs will be convened in Patras on Friday, June 24, 2022.

The host Greek side will be represented by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Andreas Katsaniotis, the Cypriot side by the Presidential Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs and Overseas Cypriots, Fotis Fotiou, and the Armenian side by the High Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs, Zareh Sinanyan. Following the meeting, a Memorandum of Understanding will be signed and statements to the Press will take place.

Accredited correspondents of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who are interested in covering the abovementioned meeting are kindly requested to contact Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs A.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic

UN warns African refugees face food cuts due to inadequate funds

ROME, June 20 (NNN-AGENCIES) — The United Nation’s World Food Programme (WFP) warned that refugees in East and West Africa faced smaller food rations due to a surge in demand and insufficient funding.

Three-quarters of refugees in East Africa supported by the United Nations’ programme have seen their rations reduced by up to 50 per cent, WFP said, with those in Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan and Uganda the worst affected.

“We are being forced to make the heartbreaking decision to cut food rations for refugees who rely on us for their survival,” said WFP executive director David Beasley.

Available resources could not keep up with the soaring demand for food around the globe, he said.

In West Africa – specifically Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger – WFP had “significantly” reduced rations.

It warned of imminent disruptions in Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, Republic of Congo, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

On Tuesday, the WFP appealed for US$426 million to stave off famine in South Sudan, where years of conflict and floods have forced millions of people from their homes.

It said more than two-thirds of the population required humanitarian assistance, with 8.3 million people, including refugees, expected to face “severe acute hunger” this year.

The war in Ukraine has significantly worsened the global refugee crisis and the risk of famine, not only creating six million additional refugees as civilians flee conflict zones, but in pushing up commodity prices, especially grain.

On Saturday, the EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell accused Russia of choosing to “weaponise” grain exports by blocking grain from Ukraine destined for poor countries.

Before the Russian invasion, Ukraine served as one of the world’s leading breadbaskets – exporting roughly 12 per cent of the planet’s wheat, 15 per cent of its corn, and half of its sunflower oil.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said the war could “tip tens of millions of people over the edge into food insecurity”.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK