Archive for the ‘Government’ Category

St Kitts and Nevis and Canada continue to implement initiatives that solidify the bilateral relationship

CARIBPR WIRE, Basseterre, St. Kitts, Mon. Nov. 21, 2022: The twin federation of St Kitts and Nevis has had a long and fruitful relationship with Canada and the two nations continue to develop initiatives that strengthen relations.

From 5 to 7 December 2022 the government of Canada will provide biometric processing of visa applications in St Kitts and Nevis. This comes as positive news as nationals of St Kitts and Nevis are normally required to travel abroad to centers in Barbados, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent, and the Grenadines, or even Trinidad and Tobago, to have their biometric information collected for Canadian visa applications.

The processing will be conducted by Canadian officials and this special arrangement is aimed at visa applicants that fall within one of the following categories:

  1. St Kitts and Nevis nationals who anticipate travel to Canada;
  2. Persons who have already applied online or by mail for a visa, work or study permit or for
    permanent residence for Canada and have received their Biometric Instruction Letter; and
  3. Nationals of other countries residing in St Kitts and Nevis are also required to provide their biometric information for planned travel to Canada.

When applying for a Canadian visa, whether for visitation, work, study, or for residence purposes, nationals of St Kitts and Nevis, as well as nationals from other countries, must provide biometric information such as fingerprints and an identity photograph.

Visa applicants are encouraged to complete an online visa application as soon as possible, in order to take advantage of this December opportunity. This could be of benefit to applicants planning to travel for educational purposes, business, tourism, family reunifications, and more.

Monday, November 28, 2022, is the last day to schedule an appointment for the available period in December. Appointment requests that are received after this date will not be accommodated unless appointments that have already been made are cancelled and a booking space becomes available.

Visa applicants must have a scheduled appointment and must bring along the required Biometrics Instruction Letter to their appointment. Officials will not collect applications or biometric information from applicants who have not received this letter.

The schedule for the collection of biometric information collection will take place from 08:30 to 17:30 on Monday to Wednesday, 5 to 7 December 2022, at the St Kitts Marriott Resort. Directions to the precise location within the hotel will be provided upon arrival.

In order to book an appointment for biometrics collection, please write to [email protected]

The governments of Canada and St Kitts and Nevis partner on a number of important issues, with an emphasis on matters of economic resilience and climate. St Kitts and Nevis has a High Commission in Ottawa and a consulate in Toronto, while Canada is represented in St Kitts and Nevis by the High Commission of Canada in Barbados, all of which help to strengthen bilateral ties between the two countries.

According to the government of Canada, Canada’s merchandise exports to St Kitts and Nevis totaled CA$5.2 million and merchandise imports from St Kitts and Nevis totaled CA$2.9 million in 2021. During this period, Canada’s main exports to St Kitts and Nevis included live animals and animal products, food products, and metals.

Even before the recent COP27, Canada announced the CA$100 million pledge for Caribbean Reconstruction and Economic and Climate Resilience to support St Kitts and Nevis and the region in reconstruction and climate resilience, following the disastrous 2017 hurricane season in the Caribbean. According to the Canadian government, this included strengthening natural disaster planning and response through organizations such as the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency.

At the CARICOM Intersessional Meeting in February 2020, Canada announced an additional CA$61.5 million in new commitments for resilience, technical assistance, and education exchanges for the Caribbean. This includes, for example, the Canada-CARICOM Expert Deployment Mechanism, which provides technical assistance to CARICOM governments, including St Kitts and Nevis, to help diversify and strengthen the economy, build climate-resilient communities, and reduce gender and economic inequalities.

Canada is the largest contributor to the International Monetary Fund’s Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre, which has provided technical assistance to St Kitts and Nevis in internal audit, and tax and customs administration.

St Kitts and Nevis also works closely with Canada in multilateral domains such as the Commonwealth, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Organization of American States (OAS), the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

St Kitts and Nevis also benefits from the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, and Canada’s partnership with non-governmental organizations and regional institutions, such as St Kitts and Nevis-based Eastern Caribbean Central Bank and the Caribbean Development Bank. Canada represents St Kitts and Nevis and other Caribbean nations on the Board of Governors of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Many investors from Canada and other wealthy nations have participated in citizenship by investment programme offered by the government of St Kitts and Nevis. This programme is the oldest and one of the most trusted programmes of its kind in the world. Since 1984, it has allowed investors and their families to legally obtain citizenship in one of the Caribbean’s most idyllic places. Through this programme, foreign investors to St Kitts and Nevis can obtain citizenship for life, with the right to live and work in the island country, the ability to share citizenship with future generations, and taking advantage of having more global mobility. St Kitts and Nevis also offers investors a fair tax regime, with no worldwide income, inheritance, or gift tax for tax residents.

There are two main ways in which an applicant can apply for citizenship under St Kitts and Nevis citizenship by investment programme: by donating to the country’s Sustainable Growth Fund or by investing in pre-approved real estate.

The country’s CBI programme is also undergoing an upgrade under the leadership of the new St Kitts and Nevis prime minister, Dr. Terrance Drew. The new changes will ensure strengthened legislative and administrative oversight of the programme to ensure that it meets the needs of a changing investor whilst also being beneficial to the local citizens. Prime Minister Drew is determined to retain the country’s CBI status – which is one of the best in the world.

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New government of St Kitts and Nevis ready to usher in new sense of cooperation and good governance, hints at changes to the country’s CBI programme

CARIBPR WIRE, Basseterre, St. Kitts, Nov. 16, 2022:  St Kitts and Nevis welcomed a new government in August and the new administration, led by Dr Terrance Drew, is ready and determined to usher in a new sense of cooperation, good governance, and transparency – starting with steps to improve the country’s long-standing citizenship by investment (CBI) programme.

In his address on Tuesday, 15 November, marking his first 100 days in office, Prime Minister Dr Terrance Drew provided insight into the focus areas for the CBI changes, which he gave to the citizens of St Kitts and Nevis at an event held earlier today in the country’s capital Basseterre.

Since winning the snap election on 5 August, Prime Minister Dr Terrance Drew has been working tirelessly for the overall development of St Kitts and Nevis and has undertaken various initiatives including the formation of a committee to combat corruption.

The new administration has presented plans for the advancement of the twin-island nation, outlining steps that will pave the way to improving the lives of its people. A large part of these plans is funded by the CBI programme which has secured foreign direct investment into the nation for nearly 40 years since it is independence.

“Our government has been relentless in our pursuit to strengthen and improve our Citizenship by Investment programme, for enhanced sustainability within a framework of integrity. We have held productive discussions with local developers and international investors alike,” said Prime Minister Drew.

“There will be much stronger oversight and leadership in the CBI Unit by a new CBI Board and Technical Committee. I will announce the detailed changes at our upcoming press conference, but I want to be absolutely clear, that our evolved CBI programme will be run with the utmost transparency.”

To help progress the economy, Prime Minister Drew highlighted that more oversight would ensure that the people of St Kitts and Nevis would also benefit from the CBI programme as it was intended. Plans are in place to support women in sectors like construction, to provide more support to small businesses, and to review opportunities for the development of the renewable energy sector, the processing of fish, as well as packaging and exports.

With promises to improve health care, provide more affordable housing and access to better education – Prime Minister Drew understands that all this will be underpinned by a stronger economy.

Speaking at the event Prime Minister Drew said that while the nation has been the benchmark of citizenship by investment value proposition, the new administration understands that in order to remain one of the most sought-after economic citizenship programmes in the world, it needs to evolve and forge a new path for itself and the industry as it responds to a changing demographic.

Through ongoing consultations with all stakeholders during the exploratory phase, the new government aims to have regular engagement with local and international stakeholders in the programme to ensure it meets their salient needs.

Prime Minister Drew also emphasised how his government is on a journey to bring clarity to locals and international investors through constant transparency and integrity. “Our ongoing work to strengthen this programme and the system must result in prosperity for all.”

Consultations with stakeholders have led to the development of committees to supervise the process and implement strengthened legislative and administrative structures to prevent “underselling” and ensure that real estate projects funded by the CBI programme are completed.

The government’s plan is to maintain a progressive programme that cements St Kitts and Nevis’ place as a leader in the CBI Industry.

The government is also seeking out reliable and trustworthy developers who are ready to put capital behind creative and strong projects that will enhance St Kitts and Nevis’ CBI offering.

St Kitts and Nevis holds the oldest citizenship by investment programme in the world – established in 1984, the programme currently allows investors to gain second citizenship by donating to a government fund or by investing in real estate.

The government fund channels investment to projects that will uplift the country and has enabled, in part, sectors such as health, education, tourism, business, and agriculture to flourish.

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Government of St Kitts and Nevis does NOT accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment for its Citizenship by Investment programme

CARIBPR WIRE, Basseterre, St. Kitts, Nov. 14, 2022: The government of St Kitts and Nevis, along with the Citizenship by Investment Unit of the country, have refuted claims that investors interested in gaining citizenship to the country can pay using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

The St Kitts and Nevis citizenship by investment programme is the oldest in the world, having been established in 1984 – it has been providing investors from across the globe with one of the quickest, easiest, and most affordable routes to second citizenship.

Underpinned by a robust multi-layered due diligence process undertaken by international security firms from the USA and the UK, investors need to go through a formal application process consisting of eight main steps, which include:

  • Step 1: Pre-approval by a verified St Kitts and Nevis government agent and preparation of the application
  • Step 2: Submission of the citizenship application
  • Step 3: Application processing by the Citizenship by Investment Unit and internal and external due diligence checks
  • Step 4: Approval in principle letter issued
  • Step 5: Contribution to either the Sustainable Growth Fund or pre-approved real estate
  • Step 6: Bank clearance of source of funds
  • Step 7: Certificate of Registration issued
  • Step 8: Citizen can apply for a St Kitts and Nevis passport

Throughout the whole process, an investor will engage with an approved government agent who will facilitate the application and any payments will be made via registered banks using fiat money – a government-issued currency that is not backed by a commodity such as gold. An example would be the United States Dollar, Euro or Chinese Yuan.

Investors cannot make payments to a government-approved agent or the Citizenship by Investment Unit by using cryptocurrencies directly. These would need to be liquidated into fiat currency first and an applicant would need to provide a supporting affidavit regarding their source of funds as part of the application process.

St Kitts and Nevis has not yet passed any legislation regarding cryptocurrency. The country is participating in the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) pilot program, which aims to study the utilisation of cryptocurrency as a fiat currency.

The program’s purpose is to provide a safe and secure digital financial system by utilising the advantages of blockchain and is designed to exemplify the viability and functionality of the ECCB’s ability to issue Digital Eastern Caribbean Dollars.

The ECCB is the fiscal authority for the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU).

Speaking at the Electronic Cash Conference 2022, which was held on November 12 2022, Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, Dr Terrance Drew, expressed that while Bitcoin Cash – another form of cryptocurrency – is used as a method of tender by some businesses in the country, due diligence checks are presently being prioritised by his government ahead of any major decision concerning that cryptocurrency’s official use.

Prime Minister Drew stated that the financial safety and security of citizens is a matter of high priority, and the government, with the guidance of the ECCB, is prepared to explore the possibility of Bitcoin Cash being introduced as legal tender in the local financial space.

The Prime Minister explained that once all the crucial financial safeguards were in place, Bitcoin Cash could become accepted legal tender in St Kitts and Nevis by March 2023.

Benefits of gaining second citizenship to St Kitts and Nevis

Citizenship by Investment is a legal process to grant individuals – and, in some cases, their families – dual citizenship in exchange for a financial contribution to the country’s economy. The initiative permits countries to channel generated funds into developing healthcare, education, infrastructure, and more.

Being a citizen of St Kitts and Nevis offers investors a myriad of benefits including family reunification, global mobility, enhanced security, and increased economic opportunities.

St Kitts and Nevis offers award-winning and internationally acclaimed education institutions like veterinary and medical universities, attracting global-minded professionals. People from all over the world come to St Kitts and Nevis, over a million a year to be exact, because of its booming tourism sector.

In recent years, the nation has seen growing numbers of American visitors. Around 1,000 US citizens currently reside on the islands. Now, with more work-from-home policies than ever, many see the Caribbean as the perfect destination to get away from the bustle of big cities while continuing to be connected when business calls.

In addition to citizenship and global mobility, St Kitts and Nevis offers its citizens who choose to become tax residents a wide variety of insurance services in a tax-friendly environment. For example, the country guarantees financial privacy by not making any information about offshore business owners and top managers public.

Portfolio diversification is the first step in dispersing your investments so that your exposure is not limited to just one type of asset. An investment in property in St Kitts and Nevis would allow you to diversify your investment portfolio and potentially make a return upon selling that your share in real estate after the end of the minimum hold period.

This will also ensure that you retain a certain amount of your wealth outside of your home country. In uncertain political and economic climates, knowing that a portion of your portfolio is free from the grips of a potentially corrupt government can give you tremendous peace of mind.

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The Innovative Caribbean Disaster Fighters NFT Collection Is Here

CaribPR Wire, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. Aug. 11, 2021: The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), has partnered with SuperWorld, a virtual world in Augmented Reality (AR), for the first time, to release the NFT “Caribbean Disaster Fighters” collection.

Caribbean Disaster Fighters is a campaign for disaster prevention and hurricane preparedness in the Caribbean region, developed by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and supported by the World Bank.

In preparation for the 2021  hurricane season, Caribbean Disaster Fighters and SuperWorld are issuing a series of collectible NFT cards representing every Caribbean nation, and available for purchase on the SuperWorld NFT Salon, a marketplace for art, collectibles and digital assets.

The initiative will include limited-edition, authenticated NFT cards created by renowned artists such as Lee Mad Muma, Dario de Siena, OhEmGee and Dr. Alderete, and endorsed by notable figures including musicians and cricketers from the Caribbean. Using blockchain technology, all NFT sales can be traced from the buyer to the country that benefits, with all proceeds going to CDEMA and local emergency agencies to support preparedness and relief efforts.

On Thursday, August 12 at 10:00 a.m. (CDT), Caribbean Disaster Fighters and SuperWorld will host a live virtual event on Zoom to kick off the initiative. To register, visit: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZckde-vqzkrGtIMvzggoWe3BkAH_l7z9pqX

“Many Caribbean countries have been battling the compound impacts of drought, COVID-19, volcanic eruptions and now the impending hurricane season,” said Elizabeth Riley, Executive Director (ag), CDEMA. “We wanted to use an innovative, inclusive approach to ensure that communities are empowered with the necessary plans, information and tools to tackle the disaster impacts that we as a region have been facing.”

“Supporting communities in times of crisis aligns perfectly with our mission to build a better world, and our hope is that the NFT drop will help raise both funds and awareness to help mitigate the effects of what is already a devastating hurricane season in the Caribbean,” said Hrish Lotlikar, SuperWorld Co-Founder and CEO.

This initiative is supported by the European Union’s Caribbean Regional Resilience Building Facility, the Canada Caribbean Resilience Facility, the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (managed by the World Bank), SuperWorld and Tik Tok. The campaign has been developed by the risk communications firm Pacifico.

For more information visit www.disaster-fighters.org/nft

Follow DISASTER FIGHTERS on Tik Tok, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/disasterfighter

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/disasterfighters

TikTok:   https://www.tiktok.com/@disasterfighters?lang=es

Twitter: https://twitter.com/disasterfight

Source: Disaster Fighters

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2021 Indiaspora Government Leaders List recognizes more than 200 public officials of Indian heritage in senior government positions across the globe

Indian diaspora leaders are reaching the pinnacles of public leadership, now serving as presidents, prime ministers, Cabinet officials, legislators, and in dozens of other key roles in 15 countries

CaribPR Wire, SAN FRANCISCO and WASHINGTON, Feb. 15, 2021: Indiaspora, a nonprofit community of global Indian diaspora leaders from various backgrounds and professions, released today their list recognizing public officials of the Indian diaspora who are leaders in their countries’ governments.

Drawing from government websites and other publicly available resources, the 2021 Indiaspora Government Leaders List recognizes more than 200 leaders of Indian heritage who have ascended to the highest echelons of public service in 15 countries across the globe, with more than 60 of these leaders holding Cabinet positions.

“It is a huge source of pride to have the first woman and first person of color as the Vice President of the world’s oldest democracy be someone of Indian heritage. We wanted to use this seminal moment on Presidents’ Day to highlight a host of others in the diaspora who also are in public service,” said Indiaspora Founder MR Rangaswami, a Silicon Valley-based entrepreneur and investor. “These leaders are building a legacy for future generations, and one that extends beyond our community to all of the constituents and communities that they serve.”

The List also includes diplomats, legislators, heads of central banks and senior civil servants from countries with significant histories of diaspora migration, such as Australia, Canada, Singapore, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States.

“It is an honor to be included on the 2021 Indiaspora Government Leaders List. As the longest-serving Indian-American Member of Congress, I am proud to be a leader in the Indian American community, which has become an integral part of American life and society,” said Congressman Ami Bera, Chairman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia.

With more than 32 million people of Indian origin or (PIOs) globally, according to India’s Ministry of External Affairs, Indians are the largest diaspora population in the world.

The officials on the 2021 Indiaspora Government Leaders List collectively represent more than 587 million constituents, and their countries account for an estimated USD $28 trillion in GDP, demonstrating the impact that these leaders are having globally.

“It truly is inspiring to note the remarkable contribution that government leaders of Indian heritage have made to advance the societies that they now represent,” said Rosy Akbar, Fiji’s Minister of Education, Heritage, and Arts. “For a sizable segment of the population, it is government policy addressing social injustices that lead to a transformative path of sustainable socio-economic progress.”

The List includes immigrants from India, as well as professionals born in countries such as Singapore, South Africa, England, Canada and the U.S.

“As a proud Indo-Canadian, it is an honour to be included in the 2021 Indiaspora Government Leaders List alongside an accomplished and diverse group of leaders from the India diaspora,” said Senator Ratna Omidvar. “I am eternally proud of my Indian heritage but also being Canadian. Canada has given me its protection and its opportunities, and in return, I am committed to making it a better place so that it continues to be a land of protection and opportunity for future Canadians.”

While some of the officials are part of their country’s first wave of immigration, arriving as refugees or for economic opportunities, others serving in their governments are part of subsequent waves of diaspora, who came for educational opportunities, or are of subsequent generations.

“It is inspiring to see the number of Indian diaspora who are entering the public arena,” said Indiaspora Board Member Arun Kumar, Chairman and CEO at KPMG India, who served as Assistant Secretary of Commerce in the Obama administration. “Having had the opportunity to serve, I can speak to what a memorable and fulfilling experience it was. Above all, it was a meaningful way to give back. My hope is that this cohort of leaders will set an example for even more of the Indian diaspora to aspire to public service.”

For additional resources, including information and news about the honorees, and additional quotes from officials, please visit the 2021 Indiaspora Government Leaders List website.

More on the Indiaspora Lists

The Indiaspora Lists highlight the advances of the Indian diaspora and raise their profile in the global consciousness in areas such as government, business, academia, and philanthropy.

The second of the Indiaspora Lists, the inaugural Indiaspora Business Leaders List, released in July 2020, featured the Indian diaspora who are leading the largest global companies—CEOs, Presidents, or Chairpersons of the Board of Directors.

Indiaspora (www.indiaspora.org) is a nonprofit community of powerful global Indian leaders from diverse backgrounds and professions who are committed to inspiring the diaspora to be a force for positive impact by providing a platform to collaborate, engage, and catalyze social change.

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