Prime Minister of Dominica, Dr. Roosevelt Skerrit
Prime Minister of Dominica, Dr. Roosevelt Skerrit Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Prime Minister of Dominica, Dr. Roosevelt Skerrit recently visited Dubai to address a special assembly comprising stakeholders of the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) industry, a media release said. In his keynote speech, he not only highlighted the positive impact of the CBI Programme but also celebrated the collective achievements that are transforming lives in Dominica and other Caribbean islands that run similar programmes.

According to the release, emphasised the paramount importance of maintaining the CBI Programme's integrity, "We understand the importance of the programme to many people and our country, but we want to ensure that the programme maintains its integrity."

PM Skerrit highlighted the multifaceted impact of the CBI programme, not only as a financial instrument but also as a means of fostering a sense of citizenship and belonging. He emphasised how these programmes empower individuals to access opportunities, but that citizenship should not be considered a commodity.

He also reiterated the government's commitment to maintaining the programme's integrity, but this time, he directly addressed the stakeholders, emphasising their crucial role in adhering to legal frameworks and avoiding irregular practices such as discounting (commonly referred to as the 'financing' option). Dominica's PM stressed the need for their collective responsibility to uphold high governance standards and ensure the sustainability of the programme, making them feel valued and responsible.

Speaking about the recently signed Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, and Saint Kitts & Nevis, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said that these changes are done to ensure a sustainable and resilient future for the CBI Programmes.

Moreover, Skerrit underscored the importance of the CBI programme, particularly citing its pivotal role in providing financial resources in the aftermath of natural disasters such as Hurricane Maria in 2017. While other sectors of the economy were paralysed, the CBI programme continued to generate revenue, enabling the country to respond to the crisis swiftly.

The PM also stated that Dominica uses the CBI Programme for sustainable projects and investments.

"We use the programme for sustainable projects, sustainable investments, to fund the geothermal project, to help fund the Geo-Power project, which will help transform the provision of energy in our country. We have used all our revenues for the construction of hotels, to create jobs and to bring in foreign direct investments, to increase our tax revenues," said Prime Minister Dr Roosevelt Skerrit.

Furthermore, he added that CBI Funds are used occasionally to pay off part of the national debt and create greater sustainability. In fact, in 2015, it was part of the national agenda that the EDF funds would be utilised to reduce the country's debt. Unfortunately, Hurricane Maria unhinged these plans, highlighting the importance of the CBI for countries such as Dominica, which is at the forefront of climate change.

Prime Minister Skerrit also discussed the major projects underway in Dominica including the International Airport, and the Cable Car, adding that no island has more to offer to a visitor than Dominica.