The most recent development approved under the Citizenship by Investment programme is the new Jungle Bay Resort and Spa earmarked for Morne Acouma, Soufriere.
On Monday, May 23rd, along with entrepreneur and proprietor of Jungle Bay Resort, Sam Raphael, the Hon Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, met with the people of the Soufriere constituency to discuss the positive impact which this new development will have on their communities.
At that meeting, the Dominica leader took time to reiterate the importance and security of Dominica’s Citizenship by Investment Programme. He assured that the programme’s due diligence process meets international standards.
“There are absolutely no shortcuts whatsoever in the due diligence process before we approve any application. But on top of our due diligence exercise which is conducted by internationally reputable firms, some of whom are formers members of the FBI, CIA, MI5 and MI6, we also have very strong partnerships with governments who also assist us in another layer of due diligence on applicants to our programme.”
Hon Skerrit explained the two components of the programme. Firstly, an individual who applies for citizenship can make a financial contribution and secondly, one can gain citizenship by making an investment in real estate to include for manufacturing and agriculture. The Prime Minister explained that both Dominicans and foreigners wanting to become citizens can invest under this programme.
He assured that once a proposal for investment is made, applications must go through several channels before final approval.
“People who have proposals, submit them to the Invest Dominica Authority. The Cabinet has appointed a Technical Review Committee so when that proposal comes, it goes through the committee made of senior public officers. Then there is a Ministerial Review Committee which receives the recommendations from the Technical Committee. Their recommendations are sent to the Prime Minister who then, if satisfied with the project, takes it to Cabinet for final approval.
Of course of there is a number of due diligence mechanisms to ensure the best projects.”
Additionally, the Dominica leader said, measures have been put in place for staff of the CBI Unit and agents of the programme to go through anti-money laundering training. All this is to increase due diligence at all levels.
“I want to say to you very clearly without any reservations that we are running a legitimate, above board, transparent economic citizenship programme in our country. I want us to understand this very clearly,” PM Skerrit asserted.
In addition to the Jungle Bay Resort which is the latest development under the programme, plans are also on stream for two more developments: the Bois Cotlette self sufficient plantation and historic site and the Petit Coulibri luxury hotel both in the Soufriere constituency.
Meantime, from the perspective of an investor, proprietor of Jungle Bay Resort, Sam Raphael has expressed high praise for the Citizenship by Investment Programme.
He was speaking with Shermain Green-Brown on Talking Point radio programme.
“It’s certainly something useful and a tool which we can use to really provide sustainable jobs for the island. There’s nothing about it that I am embarrassed about and I feel it is 100% above-board,” Raphael said.
Raphael, with the assistance of Government’s CBI programme, is working feverishly to begin construction on a new Jungle Bay Resort in Soufriere before the end of 2016.