Grenada signs MOU forming regional authority & capping CBI investments

Grenada signs MOU forming regional authority & capping CBI investments

Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will assign or establish a competent regional authority for members of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) with a Citizenship by Investment Programme (CBI). 

The CBI allows for countries to provide citizenship to foreign investors in return for making a substantial investment in the socio-economic development of these islands. 

The MOU also allows for a cap regarding the minimum investment threshold in the CBI to US$200,000. 

“The parties agree to assign or to establish a regional competent authority to set standards in accordance with international requirements and best practices and to regulate the programmes. This regional competent authority is to be established or identified no later than June 30, 2024,” according to the MOU, which was signed on March 20. 

Last week, Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said OECS member countries with a CBI programme are developing mutual legislation so as to meet the concerns raised by European countries. 

Skerrit said many EU countries, especially those that have agreed to suspend visa-free travel for countries whose nationals are exempt from the visa obligation when travelling to the Schengen area, have raised issues linked to the CBI. 

“As you know there are countries within the OECS who have these programmes, Antigua, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia, and St Kitts-Nevis …and the concerns have been raised by these (European) countries …and the need for all of us to take certain actions to set aside the concerns which the EU in particular would have had with these programme,” Skerrit said. 

“…I have actually signed this memorandum of agreement …having concluded the discussions with the other partners and we await the others to sign on this,” Skerrit said last Tuesday. 

The MOU is a statement of intent and does not create legal obligations under international or domestic law. 

“It does not constitute a legally binding agreement and is not enforceable in any court of law,” said the MOU which provides a clause for it to be amended or terminated by unanimous consent of the parties who signed the agreement and disputes arising from or in connection with it shall be amicably resolved through negotiations. 

In the area of regulations of agents, marketing, and promotions promotion, the MOU said that the participating countries will establish common standards to manage the communications and promotion of the CBI programmes. 

“Such standards shall prohibit marketing of CBIPS for granting of “Visa-free-access” and the use of photographs of parties’ passports in advertisements,” said the agreement which was not signed by St Lucia. 

Grenada signed the MOU on the same day it rebranded its CBI programme and converted the Unit into a government agency instead of a Unit under the Office of the Prime Minister. 

  • PublishedMarch 25, 2024

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