By Robert A. Emmanuel
The Government of Switzerland has announced the establishment of an institution geared towards managing and setting global standards for Citizenship by Investment Programmes.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne who made a recent trip to Switzerland, said the newly established institution will cost Antigua and Barbuda a small annual fee, and that he has requested of the Cabinet to give consideration to supplying the necessary resources.
During the recent post-Cabinet press briefing, Chief of Staff in the Office of the Prime Minister, Lionel Hurst said although he was unsure of the exact figure required of the government, the institution is expected to guarantee the sustainability of the programme.
“The object is to create an institution that will operate out of Switzerland, that will attempt to ensure that CIP programmes around the around are as standardised as possible. So instead of having a variety of systems that lead to some confusion, that the standardisation could lead to some sustainability,” he said.
The CIP programme has faced multiple controversies and attacks from larger nations, which the Cabinet notes claim have used similar programmes for decades and “appear to wish to keep small states out of the lucrative market”.