PM dismisses Financial Times CIP ranking

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Prime Minister Gaston Browne has declared as inconsequential the ranking of Antigua and Barbuda as having the fourth best Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) in the world by a Financial Times publication, Professional Wealth Management (PWM).
“It doesn’t matter, we are still number one. In the next ranking three or four months from now we can be number one. Nothing turns on that,” he declared in an interview with OBSERVER media, yesterday.
The prime minister’s reaction came a day after the report was published, indicating that Antigua and Barbuda has again ranked fourth for the second consecutive year.
Last year, Antigua gained 78 percent and went up by two percent in this year’s assessment.
Antigua and Barbuda also earned top scores for ease of processing, and due diligence last year.
In keeping with 2017, the CBI Index for 2018 also found Antigua and Barbuda leading as the region’s top scorer with regards to freedom of movement, which is one of the key seven pillars of the assessment.
This is a notable improvement for the Antiguan programme since that particular pillar was dominated by European countries last year.
The report also made mention of the Antigua and Barbuda’s CIP being in the news recently after information surfaced that Indian diamantaire  Mehul Choski had been accused of being involved in a US $2 billion Punjab National Bank fraud. Choski obtained Antiguan and Barbudan citizenship and a passport after investing in the country’s CIP.
Thirteen CBI programmes globally are ranked according to seven indicators and these indicators include, due diligence, freedom of movement, standard of living, minimum investment outlay, ease of processing, citizenship timeline, and mandatory travel or residence.
According to the report, Dominca’s CBI programme got perfect scores in five of the seven areas. When the first CBI Index by PWM was done in 2017, Dominica was declared the world’s best economic citizenship territory.
Notwithstanding last year’s destructive hurricane season, the small Caribbean country remains at the head of the pack because it upheld high standards of timeliness and ease in process, a reasonable investment threshold, and a vigorous due diligence agenda.
The CBI Index also explicitly makes mention of Dominica’s latest plastic and Styrofoam ban initiatives that resulted in extensive universal praises, stating that this demonstrated the country’s accountability side as a member of the global community.
Dominica is also said to utilise its CBI funds best. The report mentioned that Dominica uses its CBI earnings to advance the lives of its citizens and just last week the country announced construction of 5,000 new homes, financed entirely by its CBI programme.
Caribbean countries dominated the top five spots with Dominica at number one, followed by St. Kitts and Nevis, then Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda, and St. Lucia.

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