Could Caribbean Economic Cit­i­zen­ship Pro­grammes Cash in on Donald Trump’s Elec­tion Vic­tory?

The Star (St. Lucia) - - REGIONAL -

Un­cer­tainty and fear over a United States gov­erned by a Donald Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion ap­pears to be push­ing wealthy Amer­i­cans to look for al­ter­na­tive cit­i­zen­ships – and the Caribbean just might ben­e­fit.

The Repub­li­can’s up­set win over Demo­cratic can­di­date Hil­lary Clin­ton was an­nounced early yes­ter­day af­ter Tues­day’s elec­tions, fol­low­ing a di­vi­sive cam­paign that fea­tured con­tro­ver­sial state­ments and ac­tions by the real es­tate mogul, par­tic­u­larly as it re­lates to im­mi­gra­tion, trade and cli­mate change.

Ac­cord­ing to a state­ment is­sued by cit­i­zen­ship ad­vi­sory firm Hen­ley & Part­ners on Wed­nes­day, “in the hours since Donald Trump was con­firmed as the next Pres­i­dent of the United States, there has been a sharp in­crease in the num­ber of Amer­i­cans en­quir­ing about al­ter­na­tive res­i­dence and cit­i­zen­ship pro­grammes.”

It said sim­i­lar sharp in­creases were also noted af­ter ma­jor events such as the United King­dom’s vote to leave the Euro­pean Union, Brexit. How­ever, Hen­ley & Part­ners did not in­di­cate how many of the in­quiries had trans­lated into ac­tual Cit­i­zen­ship by In­vest­ment (CBI) ap­pli­ca­tions, or to which CBIs any ap­pli­ca­tions were made.

“Such spikes hap­pen when cit­i­zens be­come un­cer­tain about the fu­ture of their coun­try. They seek safer op­tions for their fam­i­lies,” it added, not­ing that as the chance that Trump would win the elec­tion in­creased on Tues­day night, the Cana­dian Im­mi­gra­tion web­site crashed be­cause of an over­load of vis­i­tors.

Speak­ing from the 10th Global Res­i­dence and Cit­i­zen­ship Con­fer­ence in London, Hen­ley & Part­ners’ chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Eric Ma­jor said there was sim­i­lar in­ter­est among Amer­i­cans look­ing for al­ter­na­tive cit­i­zen­ships and res­i­dences when Ge­orge W. Bush was run­ning for re-elec­tion in 2004.

“We are see­ing a com­pa­ra­ble trend emerg­ing now among wealthy Amer­i­cans who won­der what the next four years will hold. There has been a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in en­quiries to the Hen­ley & Part­ners web­site since the news broke,” he said.

Hen­ley & Part­ners noted that in con­trast to 12 years ago, there are now many more res­i­dence and CBIs pro­grammes avail­able to choose from world­wide. Among them are CBIs in the Caribbean na­tions of Antigua and Bar­buda, Do­minica, Gre­nada, and St. Kitts and Ne­vis.

Gov­ern­ments are em­brac­ing these pro­grammes to stim­u­late economic devel­op­ment and growth, and there are a growing num­ber of wealthy and tal­ented in­di­vid­u­als look­ing to di­ver­sify their cit­i­zen­ship port­fo­lios to give them­selves and their fam­i­lies greater in­ter­na­tional op­por­tu­nity, free­dom and se­cu­rity.

Ma­jor said gov­ern­ments were rec­og­niz­ing the sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fits of at­tract­ing global cit­i­zens who can con­trib­ute to their own economic devel­op­ment and ad­vance­ment, with those in­di­vid­u­als bring­ing not only their in­vest­ment, but proven busi­ness suc­cess, world-class skills and in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence, valu­able net­works and con­tacts that can ben­e­fit a coun­try enor­mously.

Mean­time, lead­ing Caribbean aca­demic Sir Hi­lary Beck­les said peo­ple should ex­pect “mi­gra­tion of larger num­bers of Caribbean peo­ple back to the region and sig­nif­i­cantly back to Latin Amer­ica” be­cause of Trump’s win.

The Vice Chan­cel­lor of the Univer­sity of the West Indies is­sued the warn­ing as he con­tended that pres­i­dency had “re­con­structed the white global supremacy sys­tem”.

Sir Hi­lary sug­gested that Trump’s elec­tion was a ret­ro­grade step that would take the US back by sev­eral decades to the days of “plan­ta­tion Amer­ica” when blacks had lit­tle to no civil rights and white supremacy was key.

Over five coun­tries through­out the Caribbean Region have im­ple­mented a Cit­i­zen­ship by In­vest­ment Pro­gram (CIP), in­clud­ing Saint Lu­cia.

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