During the opening of Grenada's Parliament last week, the newly elected government announced plans to re-introduce a Citizenship by Investment Programme that could provide a major boost to Grenada's real estate market.
Grenada formerly had an economic citizenship programme in place, whereby investors could obtain a passport in exchange for an investment of $40,000. However, this programme was suspended in October 2011. Meanwhile, other Caribbean countries have maintained citizenship by investment schemes, most notably St Kitts & Nevis and Dominica, which have provided a significant amount of revenue to their governments and stimulated the property market.
The St Kitts & Nevis second passport programme is the longest established and most highly respected. Investors can acquire citizenship of St Kitts & Nevis through an investment of $400,000 USD in real estate in a designated property development or a donation of $250,000 USD to the Sugar Industry Diversification Fund. The programme has been highly effective in stimulating property sales. For more details, see our earlier blog post: St Kitts and Nevis Property Market Boosted by Citizenship by Investment Programme.
Antigua & Barbuda is also currently introducing a similar scheme. Under the Antiguan economic citizenship programme, vetted applicants who invest a minimum of US $400,000 in eligible real estate in Antigua & Barbuda, contribute between US $250,000 and US $400,000 to a National Development Fund or invest a minimum of US $1,250,000 in an eligible business will be able to apply for citizenship of Antigua & Barbuda. For more details on the Antigua programme, see another earlier blog post: Antigua Property Market to be Boosted by Citizenship Programme.
The details of the Grenadian Citizenship by Investment Programme are yet to be determined. The Government announced yesterday in the 2013 Throne Speech "Uniting Grenada and Building the New Economy" delivered by the Governor-General, that a committee will be established to identify best practices for such programmes and introduce new legislation for the scheme within its first year in office. The Government went on to say that "Areas of potential investment include: infrastructure such as roads, airports and ports, Agribusiness, Tourism, Energy sector (renewable and non-renewable), ICT and youth development. Key performance metrics will include level of investment in productive sectors and jobs created." Should this include investment in real estate, as in St Kitts & Nevis and Antigua & Barbuda, an economic citizenship scheme could certainly provide a boost to the Grenada property market.
While a citizenship by investment scheme therefore presents benefits to the government, the people of Grenada, investors and the real estate sector, the government will need to ensure the programme is very carefully structured and managed to prevent any damage to the value of a Grenadian passport or any negative impact on society.
For more information on Grenada's proposed Citizenship by Investment Programme, read "Grenada to revive program selling citizenship", Associated Press.
Labels: citizenship-by-investment, economic citizenship, Grenada, Grenada real estate, Grenadines property, second passport