(left) Mr Les Khan and (right) Mr. Emmanuel Nanthan

The St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme is “no longer a platinum brand”, according to Mr. Emmanual Nanthan of Dominica.

Mr. Nanthan, who heads Dominica’s CBI unit, was recently interviewed by the editor of Investment Migration Insider during the China Offshore Conference held in Shanghai.

“With all due respect to my friends and colleagues at the St. Kitts and Nevis CIU, they are no longer the platinum brand in the Caribbean; Dominica is.”

Mr. Nanthan alleged in the interview that Dominica’s rise to be the premium option for CBI in the Caribbean was due its rapid improvements in processing efficiency and public perception in them market.

According to Mr. Nanthan St. Kitts and Nevis’ reputation suffered when it lost visa-free access to Canada and its poor FinCEN advisory report.

The St. Kitts and Nevis CBI programme was recently in the spotlight for introducing the Hurricane Relief Fund contribution option. Some have been critical of this, saying it undercuts the prevailing market prices in the Caribbean.

Mr. Les Khan, who is head of the St. Kitts and Nevis CBI unit, maintains that the introduction of the Relief Fund has increased interest in the Federation’s CBI programme.

He has also said that the country has not and will not engage in a “race to the bottom”.

“The introduction of the Hurricane Relief Fund, which was intended to increase interest in the St. Kitts CIP is having the opposite effect,” Mr. Nanthan said in his interview.

According to Mr. Nanthan, international CBI agents have reached out to him and said they are doing more applications for CBI with Dominica than they have previously. They believe this is due to the negative attention the Federation’s Relief Fund has received in the Caribbean.

“Dominica now has a better reputation and applicants appear willing to pay a premium for it,” said Mr. Nanthan.