Henry Martin speaks with Les Khan, CEO, Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU), Government of St Kitts and Nevis.
Henry Martin: Can you provide an economic snapshot of St Kitts and Nevis?
Les Khan: St Kitts and Nevis is the oldest and most mature Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme in the world. It has historically been recognised as the premier country of choice for economic citizenship for individuals from China, the Middle East, and Russia. With an economy that has transitioned from the sugar industry, St Kitts and Nevis is now an outstanding and growing tourist destination, with cruise tourism arrivals reaching close to 1 million in 2016. Ideal for conducting international business, St Kitts and Nevis is the leading country for doing business in the Eastern Caribbean with, at c.5%, one of the highest growth rates in the OECS and one of the highest in the world over the last five years. We are considered a middle-income country with a per capita income of 14,920. The local currency is Eastern Caribbean Dollars, which is fixed at 1USD = 2.70 ECD. The construction industry continues to grow, with major projects such as T-Loft’s Radisson, Christophe Harbour, Galaxy’s Ramada Worldwide, Park Hyatt, Pelican Bay’s Hilton Embassy Suites and the Royal St Kitts. Foreign direct investment has been responsible for major infrastructure initiatives such as roads, water and alternative energy. The economy of St Kitts and Nevis is a strong and growing one, offering zero withholding tax, no capital gains tax, and no personal income tax.