It is proved to the world that Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programs accord incalculable benefits to the countries that provide them, since they produce inward investments that can fund ever-increasing fiscal demands. The Antigua and Barbuda citizenship program is an example of this.
Governments in small island developing states like Antigua and Barbuda are continuously required to find sources of revenue to fund social services programs, infrastructure development, debt repayment, disaster mitigation and recovery, healthcare services and recently, social safety nets in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Changes in Antigua and Barbuda’s citizenship program
The investment options of the Antigua and Barbuda citizenship program are similar to the other CBI programs where there is the option to donate, the opportunity to purchase real estate and also investments in approved businesses. A fourth option has been added recently that raises the Antigua and Barbuda citizenship program to be truly transformative: The University of the West Indies Fund option affords applicants the opportunity to truly partner in the development of the country as it will provide access to tertiary level education for citizens.
What does this new option offer to the Antigua and Barbuda citizenship program?
The University of the West Indies is a 70-year-old institution of learning that is currently ranked in the top 4% of universities worldwide, the top 2% in Latin America and Caribbean, and the top 1% of the Golden Age University Rankings.
Applicants who choose this option in the Antigua and Barbuda citizenship program will be financing University of West Indies fourth campus. The Five Islands campus is the site of the Center of Excellence for Oceanography and the Blue Economy. These are advanced studies in the areas of marine science, aquaculture, marine renewable energy, biotechnology and sea vegetable farming.
CBI programs have provided nations with the ability to draw on a sustained revenue stream without increasing the tax burden to their citizens or creating a legacy of debt for future generations.
The government of Antigua and Barbuda and its citizens acknowledge that their CBI program is critical to the country’s development thrust. 15% of the government’s annual revenue is generated by the Antigua and Barbuda citizenship program and a large chunk of investments is in the construction and real estate sectors, directly affecting the country’s tourism industry. The Antigua and Barbuda citizenship program has allowed the country to transition into using renewable energy and payoff its entire external debt to the IMF. Additionally, CBI revenues have supported the domestic social security system, financed infrastructure projects, funded sovereign debt repayment, facilitated the acquisition of critical health services and equipment, expanded and upgraded the tourism infrastructure and subsidized educational and training initiatives.