Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, has said that Saint Lucia supports the idea of the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) being run out of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).
He suggested that the sub-region could find a way to share funds and have one common standard.
‘In the absence of it being run out of the OECS, Saint Lucia continues to lobby the other countries to agree on a common pricing structure as well as a common standard as it pertains to the due diligence,’ Chastanet disclosed.
According to the Saint Lucia Prime Minister, this country is achieving the highest standards that it can even when it comes at a cost to the local CIP initiative.
‘We have had situations where some applications have taken in excess of 200 days to get approval,’ he observed.
He explained that with the aid of law enforcement, the process has been significantly streamlined without lowering standards.
‘But I am hoping that there will be one common standard for all the countries of the OECS – and let me remind you that when we have these programmes, not only are we affecting our own border, but because of the regional agreements it’s an OECS border. It is a CARICOM border. Because of our relationships with Europe, it is a European border, it’s a Canadian border and it is a US border,’ Chastanet told reporters.
‘Certainly Saint Lucia goes into this programme every day understanding the burden that is upon us to make sure that we have a high enough wall in order to protect all the people that have entrusted their trust with Saint Lucia and we are hoping that everybody is going to do the same thing,’ he stated.