CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Oct. 4, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — As the world has faced various uncertainties in the past two years and investors, high-net-worth individuals have started looking for alternative options to keep their investments safe and secure. To overcome the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, reviving the economy has proven to be a great challenge for many countries. The world’s largest economies have been affected, with many experiencing declining growth. In response, many investors have been reluctant to invest, seeking economies that can provide sufficient returns with minimal risk.
Against this backdrop, the Eastern Caribbean nation of Saint Lucia has become a new favorite for investors. This is due to its growing economy, stable business environment, and tax regime that supports the growth and development of its businesses, investors, and citizens.
Launched in 2016, Saint Lucia’s Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP) is one of the best in the Caribbean region. As demand for such a program soars among HNWIs, the newly elected government is striving to use the funds provided by the program to develop more advanced public infrastructure and improve living standards. of his people. .
Despite being the newest Caribbean program in this industry, Saint Lucia offers an advanced, secure and transparent program. With more foreign direct investment entering the country through its prestigious CIP Program, the government is preparing a roadmap to participate in the construction and improvement of schools, roads, health care and other public infrastructure through the funds generated by the Citizenship by Investment Program.
The fiscal actions and policies adopted by the government have pulled the country out of previous difficulties, favoring the development of an attractive economic environment. In recent years, the country has maintained a steady pace of recovery and has become a top choice for HNWIs.
According to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Saint Lucia is forecast to have its highest GDP growth in 2022. This growth is likely to continue in the coming years, due to its thriving tourism industry.
This year, in particular, will be a breakthrough for the Caribbean island, with statistics reflecting an estimated growth of 13.1% in the first six months of 2022. This success is due to the country’s policy of welcoming foreign direct investment and channel these funds to the most productive sectors of the economy. This means that the investment benefits both investors and citizens of the country, with Saint Lucia ranking 93rd out of 190 countries in the World Bank’s ease of doing business index for 2022.
Once an economy based on agriculture, with the banana industry employing the majority of its citizens, Saint Lucia has now changed course and is also focusing on tourism and banking services. By taking this course of action, the island nation has changed its fortunes, freeing itself from its dependence on agriculture, the country has reformed its economic structure. With its tourism industry now making up 65% of its GDP, it has also become a preferred destination for foreign investors. The industrial setup in Saint Lucia is much easier to navigate than in many other countries.
The Government does not limit the amount of foreign ownership or control in establishing a company in Saint Lucia, allowing 100 percent foreign ownership of companies in any sector. Currently, there are no restrictions on foreign investors investing in military or security-related businesses or in natural resources. Business licenses and other approvals/licenses may be required prior to establishment.
The island has long been considered a top honeymoon destination, but tourism has grown substantially in recent years, with the country attracting an estimated 900,000 tourists per year. Therefore, investors have generally looked towards the lodging and hospitality industry. By developing tourist sites and meeting the needs of their large number of visitors, investors have discovered great opportunities to earn outstanding returns on investments with minimal risk.
The country will welcome a 345-room Grand Hyatt luxury hotel in Sabwisha in 2023. The economic boost offered by these large-scale projects is substantial. At least 2,000 Saint Lucians are expected to gain employment through the hotel’s operations and management.
But Saint Lucia is not just a tourism hub. The country is abundant in natural resources, with great scope to develop them in a sustainable and ecological way. In 2021, the World Bank approved a $21.9 million (USD) loan to develop the renewable energy sector in Saint Lucia.
With the loan, the country aims to increase its geothermal and hydroelectric capacity. These plans respond to the call of governments around the world to make the transition and establish socially and environmentally responsible business environments. In addition, the scheme will reduce the cost of energy on the island, reducing the financial stress on companies. By harnessing renewable energy sources, the country will also be able to facilitate and improve support for energy-intensive industries.
In a move to boost manufacturing and exports, Saint Lucia has also introduced tax exemptions for manufacturing units. This is one of the ways the government intends to expand its manufacturing base and increase its exports, while encouraging the use of local materials and labor. Approved manufacturing companies are entitled to a tax holiday of up to 15 years, depending on the local value provided by the approved products.
Companies also receive income tax incentives, as well as other tax concessions. These are regulated through the Tax Incentives Law, Tourism Incentives Law, Special Development Zones Law and various concessions granted by the Council of Ministers. Along with these incentives, the government also allows duty-free importation of raw materials, machinery, components and equipment. It also offers income tax exemptions for up to 100% of companies engaged in manufacturing, tourism and agriculture.
In addition to the above, St. Lucia is home to a dynamic and consistent workforce, from assorted professionals to tradespeople and highly-skilled workers. This fledgling workforce is available to plan, organize, execute and control commercial ventures, supporting new businesses on the island.
In this way, Saint Lucia offers a very conducive business environment that has attracted investors from all over the world. Many High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) have shown keen interest in becoming Saint Lucian citizens, an opportunity provided by the country’s prestigious Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP) .
SAINT LUCIA: CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT PROGRAM (CIP)
Saint Lucia is the latest country in the Caribbean to open its borders to Citizenship by Investment. Although the program was launched just six years ago, it is already considered one of the top three countries for Citizenship by Investment, according to the 2022 CBI Index. Saint Lucia’s CIP provides numerous benefits such as:
1: Provide investors with global citizenship
2: Offer opportunities to diversify investors’ portfolios
3: Wealth Planning and Overseas Business Expansion
4: Obtain a citizenship that can be passed on to future generations.
Saint Lucia’s Citizenship by Investment program is also notable for the ease of its application process. This includes five steps:
Step 1: Completion of the application by the applicants.
Step 2: Sending the request through the CIP Portal.
Step 3: Verification of documents by the CIP Unit and strict due diligence checks.
Step 4: The selection or rejection of the application by the board.
Step 5: Provision of certification, subject to selection.
Santa Lucia PR
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