LONDON, Jan. 19, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Preliminary figures in the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) report indicate that St Kitts and Nevis attracted US$90 million in net foreign direct investment in 2019. Meanwhile, its gross external debt decreased, in contrast with the overall regional increase in debt. Interestingly, prices deflated in St Kitts and Nevis due to falling inflation, making this 55,000-people twin-island nation very promising for investors.
The country has been successfully running a Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme since 1984. Through CBI, foreign investors and their families can obtain second citizenship by making a contribution to the Sustainable Growth Fund as follows: US$150,000 for a single applicant; US$175,000 for the main applicant and their spouse; US$195,000 for a family of four and US$10,000 for any additional dependants. Applicants must pass all due diligence checks first. CBI drives increased non-tax revenues in St Kitts and Nevis, as observed by ECLAC.
Prime Minister Timothy Harris commented on St Kitts and Nevis' excellent performance reflected in the ECLAC report, noting that the country has, "The highest fiscal balance as a percentage of GDP at a positive 9.2% of GDP." Furthermore, the PM noted that it has, "The lowest central government gross public debt to GDP ratio at 39.1% - the best in the region. We have the lowest gross external debt in the region."
The report suggests that the Easter Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU), which St Kitts and Nevis is part of, is set to continue its positive growth for the eighth consecutive year, at an average 3.9% rate. However, ECLAC projects an overall 1.3% growth for the region in 2020, which, if true, will mark the slowest seven-year economic growth in four decades. This is happening against a bleak global background of a continued economic slowdown of an estimated 2.5% for 2020.
The ECLAC report explains why the ECCU is doing better even than the larger Latin America and the Caribbean region: "The continued strong performance of the tourism, construction and ancillary sectors, as well as inflows of foreign direct investment (FDI) driven by the [ECCU] member states' CBI programmes, are expected to underpin this expansion in economic activity." Meanwhile, inflation rates keep decreasing across the ECCU, and consumer prices keep deflating in St Kitts and Nevis, making living there more affordable.