PM urges private sector to get on board CBI programme

ROSEAU, Dominica, Feb 10, CMC – The Dominica government Friday urged the private sector to get more involved in the controversial Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) describing it as a “winner” in the regional push to attract foreign direct investments (FDI).

Dominica is one of several Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries that has a CBI programme providing citizenship to foreign investors in return for a significant investment in the socio-economic development of the island.

Skerrit at forum
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit addressing private sector forum

The other countries with such a programme include Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St. Lucia and St. Kitts-Nevis.

But in recent weeks the CBI here has come under close scrutiny leading to the main opposition United Workers Party (UWP) and the smaller Dominica Freedom Party (DFP) staging a protest march calling for Skerrit’s resignation and that of his entire Cabinet.

“We have created a product that is internationally competitive. A winner and a leader in the regional push to attract foreign and direct investment and stimulate job creation,” Skerrit told a private sector forum here.

“Moreover, unlike that which obtained in the banana industry, the CBI is a product which is owned by us, is marketed by us and from which the direct benefits go into our treasury and our economy”.

He said it is in the interest of the private sector “to do all that is possible to ensure that the CBI succeeds,” noting that its success “is a guarantor of success of the private sector”.

He said currently there is a heavy focus on hotel construction under the CBI with projects planned to come on stream this year “should result in a dramatic increase in five star quality rooms within the next two to three years.

“These new investments will stimulate demand in the economy and support expansion of the private enterprises as a supply chain to the sector grows and diversifies.”

He said that his administration has already approved financing to be loaned to a local investor to support the purchase of the Dominica Coconut product (DCP) plant from Colgate Palmolive for the resuming the manufacture of soap products here.

“I am sure all Dominicans would be happy to witness the re-commencement of the production of soaps and other products at this facility”.

In November 2015, the Dominica government said it had submitted a proposal to take over the local operations of Colgate-Palmolive, following the company’s decided to close its doors, putting an estimated 94 people on the breadline.

Prime Minister Skerrit said then that his government wants to enter a private treaty with Colgate-Palmolive to take over the DCP property, located in the western community of Belfast, and keep the operations going.

This is not the first time the Dominica government had made a move to acquire the company and that the new proposals had been submitted in November 2015.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

by STAFF WRITER

ROSEAU, Dominica, Feb 10, CMC – The Dominica government Friday urged the private sector to get more involved in the controversial Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) describing it as a “winner” in the regional push to attract foreign direct investments (FDI).

Dominica is one of several Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries that has a CBI programme providing citizenship to foreign investors in return for a significant investment in the socio-economic development of the island.

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Skerrit at forum
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit addressing private sector forum

The other countries with such a programme include Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St. Lucia and St. Kitts-Nevis.

But in recent weeks the CBI here has come under close scrutiny leading to the main opposition United Workers Party (UWP) and the smaller Dominica Freedom Party (DFP) staging a protest march calling for Skerrit’s resignation and that of his entire Cabinet.

“We have created a product that is internationally competitive. A winner and a leader in the regional push to attract foreign and direct investment and stimulate job creation,” Skerrit told a private sector forum here.

“Moreover, unlike that which obtained in the banana industry, the CBI is a product which is owned by us, is marketed by us and from which the direct benefits go into our treasury and our economy”.

He said it is in the interest of the private sector “to do all that is possible to ensure that the CBI succeeds,” noting that its success “is a guarantor of success of the private sector”.

He said currently there is a heavy focus on hotel construction under the CBI with projects planned to come on stream this year “should result in a dramatic increase in five star quality rooms within the next two to three years.

“These new investments will stimulate demand in the economy and support expansion of the private enterprises as a supply chain to the sector grows and diversifies.”

He said that his administration has already approved financing to be loaned to a local investor to support the purchase of the Dominica Coconut product (DCP) plant from Colgate Palmolive for the resuming the manufacture of soap products here.

“I am sure all Dominicans would be happy to witness the re-commencement of the production of soaps and other products at this facility”.

In November 2015, the Dominica government said it had submitted a proposal to take over the local operations of Colgate-Palmolive, following the company’s decided to close its doors, putting an estimated 94 people on the breadline.

Prime Minister Skerrit said then that his government wants to enter a private treaty with Colgate-Palmolive to take over the DCP property, located in the western community of Belfast, and keep the operations going.

This is not the first time the Dominica government had made a move to acquire the company and that the new proposals had been submitted in November 2015.