By all measures, the Caribbean Investment Summit 2018 in St. Kitts and Nevis was a success. The attendance alone nearly doubled last year’s, but it was the excellent coordination of the event and the high-level speakership that truly took it over the top. Every detail was looked after, and the most relevant and interesting topics drew large, engaged crowds. A special shout-out to Open Interactive, the NY and St. Kitts-based marketing agency who handled the event. After one week of processing, we have digested the content of the four days into what we have learned in the citizenship by investment space in the Caribbean:
- Political pressure is real. The opening day saw a fiery speech by some of the country-heads about the pressure they are receiving from other countries, and their united determination to proceed with the citizenship-by-investment units, regardless. The mood in the main conference hall was almost defiant as officials spoke at length about the unwanted criticism they have received from other islands and other governments. We believe that this pressure may discourage some CBI programs from taking root, but are confident that current programs will continue due to the realization of revenue.
- The future is collaborative. Despite competition, and some palpable differences between the various CBI programs, representatives from Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, and St Lucia committed to continue exploring opportunities for collaboration the integrity of their programs on a world stage. They are all aware that some issues are best tackled together so they can respond to criticism in one, united voice.
- The future is efficient. Applicants, agents and providers are demanding an efficient, secure and private service. Applicants usually don’t want their intentions known, and the security procedures in place at the agent and provider levels is, in many cases, lacking. This opens the way for standardized process management, information sharing and modernized, mobile-first applications.
- The future is blockchain. With Bitcoin.com as an official sponsor of the event, discussions of blockchain were a big part of the side-chatter going on at the conference. Of particular interest, was sharing important information between the various CBI programs about applicants. This is a problem begging a solution, and one that LelogixProspus (a joint venture that Prospus is part of) is actively working on.
Aside from this, we came away confident that the CBI programs in the Caribbean would continue to grow, providing much-needed revenue to the various Caribbean governments who have adopted them. As solution providers to some of these governments in partnership with Lelogix, we are excited to be part of the growth of this exciting micro-industry.