365 lovely beaches Interesting history and culture Tranquil and breath-taking views Glorious weather all year round Peaceful and stunning sunsets Beautiful coastlines ideal for sailing and yachting
Gaston Browne Prime Minister
We have an ambitious vision to transform Antigua and Barbuda into a Caribbean, economic powerhouse. But we cannot do it alone. We need to engage various global shareholders.” What are your administration’s priorities? We are making a strenuous push to attract more investment into the country and to expand our tourism product to include more properties and increase the variety in our current offer. We especially want more high-end developments and so far have been successful in attracting investors, including a $250 million investment by Robert De Niro and James Packer. They will be building a beautiful resort on our sister island, Barbuda. Economic diversification is important. As everyone knows, we are a tourism-dependent country. While we are trying to maximize returns from tourism, we also see the need to diversify into other sectors, such as finance, farming, fisheries, and the movie industry, among others. We will seek to address issues that make us vulnerable and ensure we have greater energy resilience and food security. One of our priorities is to make sure the country can adapt to and mitigate against the effects of climate change. What makes Antigua and Barbuda different? In the last couple of years, we have successfully attracted more HNWIs than any other country in the Caribbean, as well as the highest number of investments per capita in the region. We have always welcomed and embraced immigrants. We have a very diverse population, which we see as a strength, and individuals from every part of the world are living here. There is no ethnic discrimination. We offer a growing, progressive economy, a stable currency and political stability. We have never had a civil war; this is a country of peace. We have a multicultural and open society; we speak English, have a 99% literacy rate, and enjoy clean air and constant temperatures of 80º F year-round.
Future Caribbean economic powerhouse Billions secured for tourism projects and the development of enhanced energy and transportation infrastructure is fueling region-leading growth
ocated in the Leeward Islands group of the Lesser Antilles, between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, the twin-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda comes close to many people’s idea of paradise. Known as the ‘Land of 365 beaches’, the nation is home to 90,000 people, the majority of whom live on Antigua. The country’s economy is service-oriented, based on highend tourism and the offshore financial services sector, but its modest size meant the global financial crisis, which began in the United States in 2008, hit Antigua and Barbuda hard. A dropoff in visitor numbers from its largest source markets, such as the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, coupled with a decline in overseas investment in the tourism sector, led to a recession from 2009 through 2011. Under the leadership of Prime The legal Minister Gaston Browne, who framework, policies took office in June 2014, the and concessions we offer country has staged an impressive are so attractive that turnaround in its fortunes investing here makes and is now aiming to become great sense.” the economic powerhouse of the Caribbean. By the end Gaston Browne of October 2015, the Browne Prime Minister administration had secured over $3 billion in foreign direct investment commitment, destined for major hotel projects and the re-development of the port in the capital, St. John’s. “Our goal is to attract more investments, bring more tourists, and diversify into other sectors,” the Prime Minister insists. “Last year, GDP growth was 3.5% and we believe we will grow 4.5% 5% this year, which will make us the fastest growing economy in the region. The legal framework, policies and concessions offered by the government are so attractive that investing here makes great sense.”
Set up a decade ago, The Antigua and Barbuda Investment Authority (ABIA) serves as the government’s “one-stop shop” to facilitate and promote capital mobilization in the jurisdiction from domestic and foreign sources: “ABIA guides investors through all the procedures and approvals necessary for the successful establishment of their businesses,” explains Minister of Tourism, Economic Development, Investment and Energy, Asot Michael. A raft of recently completed and ongoing projects are reinforcing the islands’ infrastructure to handle increased demand. These include a new $90-million state-of-the-art terminal at the VC Bird International Airport, which opened last fall and doubled capacity to 1.6 million passengers, and the $200 million being spent on expanding the St. John’s cargo port and cruise facilities. Antigua will be self-sufficient in water supplies by the end of 2016 and is on track to have 18MW of renewable energy, from solar and wind power, on-stream by the start of next year. To supplement its income, Antigua and Barbuda has also sought to attract high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs), via its Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP, see following article), in recent years. The CIP offers all the benefits of being Antiguan to those willing to make a financial commitment to the country’s future: “We would like to welcome more people who are in a position to contribute positively to our economic development,” Prime Minister Browne says.
I would like to see the present average of 30 applications per month increase to 50. Russia is a very important market for us.”
Deputy CEO Citizenship by Investment Unit What has made your CIP so successful? CIU is staffed by private-sector individuals whose focus is on productivity. We quickly became one of, if not the most efficient in the region, surpassing countries who have been in the industry for far longer. Our turnaround time of about 60 days is due to our highly competent staff. Antigua and Barbuda has had a strong presence in high-end tourism for four decades, making it an attractive place for those seeking to invest. We had the opportunity to learn from established programs and model our real-estate offerings and escrow arrangements accordingly. We have been very visible in the international community and have recently started to increase our marketing efforts. Which options do investors choose? Currently, around 70% of applicants invest in the National Development Fund (NDF). In the beginning it was about 90%, but we now have an improved realestate portfolio, as a result of an increased number of hotel refurbishment, redevelopment and expansion projects, as well as new developments that have started construction and have equity in the ground. Although it is important to have contributions to the NDF to fill the fiscal gap and undertake social programs, it is equally vital we have investment in the real-estate and business sectors. They have a multiplying effect and are more sustainable over the long term.
he following are just some of the dozens of real-estate development projects that the Government of Antigua and Barbuda has approved under the Citizenship by Investment Program. The Citizenship by Investment Unit has a full list of approved developments available at cip.gov.ag.
Wish you were Antiguan or Barbudan? The Citizenship by Investment Program gives affluent individuals and families a choice of commitments in exchange for a very desirable passport and place to call home
Set in a secluded bay on a private beach, Nonsuch Bay is the perfect place to relax and unwind. The resort’s spacious hillside residences offer stunning views of a tropical coastline.
A stunning collection of one to six-bedroom freehold villas, townhouses and apartments, all with sea views, available for sale and rental within a fivestar beachfront resort on Antigua’s glorious west coast.
Luxury condo hotel, located next to the Yacht Club Marina at Falmouth Harbour which caters to mega-yachts, dockage for vessels up to 330’ with a draft of up to 20’ both stern-to and alongside.
Nestled in a sheltered cove along the southeastern coast of the island, this exclusive resort will occupy a sprawling 32 acres of prime beachfront and an additional 5 acres of National Park.
aunched in October 2013, Antigua and Barbuda’s Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP) provides three options to acquire citizenship in exchange for a one-off capital contribution (see below). It was the first Caribbean nation to permit investment in approved businesses, an innovation other jurisdictions are now copying. “Our focus from the beginning has been on efficiency, transparency and a robust due diligence process,” says Thomas Anthony, Deputy CEO of the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU). “All the other regional CIP countries also have a National Development Fund and real-estate option, but we felt we needed to use this program to develop and support industries, as well as channel money into sectors that could use the capital.” Ranked the Caribbean’s best CIP destination by Henley and Partners and fourth worldwide by Arton Capital, Antigua and Barbuda has earned over $100 million from the program and conferred citizenship on 1,000 new Antiguans to date, notes Tourism, Economic Development, Investment and Energy Minister Michael. “CIP was the most effective way to generate renewed interest,” the Minister explains, “and spur investment in the economy. In a little over two years, we have seen a resurgence in the real-estate sector and the economic boost has allowed for environmentally responsible projects to be developed.” In addition to visa-free travel to 134 countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom, and the European Union’s Schengen area states, CIP-eligible investors have the right to reside permanently on the islands. If Antigua and Barbuda were not enticing enough a place already, the recent elimination of
Minister of Tourism Economic Development Investment and Energy
personal income tax makes it an even more attractive prospect. Applicants must be over 18 and submit to thorough background checks to confirm that information provided to the authorities is correct. The only residency stipulation is that new citizens spend at least five days on Antigua or Barbuda in the five years following the We use the CIP granting of citizenship, far to develop and support from a hardship for those industries, and to channel lucky enough to be approved. money into sectors that “We only attract the crème need the capital.” de la crème and will not compromise the security of our Thomas Anthony country or our neighbours” Deputy CEO, Citizenship declares Prime Minister by Investment Unit Browne. “The comprehensive infrastructure we have in place will appeal to HNWIs looking for an offshore jurisdiction that is safe and stable, where they can be sure their funds and investments will grow in value.”
Investment options National Development Fund Single applicant or Family of 4 or less Family of 5 or more
Real Estate Investments Investment minimum
Investment in Business Single investor Two or more investors (each at least US$400,000)
US$1.5 million US$5 million
Every effort has to be made to explain the genuine purposes of the CIP; to show those who question it what are the overall long-term benefits it will bring and to assure people of its integrity and safety.” What have you done to revitalize the tourism sector? We have done a remarkable job re-positioning Antigua and Barbuda as a premier tourism brand and attracting investors. We offer a product that fits all budgets and our strategy has been to cater to the mid-to upper-end of the market. The quality of our boutique five-star hotels is second to none. We have made an effort to grow international airlift to ensure we have a high percentage of premium-class seats serving the destination. We must continue to enhance and improve the product we offer to have the first-class facilities and services demanded by discerning modern travelers. Investment must be made in a sustainable way to ensure the long-term viability of the industry, create well-paying jobs for our citizens, and provide strong revenue streams to spur economic growth. In which areas are you aiming to attract new investment? Tourism represents 70% of GDP and there are opportunities for diversification into sub-sectors, including yachting and marine services, health and wellness, MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions), and educational tourism, facilitated by international schools. In support of the nation’s developmental agenda, a number of priority potential growth sectors have been identified for targeted investments where Antigua and Barbuda is perceived to have competitive advantages. These are: agriculture, agri-business fisheries, business process outsourcing, creative industries, energy, financial services, ICT, and manufacturing. Our CIP is based on investing. The goal is to position the country as one of the best investment destinations in the world. We believe in “investmenttourism” where HNWIs will come on vacation and end up purchasing real estate or setting up business in Antigua and Barbuda for our mutual benefit.
The beach is just the beginning Antigua and Barbuda’s sandy white beaches and crystal blue waters have attracted many wealthy tourists and celebrities
he tropical islands of Antigua and Barbuda are located in the heart of the Caribbean about a thousand miles to the east of Jamaica and half that distance from Trinidad on the coast of South America. Thirty million years ago, volcanic eruptions gave birth to the twin islands of Antigua and Barbuda, which is a relatively young island on the geological time scale. On the northern flank of this volcano, reefs were formed, hence the greater part of Antigua is low lying and is composed of limestone rock. The highest point of Antigua reaches 1,319 feet in the southwest area called Boggy Peak, while the limestone Highlands of Barbuda rise to a mere 125 feet. The overall area of Antigua is 108 square miles, while smaller Barbuda is 62 square miles. The population of the former is approaching 90,000, but the latter is relatively unpopulated at 1,300. Days and nights are refreshingly cooled by gentle trade winds. Antigua boasts the Antigua and largest expanse of freshwater in Barbuda has been a the whole of the Caribbean with sailor’s haven and a a lake nearly two miles long by popular yachting hub one mile wide. for many years.” Barbuda became separated from Antigua by about 28 miles, when the sea-levels of the world rose considerably at about 10,000 BC. Today, parts of Barbuda are geologically flooded and have formed interesting lagoons. Here may be seen the largest breeding and nesting colony of magnificent, frigate birds in the world. Barbuda supports a tremendous diversity of native habitats, so far unthreatened by development. Reeffringed Barbuda may be one of the best kept ecological secrets in the West Indies. Its rugged scenery, beautiful beaches, (one at least 12 miles long), lagoons and abundant wildlife are considered invaluable natural resources. The twin islands, with breathtaking beaches, warm locals, and tropical landscapes make for the perfect escape. Antigua’s
people are friendly and accommodating to tourists who seek the unique natural diversity of the islands. Antigua’s best-kept secret is its sister island Barbuda, a secluded ultra-escape where one can enjoy unspoiled nature at its best. Considered part of the Leeward Islands, Antigua and Barbuda is a Caribbean gem. Adventure awaits any guest who wants to explore is pristine beaches or hike in the tropical rainforests. Also known for its local music, it is no doubt the islands have become a popular destination for honeymoons and even weddings themselves. Together the nation of Antigua and Barbuda drums with a rhythm of relaxed island life—two hearts with one beat.
Antigua and Barbuda Facts & Figures An independent state within the British Commonwealth of Nations since 1981. Parliamentary democracy. Head of government:
43 square km (ranks 201st 4 in world)
St. John’s (pop. 25,000)
Protestant 68% Roman Catholic 8%
Currency: East Caribbean dollar, pegged at ECD2.7 = US$1.0 Mobile phones:
120 per 100 inhabitants
90% of population
2017, a landmark year Minister of Tourism Asot Michael has said “2017 is set to be a landmark year for Antigua and Barbuda and for our tourism industry.”
ntigua and Barbuda has much to offer travelers and we must continually seek to discover and create ways to elevate our island in the mind of the travelling consumer and to communicate in such a way so as to distinguish us from our Caribbean neighbours. We also need to combat any negative perceptions of being located in a Zika region.” Minister Michael said that by 2019, it is estimated that the total number of stay over tourist arrivals by air will surpass 280,000 and the number of cruise arrivals will likely exceed 1,000,000 cruise tourists. “We cannot however become complacent on our recent success and expect this We need to be growth to continue organically. strategic, dynamic, We need to be strategic, dynamic, proactive and adaptive proactive and adaptive to all to all opportunities for opportunities to strengthen and growing our tourism grow our tourism industry.” The industry.” government is now discussing developmental plans within the areas of accommodations, cruises, yachting, St. John ’ s city, infrastructure, sites and attractions.
Antigua and Barbuda voted Caribbean’s most romantic destination.
he nation received one of the highest honors in the travel industry by winning “Caribbean’s Most Romantic Destination,” for the second consecutive year, at the 2016 World Travel Awards’ Caribbean and North American Gala Ceremony, held at Sandals Ochi Beach Resort in Ochos Rios, Jamaica in September 2016. The award further cements the twin island nation’s position as the leader in the Wedding, Honeymoon and Romance market. It was nominated against 12 other destinations in this category. The World Travel Awards were founded in 1993 to recognize, acknowledge and reward excellence in travel, tourism and hospitality industry worldwide, and 23 years later it is now recognized globally as the hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire.
The twin-islands to appear in award winning documentary
ntigua and Barbuda will be viewed by millions on the seventh season of the award-winning documentary TV series, Music Voyager. “Music Voyager: Antigua and Barbuda,” filmed on the islands in 2015, highlights the story of Antigua and Barbuda through music and culture allowing viewers to experience the country through the eyes of the locals, and their words.
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In an age of increasing need for mobility, becoming a global citizen has never been more desirableâ€Ś Have you considered a second citizenship that offers visa-free access to 134 countries, no tax obligations on worldwide income and the luxury of experiencing Paradise? The Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program is currently rated #1 in the Caribbean and #4 in the world by international industry professionals Henley & Partners and Arton Capital. The Government of Antigua and Barbuda welcomes you to explore the reasons why it is ranked amongst the best Citizenship by Investment Programs in the world.