Caribbean investment opportunities - visit to prime minister of Dominica
Dominica is a mountainous island country in the eastern Caribbean.In late March 2015, Dominica's prime minister Roosevelt Skerrit came to Beijing and Shanghai, where the young and tall leader introduced Chinese investors to opportunities in the Caribbean.
Back in June 2013, Chinese President Xi jinping met Skerrit once during a trip to the Caribbean.Skerrit expressed his wish to strengthen cooperation in transportation infrastructure, education, medical care and other areas related to people's livelihood.Two years later, he came with an investment plan for a "tropical paradise", "hoping to further strengthen the relationship between the two countries through investment".
Skerrit spoke to reporters from the China economic times in a hotel conference room in eastern Beijing.Skerritt was born in Dominica in 1972 and studied at Dominica national college, new Mexico state university, and the university of Mississippi, earning a bachelor's degree in psychology and English.A former schoolteacher and lecturer at a state college, he was a member of the Dominica labor party, serving as prime minister in 2004 and again in 2005 and 2009.Dominica established diplomatic relations with China in 2004, the year Skerrit became prime minister.
Dominica advocates Caribbean integration and is a member of the Caribbean community and the common market.The country covers only 751 square kilometers and is predominantly black and mulatto.The journalist first asked how to strengthen the investment cooperation with the Chinese government and private enterprises.
Mr Skerrit replied: "Dominica has a good relationship with China. We always follow the one-china principle and play an important role in both bilateral and multilateral areas.Over the past decade, we have received many infrastructure projects from China.The purpose of the visit is to meet with potential Chinese investors and hopefully work with the Chinese private sector to strengthen the relationship between the Dominican government and the Chinese private sector by encouraging Chinese to invest in Dominica."
"We welcome as many people as possible to Dominica as tourists, investors or residents to improve our country's inadequate infrastructure and strengthen social activities."Mr Skerrit says there are a lot of Chinese living in Dominica and they see an investment opportunity and think Dominica is worth investing in.Dominica also imports a lot from China, where the trade deficit is huge.Almost all imports come from China, including a range of products including furniture, vehicles and food.Chinese investors are welcome.
"The Chinese government has helped us build roads, it will start building a hospital in June 2015, it will build a school building, it will build a lot of important projects, it will build a government building where the President lives," Skerrit said of the projects.We are also talking to Chinese companies about building an international airport in Dominica."
As you can see, Dominica is an agricultural country with tourism as its pillar industry. It is listed as one of the top 10 ecotourism hotspots in the world by Sherman travel website.Tropical rain forest, boiling lake, sulfur spring, etc., is one of the Caribbean tourist attractions.
According to Skerrit, the tropical paradise investment program has two components: immigration and investment.There are two ways to immigrate to Dominica: directly to the government of Dominica;Obtain citizenship through a minimum investment of $200,000."With the increase of visitors, the development of tourism derivatives, such as the need for more hotels, can be further promoted.We use infrastructure or energy projects to promote social and economic development in Dominica.The first geothermal project in the Caribbean was recently launched.We use programs to address different levels of poverty and also to benefit investors."
Ms Skerrit was joined by micha-rose Emmett, managing director of CS Global partners, who first introduced Dominica's comprehensive healthcare system.There are two projects that could attract potential investment.One is the silver harbor project, a scenic spot that will have more than 200 houses.The second is the construction of 125 houses in the mountains.The government is now considering four or five additional projects."Since the start of the investment program, returns have continued to rise."
When asked about the benefits of citizenship?Mr Skerrit replied: "once the application is successful, the citizenship is valid for life, unless there are extreme incidents of treason, fraud or other things in the application process.There is no need to stay in multiple countries before and after the application process, no property tax is levied, and no applicant is required to speak or write English.Citizens can also enter many countries visa-free, including Britain, the Netherlands and many European countries.We have been in negotiations with European governments to join the schengen countries. We have basically reached an agreement and are waiting for the relevant documents to be signed by the eu, which are expected to come into force before the end of 2015.Immigration has a very rigorous due diligence process."