Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 05, 2016 (SKNIS): Another move to propel the St. Kitts-Nevis Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF) forward is the introduction of the International Marketing Agent Initiative, says Les Khan, CEO of the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU), while appearing on the government’s radio-television programme “Working for You” on November 30.
Mr. Khan explained that the initiative is another proactive effort to stay in line with the competition in the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme that will also help in identifying market opportunities in terms of who sells the product, where they sell it, and to whom.
“This is information we didn’t have before,” he said. “So, with a combination of the new website that will give us all of this data, together with international marketing agents and the approach that we are taking, is one that is not just about competition.
The CEO said that the CBI programme is not trying to “price up on the competition,” but that it is trying to put a process in place that allows the management of the international marketing agents, but at the same time give them an opportunity to be paid to bring applications into the programme.
Some international marketers, who promote programmes, include Henley and Partners, Apex, CS Global and Arton Capital.
“All of the service providers and developers have agents overseas who are marketing their product. We just don’t know who they are,” said Mr. Khan.
Mr. Khan said that with the creation of the international marketing agent initiative, the service providers and developers will be asked to register and they will appear on the CIU website. Due diligence will also be done to know who is marketing the product. This will result in more control and will help to identify in what region the CBI programme is being marketed.
“So, if we notice a movement in applications to one region, we could say what and who is our marketing agent, why is it happening, are they really promoting our interest or are they promoting their interest,” explained Mr. Khan.
He added that because selling citizenship garners much cash flow, the controls are necessary to decipher whether or not the marketer is running a scam.
“We know that sometimes out there, to use China as an example, you have 4 or 5 thousand agents and you hear stories about people selling citizenship, not St. Kitts and Nevis, from a taxi. You need to know who these people are and what they are actually selling and if it’s a scam,” said Mr. Khan.
“It’s not just about the competition, it’s about the process, it’s about being able to control, who is taking our product and selling it,” Mr. Khan said.