BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, OCTOBER 14TH, 2016 (PRESS SEC) – At Wednesday’s 2017 Estimates Committee Meeting, Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris said preliminary data show that the three major revenue earners for the Federal Government of St. Kitts and Nevis – the Inland Revenue Department, the Customs & Excise Department, and the Citizenship-by-Investment Programme – are either moving in line with or slightly ahead of the 2016 budgetary predictions in terms of revenue collection.

Dr. Harris, who is the country’s Minister of Finance, thanked the heads of the respective departments for “being able to hold true to their commitments,” while noting that, “Hopefully, at the end of the year, the total situation will be as good or even better than what has been for the last nine months or so, but the last report that I have is reflective of a good performance by the key revenue heads.”

Regarding the Inland Revenue Department, Prime Minister Harris reported to his Cabinet Ministers, as well as the government officials and other civil service professionals in attendance at Wednesday’s meeting that, “To date, the figures for 2016 are well on budget, perhaps maybe slightly ahead of their budgetary predictions.”

Concerning the Customs Department, the Honourable Prime Minister said that, “It is doing a better job at collection this year, again relative to the 2016 Budget.”

Dr. Harris added that, “The third support for the Government in terms of revenue of note is the CBI [Citizenship-by-Investment Programme], and that is moving in line with the 2016 Budget.”

The Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis outlined some of the plans for the newly rebranded and recalibrated Citizenship-by-Investment Programme, which is the oldest of its kind in the world.  Mr. Les Khan, a well-respected risk mitigation expert, was announced last month as Chief Executive Officer of the Citizenship-by-Investment Unit (CIU), and under his leadership the Citizenship-by-Investment Programme will attempt to be more aggressive in the marketplace.

“This week, the Cabinet took a number of decisions to provide greater support to the marketing, to enhance greater participation of St. Kitts and Nevis, independent of international shows, in doing its own promotion.  That has been advice coming out of the National Consultation on the Economy [held on September 28th],” Prime Minister Harris said Wednesday.

The Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis added: “Since we are a platinum brand, we should not spend a lot of time on group marketing, where you have St. Kitts and Nevis and other countries, such as Dominica and St. Lucia, appearing one after the other [in the same advertisement, for instance].  Everybody is saying that our CBI Programme is the best.  Therefore, there is a diminution of the impact [with group marketing].  The stakeholders have committed that the country will run its own roadshows, which will be determined by the CIU in collaboration with the critically important developers and service providers.”

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