Dominica: investing in nature

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The Commonwealth of Dominica is known as the ‘Nature Island of the Caribbean’ for its dreamlike flora and fauna – but there is much more to this island than exotic ecosystems. In the past few years, Dominica has been a prime example of how a small nation can achieve big things. Indeed, Dominica is fast asserting itself as a business and investment hub, and, by its dedication to entrepreneurship, is attracting luxury brands such as the Kempinski and Curio Collection by Hilton, and establishing a booming construction sector that today draws investors from across the globe.

dominicaThe most notable investment opportunity in Dominica though, is its Citizenship by Investment Programme. The Commonwealth was an early introducer of citizenship by investment – a legal process whereby individuals can obtain citizenship through a significant contribution to a nation’s economy. Dominica offers two enticing channels to citizenship: a contribution to the Economic Diversification Fund (EDF) and an investment in pre-approved real estate.

The EDF was established to help the economy of the island prosper through increased diversification. All EDF contributions are earmarked for public and private sector projects, including the improvement of infrastructure and the development of funds to face natural disasters and other unpredictable calamities. Renewable energy is also a Government priority, particularly with respect to the exploration and use of geothermal energy and hydroelectric power. Dominica has 365 rivers and tributaries – a natural resource that is also being explored for bulk and bottled water export, and a key area of Government-supported investment. Requiring a minimum contribution of US$100,000 for single applicants, the EDF option is the quickest means of obtaining citizenship of Dominica.

In 2014, the Government introduced the option for investors to avail themselves of citizenship through approved real estate projects. Developments are highly scrutinised prior to Government selection, and are endorsed only after they can demonstrate sustainability and regard for Dominica’s natural environment, as well as ensure a solid investment for the citizenship applicant. In line with Dominica’s commitment to high-end eco-tourism, the majority of these projects are exclusive resorts situated in the island’s lush habitats. Families may purchase a property valued at a minimum of US$200,000, and the property is eligible for re-sale when kept for a total of three years, or five years if the buyer is also an applicant for citizenship by investment.

Dominica’s population of 74,000, flaunting a 94% literacy rate, has long embraced European culture, especially customs native to the United Kingdom and France – two countries whose colonial history is tied with that of Dominica. While Dominica’s past has shaped its present culture, language, and institutions, it is its forward-looking approach that has set the island to be one of today’s most attractive destinations for citizenship and investment: steeped in nature, it is looking to protect its environment and prepare itself for the future through the financing of growing sectors, such as tourism and construction, as well as smart energy solutions.

For more information on the investment and contribution options for the Commonwealth of Dominica please visit www.cbiu.gov.dm .