Immigration is poised to be a game-changer for education and healthcare in the region
By Paul Singh
The Indian government was one of many whose handling of the pandemic affected the people’s trust and confidence in it. On the other side of the world, Dominica has been using funds from the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) program to overhaul and bolster its healthcare system by building a state-of-the-art hospital and 14 polyclinics, as well as upgrading the existing infrastructure.
The CBI program has been around for a few decades but interest in it has been rising since 2020. It allows high net-worth individuals (HNWIs) and their families to become citizens of another territory in exchange for investing in that country, either via a private contribution to a government fund or investment in a real-estate undertaking.
More significantly in this context, the monies that come via the CBI programs in the Caribbean are ploughed back into the key areas of education and healthcare, further improving the quality, service and delivery of schools and hospitals.
So, besides the obvious financial advantages, CBI ensures the availability of the best education and healthcare anywhere in the world. Because, the clincher for prospective investors when it comes to seeking alternative citizenship, is the assurance of a standard of living that incorporates all motivators (including the above mentioned two core areas), something that every CBI territory offers.
Each CBI program, then, guarantees education and healthcare that’s not only of the highest quality but is easy on the pocket. This goes a long way toward providing optimal quality of life for the individual and an equitable society for the collective. And it is in the Caribbean that the potential for transformation and reshaping of education and healthcare is the biggest.
While the economic stability and investment-friendly vibe of each of the five CBI territories in the region—Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, and Saint Lucia—are certain to entice HNWIs to the islands, it is the overall package that is likely to be the deciding factor for these individuals and their families to make the move, from home to a ‘second’ home.
Crucially, there’s the comfort of knowing that in this home away from home, each of education and healthcare receives priority spending when it comes to budgetary allocation, to add to the already outstanding performance of these sectors, and the impressive strides they have made towards ensuring a degree of social development that is at par with the world’s most well-off nations, in Europe, East Asia, North America and Oceania.
For instance, St. Kitts and Nevis boast a literacy rate of 98%, with enrollment for primary-school students at 83% and for secondary-school students at 91%.
Education in this twin-island state is mandatory but free for the first 12 years, it’s level is enhanced by funds received from the CBI program. And the neighboring islands are as invested in providing schooling of the highest calibre that is also accessible and affordable.
Similarly in healthcare, which can be compared to the very best in the world, is endowed as it is with up-to-date knowhow, highly qualified personnel and cutting-edge technology. Besides, for the most part, medical facilities in the majority of CBI jurisdictions in the Caribbean are calibrated with those in the USA, proof of their worth and robust reliability.
So, to conclude, investors building a new life for themselves in a Caribbean country would benefit immensely from the relocation. But, the entry of HNWIs would be equally valuable for the host nation in terms of the quality of investment and human resources it receives.
Moreover, the room for economic and social growth in these countries, via CBI, is potentially transformational. They may be small in size but they’re big in aspirations.
And as we all know, it is schools and colleges, and hospitals and clinics, which are an accurate indicator of a country’s social development.
With more global citizens making their way to the Caribbean for dual citizenship, expect immigration to change the game in Education and Healthcare in the region, and further drive these priority segments into the embrace of excellence.
(Paul Singh is the director of London headquartered CS Global Partners, specializing in attracting foreign direct investment through powerful marketing)