The Caribbean is not a place you easily forget. From the Bahamas to Saint Lucia the islands are filled with unspoilt coast, volcanic rock formations, glorious waterfalls and stunning rainforests–all of which can be found without the bustle of the major commercial resorts. There is an island to suit everyone.
But the Caribbean is not just attractive on the face of it. There are some very practical reasons that make the Caribbean isles more than just a holiday destination. With many successful citizenship through investment programmes, people are increasingly calling the Caribbean their home.
Here are some reasons why investors are attracted to the Caribbean
- The richer and more affordable quality of life.
Firstly, in what is always going to be an appealing factor in decisions for moving abroad, people can live a comfortable life in many Caribbean islands without having to spend too much.
US expats have noted that by living in Dominica they could maintain their US lifestyle for half the cost. A three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant will cost you an average of US $45 (or GB £30) or less.
Another serious plus is the climate. Though Dominica is a rain forested area and thus experiences much warmth and precipitation, it benefits from a fresh North Easterly wind that expels excess humidity. This way you can experience the warmer climes of the Caribbean without the damp.
Dominica also boasts one of the Caribbean’s cheapest citizenship by investment programmes alongside Grenada’s CBI programme, followed by St Kitts and Nevis.
2. The Caribbean is home to new business havens.
There are many opportunities to expand businesses in sectors such as ICT, manufacturing and tourism. For example, Trinidad and Tobago has been hailed as an economic powerhouse and Dominica named the “emerging investment destination” .
The tourism industry’s growth has been slower than imagined on many Caribbean islands. This has left certain beaches without major commercial resorts and open to fast-growing sub-tourism industries like ecotourism.
Given that this particular niche is in fact the fastest growing sector in the tourism industry (and the most sustainable one) this is a great investment opportunity. It is worth looking to the less built up islands such as Grenada or Dominica for investment opportunities in the tourist industry.
3. Caricom Membership makes many Caribbean islands stronger political and economical players.
The Caribbean Community Secretariat is a group of 15 countries in the area that choose to pool their economic and political power for greater clout.
Caricom sets out objectives such as the following:
- to improve living and work standards;
- to enhance levels of competitiveness internationally; and
- to accelerate, coordinate and sustain economic development.
Caricom countries run a single market and a single economy. This creates more opportunities for employment, investment, trade and production.
4. The East Caribbean Dollar is pegged to the USD.
The East Caribbean Dollar is the currency of a number of other caribbean islands, including Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis, Grenada and St Lucia. The ECD has been pegged to the US Dollar since 1976 and at an exchange rate of $1 USD = $2.7 ECD.
With the US Dollar acting as an anchor for the ECD the currency is stable. As much of Caribbean’s trade is carried out with the USA this fixed exchange rate dismisses uncertainties in the value of goods, services and debts. By being pegged to the currency of one of the biggest nations in the world the ECD offers security.
5. Visa Free Travel.
Citizenship within many Caribbean islands also means you can do away with a considerably amount of red tape. For example with a Dominican passport you can travel to over 95 countries, including Singapore, Peru, Tanzania and Togo.
This has obvious benefits for both leisure and business. It means much easier travel and reduced expenses for those who like to jetset and visit other countries regularly or who need to be frequent flyers for work.