CBR
search
Crime

An aerial view of Castries, the capital of St Lucia (Photo: LinkedIn: Invest St Lucia)

Saint Lucia ranked safest in Caribbean as wealthy Americans seek safe harbours

An aerial view of Castries, the capital of St Lucia (Photo: LinkedIn: Invest St Lucia)

There has been a new surge in wealthy citizens of the world seeking new places to hide from COVID and also invest.

A shot of a street in Castries, St Lucia (File photo)

Henley & Partners, a company which specialises in residence and citizens planning, said this week that “the massive volatility driven by COVID-19 has pushed the steady growth in investment migration into overdrive, with a nearly 50 per cent increase in inquiries overall as the pandemic coursed around the globe in the six months to June 2020 compared to the same period last year.

Among those making inquiries at a somewhat higher rate as Americans especially, among whom there has been a 100 per cent increase, said the global company.

US citizens in the first six months of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, doubled the rate of inquiries, an incidence accompanied by significantly greater interest shown by Canadians and UK citizens, Henley and Partners said.

In terms of the total number of inquiries made in the first six months of 2020, Indian nationals outstripped all other nationalities by a long stretch. Henley & Partners received 96.5 per cent more inquiries from Indian nationals than Nigerian nationals, who were placed second, followed by Pakistan and, startlingly, the US.

Several countries that host investment migration programs rank high on prominent indexes such as the 2020 Global Peace Index (GPI), the World Bank’s 2020 Ease of Doing Business ranking, and Deep Knowledge Analytics’ COVID-19 Regional Safety Assessment ranking, the company stated.

The GPI omits the Caribbean small-island nations, but St Lucia ranks 93rd in the Ease of Doing Business index and 127th in the COVID-19 Regional Safety Assessment ranking, making it the Caribbean investment migration programme of choice for high-net-worth individuals, Henley stated.

Within all the  parameters used , New Zealand comes out on top of all nations, impressively ranking 1st in both the GPI and Ease of Doing Business index and 2nd in the COVID-19 Regional Safety Assessment ranking.

Other secure alternatives for high-net-worth families are Singapore, which ranks 7th in the GPI, 2nd in the Ease of Doing Business index, and 10th in the COVID-19 Regional Safety Assessment ranking, and Australia, which ranks 13th, 14th, and 6th in the three indexes, respectively.

In terms of alternative citizenship options in Europe, Austria is the top option, ranking 4th in the GPI, 27th in the Ease of Doing Business index, and 8th in the COVID-19 Regional Safety Assessment index, while Montenegro ranks 69th, 50th, and 83rd in the three indexes, respectively.

Henley & Partners Group Head of Sales Dominic Volek, says 19 of the G20 nations offer some form of mechanism to encourage inward investment in exchange for residence rights.