Prime Minister Gaston Browne has warned of attempts to thwart Antigua and Barbuda’s Citizenship by Investment Programme.
Browne was the keynote speaker at the Global Investment Immigration Summit in London on Thursday.
He said while CIP has done well for Antigua and other Caribbean nations, “there are many inter-governmental organisations and others who are determined to stunt their growth and to kill their roots.”
He said these groups these bodies are motivated by self-interest and a fear of competition.
“Having benefitted, for decades, from residency programmes, leading to citizenship, several governments regard the more recent Citizenship by Investment programmes as a threat,” Browne told the summit.
“Therefore, they have encouraged the demonization and befoulment of Citizenship by Investment Programmes,” he added.
The Antigua leader identified both the European Commission and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development saying that they expand their tax demands to target Citizenship by Investment Programmes and residency leading to investment programmes.
Both organisations have started procedures to inquire into tax evasion in Citizenship and Residence by Investment programmes, according to Browne.
“The inquiries are, of course, a ruse to effect control and to eliminate competition,” he said.
“And, as usual, the playing field being created by the European Commission and the OECD is not level,” he added.
The prime minister was making reference to a list of jurisdictions violating the EU Code of Conduct in Taxation, but it does not list any EU members.
“It is clear, therefore, that the EU plans to thwart the Citizenship and Residence by Investment Programmes in other countries, but not their own,” Browne told the summit.
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