LONDON— A new report by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) from the United Nations indicates that the Commonwealth of Dominica was the fastest growing economy in the entire Latin America and the Caribbean region in 2019. The island’s GDP is said to have jumped up by 9%, attributed to Citizenship by Investment (CBI), soaring tourism numbers and public sector construction.
Foreign investors sought to obtain second citizenship from Dominica through the CBI Programme, choosing to either make a minimum US$100,000 contribution to a government fund or invest in pre-approved real estate, such as luxury resorts and boutique hotels. Some reasons driving investors’ trust are linked to them seeking to belong to a stable democracy with great diplomatic relations, a trustworthy business environment and a promising economic future. Importantly, Dominica’s CBI Programme is considered the best in the world, employing reliable due diligence that particularly attracts global individuals and families with indisputable integrity.
Dominica is leading the macroeconomic expansion in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU). According to the ECLAC report, “construction activity increased across all ECCU economies” but it was especially notable in Dominica. “The robust performance of the tourism sector, as well as the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programmes and public sector-fuelled construction activity, were primary drivers of ECCU-wide GDP growth in 2019,” the report notes.
The real estate option under CBI forms the foundation of a promising ecotourist sector, able to compete on the international market. Stopovers in Dominica increased threefold, the ECLAC report found, with cruise ship arrivals specifically increasing sevenfold. This is an even more impressive achievement considering the fact that island had suffered a loss worth 226% of GDP after Hurricane Maria in September 2017.
The other CBI option, known as the Economic Diversification Fund (EDF), in turn helps sponsor major nationwide development projects, either partially or fully. These include rehabilitating roads and bridges, creating new health centres, supporting education initiatives, building hurricane-proof public housing, an international airport and a geothermal plant.
Synergetically, investors’ contributions through CBI are leading to an overall economic boom in Dominica, with good prospects for long-term sustainable growth. The island started investing in climate resilience in recent years and the results are paying off.