Antigua and Barbuda Ambassador Dario Item on the Investment Opportunities in the Country

A balance of the untouched splendor of mother nature and the right number of amenities for business productivity is what Antigua and Barbuda presents as a premier tourist destination both for travelers and savvy investors. 

Modern-day entrepreneurs looking to expand their options will be spoilt for choices with what Antigua and Barbuda offers. The majestic Caribbean destination takes nature, comfort, and hospitality into account in developing its tourist attractions. Dr. Dario Item, Antigua and Barbuda’s ambassador to Spain, Monaco, and Liechtenstein, particularly highlighted the marvel of the 365 beaches in the island: “Having this many beaches surrounding our country tells us that indeed Antigua and Barbuda is blessed and well-suited for both tourists and investors.”

H. E Dario Item, Ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda to Spain (right) with His Majesty Felipe VI, King of Spain during the presentation of credentials (left), Source: Embassy.ag

Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP)

The country’s programme to encourage investors through secondary citizenship is a great addition to what Antigua and Barbuda’s terrain brings to the international scene. The Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP) was launched in 2013. 

The tourism industry was officially launched in 2009. Ten years after the event, 2019 saw a glaring spike in the number of tourists that visited Antigua and Barbuda. In December of the same year, the Caribbean destination recorded its 300,000th visitor for the year. It is quite amazing getting to that number considering there are only roughly 90,000 inhabitants of the majestic islands.

The vast hotel options, culture of hospitality, as well as the world-class airport contribute to the tourism milestone of Antigua and Barbuda. Notable tourist spots like Dickenson Bay, Nelson’s Dockyard, and Long Island (also known as Jumby Bay) are some of its biggest tourist magnets.

Dr. Dario Item, the country’s Ambassador to Europe, fully supports the tourism industry and the citizenship programme it offers to the international community.

With the CIP, tourists who fell in love with the country and looking to establish businesses and invest in its economy could now do so with the programme, and help support the development of the Caribbean state.

A potential citizen has four different options. One is through the National Development Fund wherein a candidate is required to contribute $100,000, or $125,000 for families of five or more, to the fund managed by the Government.

The second option is the real estate investment where applicants may invest $400,000 in either of the 30 types of properties including magnificent beachfront and high-end hotels. Applicants may also avail this through joint ownership provided they contribute at a minimum of $200,000 each.

Next is the accommodation through commercial operations in a new market. An applicant can make an investment of $1.5m in an approved business.

Lastly is the innovative option of the University of West Indies Fund. This represents the development of Antigua and Barbuda comprehensively, old and new, and across all sectors. An individual is required to make a $150,000 investment to avail of the programme.

Nomad Digital Residence Visa Programme

Nomad Digital Residence Visa Programme is designed for entrepreneurs looking to work remotely from the stunning beaches of Antigua and Barbuda / Source: Embassy.ag

The capability to work remotely has been emphasized during the past years, but it received a rapid growth in interest as a result of COVID-19. Due to health protocols and security measures, being able to work from home or at a distance has quickly become a need. 

The government of Antigua and Barbuda, through its special resident authorization allows for two years of residency for eligible applicants. This is a welcome opportunity for ultra-high-net-worth-individuals (UHNWI) to work in the safety of uncrowded and pristine beach resorts with great telecommunications infrastructure. Imagine being able to run your office while inhaling the comfortable breeze coming from the 365 beaches of a 95-mile coastline.  

These programmes, the CIP and the Nomad Digital Residence Visa Programme, are great opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs looking to invest in the country and support stimulating development efforts in Antigua and Barbuda. Dr. Dario Item, along with his colleagues in the European caucus, have been significant as they bring along with them a positive outlook and sound programmes on how Antigua and Barbuda will overcome the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.