Citizenship by Investment programme becomes catalyst in development of St Kitts and Nevis

Basseterre, June 20, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Despite being the smallest country in the Western Hemisphere, the twin-island Federation of St Kitts and Nevis gave the world its first economic citizenship programme in 1984. It provides alternative citizenship in exchange for a financial contribution to the country’s economy. St Kitts and Nevis is well-known across […]

Basseterre, June 20, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Despite being the smallest country in the Western Hemisphere, the twin-island Federation of St Kitts and Nevis gave the world its first economic citizenship programme in 1984. It provides alternative citizenship in exchange for a financial contribution to the country’s economy.

St Kitts and Nevis is well-known across the world for its pristine beaches and sheer blue waters; it is also among the most stable economies in the region, with tourism being the major source of income. The stability and tranquil environment of the country enable it as an ideal location for people seeking alternative citizenship. There is no denying that the CBI programme of the country offers a much-needed injection of foreign direct investment, often in a way that can make significant developmental differences.

The twin-island nation is indeed home to the world’s longstanding economic citizenship programme and has been providing alternative citizenship for more than three decades. The Citizenship by Investment Programme of the country is the oldest programme across the globe. The CBI Programme guarantees platinum standards with increased mobility, sustainable investment opportunities and greater economic freedom for successful applicants.

For St Kitts and Nevis, the citizenship by investment programme has a vital role to play in its socio-economic development. The programme is crucial for funding many projects. As per the CBI experts, the alternative citizenship of St Kitts and Nevis country is the most powerful in the region and provides access to more than 75 percent of the world. Not only this, but the citizenship is granted for life to the applicants with the ability to add additional dependents.

The citizenship by investment programme has been lauded for its stringent, vigorous and robust due-diligence background checks. The multi-layered background checks are carried out internally by the citizenship by investment unit based on the original and certified supporting documents an agent submits with your application, as well as externally by the third-party firm. The government of St Kitts and Nevis has hired the world’s top-tier independent third-party agencies to check the character, source of investment, and documents of applicants. The checks are not only limited to online information, but also does thorough on-ground examinations to ensure that a person of only the highest character is granted citizenship. The background checks help maintain the integrity of the programme and also ensure national and international security.

The CBI Programme has earned multiple awards and a reputation as the ‘platinum standard’ of CBI. The Financial Times’ PWM magazine lauded Citizenship by Investment Programme of St Kitts and Nevis in the CBI Index. According to the nine pillars of the CBI Index of 2021, St Kitts and Nevis have been ranked first for “Citizenship Timeline”, “Due Diligence”, and “Family”.

Interested candidates may apply for alternative citizenship of the nation through the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF), which is known as the Fund Option. It is considered the fastest investment option, launched in 2018 by Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris. Through SGF, an applicant may contribute to the growing economy of St Kitts and Nevis. St Kitts and Nevis CBI Programme create opportunities for investors and the local community to drive economic growth and build a sustainable future.

The applicant has to follow basic steps to apply for the alternative citizenship of the twin-island Federation –

Step 1: Choose an alternative agent across the globe

Step 2: Complete the applications and documentation

Step 3: Due Diligence

Step 4: If your application is selected, proceed to payment

Step 5: Certification

Located in the Caribbean region, St Kitts and Nevis is easily accessible by cruise ships and planes. The nation is known as the region’s best-kept secret. The stunning beauty, rich history and friendly locals make the country a perfect must-visit travel destination. The nation has been regarded “splendid” due to the seven factors – volcanoes, mountains, coral reefs, protected areas, coastlines, rainforests, and glaciers.

St Kitts is known to be party-friendly and Nevis is all about peace and nature. The Caribbean country will attract the tourists with fascinating activities, including bobbing yachts, swaying palm trees, and jaw-dropping sunset sights. The tourists may also enjoy the warm local feel, island’s rich history or kick back at one of the many incredible resorts.

St Kitts and Nevis, two islands have been separated by a two-mile channel, which is popularly called “Narrows”. The tourists may easily travel between both the nations through excellent ferry services which accommodates both persons and cars. Both are regarded as quaint in nature with cobbled sidewalks and a wealth of history on display. These islands offer magnificent historical sites and landmarks to explore, including the Circus Monument, which adorns Fort Street, the main thoroughfare in Basseterre and the Museum of Nevis History in Charlestown. The Brimstone Hill Fortress and National Park is acclaimed as the largest fortress in the Eastern Caribbean and is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

PR St Kitts and Nevis
Government of St. Kitts and Nevis
pr@csglobalpartners.com

BTS Break Sparks Debate on Activism, Military Exemptions

The surprise announcement by BTS last week that they were taking a break to focus on members’ solo projects stunned their global fanbase, shaking their label’s stock price and leaving many questions about the K-pop supergroup’s future.HYBE, the company…

The surprise announcement by BTS last week that they were taking a break to focus on members’ solo projects stunned their global fanbase, shaking their label’s stock price and leaving many questions about the K-pop supergroup’s future.

HYBE, the company behind the band, denied the group was taking a hiatus — a word used in a translation of the group’s emotional dinnertime video announcement. In the days since, band members have remained active on social media, continuing the stream of posts, photos and assurances that the band wasn’t breaking up.

Despite the immediate impacts — HYBE’s stock initially dropped more than 25% and has yet to fully recover — several factors may still affect BTS’ future. One is looming military enlistment for older BTS members, as well as how engaged the group and their devoted fans, known as ARMY, will continue to be in social issues.

In 2020, at the height of BTS’ success, the South Korean government revised the country’s military law that requires able-bodied South Korean men to perform approximately two years of military service. The revised law allows top K-pop stars — including Jin, the oldest member of BTS — to defer their military service until they turn 30 if they’ve received government medals for heightening the country’s cultural reputation and apply for the postponement. All BTS members meet the criteria as recipients of government medals in 2018.

“Obviously, there’s a looming military enlistment so they might have thought it’d be good to do something individually before it’s too late and that’s why I think military enlistment was the biggest factor,” said Lee Dong Yeun, a professor at Korea National University of Arts.

There have been calls — including from South Korea’s former culture minister — for an exemption for BTS because of their contribution to heightening South Korea’s international reputation. But critics say that such an exemption would be bending the conscription rules to favor the privileged.

Jin, 29, is expected to enlist this year unless he receives an exemption.

Military enlistment of members has always been a headache for HYBE; BTS once accounted for 90% of the label’s profit. Currently, the group makes up 50%-60% of the label’s profit according to a report from eBest Investment & Securities.

The eBest report noted that the rapid stock plunge might have resulted from an “anticipation that the activities as the whole group might be uncertain after being discharged from the military.”

HYBE has been attempting to diversify its portfolio by debuting new K-pop bands, making online games, and rolling out Korean language tutorials.

As the most successful K-pop band to date with hits like “Dynamite” and “Butter,” BTS has for years commanded tremendous attention on social media and with each new music release. They recently performed several sold-out shows in the United States, became the first K-pop act to get a Grammy Award nomination, released an anthology album, “Proof,” and channeled their global influence with an address at the United Nations and a trip to the White House to campaign against hate crimes directed at Asians.

“Once you achieve success like BTS achieved success, then it means there’s a constant expectation to continue doing something that is connected to what you’ve already done, where you’ve already been. In the most recent releases that BTS has brought out, also we can see how they continually reflect back on where they have been,” said CedarBough Saeji, professor of Korean and East Asian Studies at Pusan National University.

She said Tuesday’s announcement signaled the band’s intention to figure out “where they are going for themselves without interference from other people” and “being able to choose their own path forward as artists.”

Last week’s announcement also leaves in doubt the group’s social justice efforts, which have included vocal support for the Black Lives Matter movement and anti-violence campaigns. BTS’ legions of fans have embraced the causes, matching a $1 million donation to Black Lives Matter after George Floyd’s death.

But the group has faced mushrooming questions about why it isn’t as vocal about discrimination in their own country.

A leading South Korean newspaper recently published a column in which the author mused why South Korea, despite having BTS — “the ambassador of anti-discrimination and human rights” — has struggled to enact an anti-discrimination law for 15 years.

“It’s an irony,” the writer said. “South Korea needs their force for good.”

The country’s lack of an anti-discrimination law has led to unfair treatment against women and foreigners, among others.

Jumin Lee, the author of the book “Why Anti-Discrimination Law?” told the Associated Press that there’s a dire need for the anti-discrimination law in the country.

“South Korea is in essentially the same situation legally as America’s Jim Crow South. Equal protection exists as a constitutional concept, but there is no implementing legislation that allows the government to force private businesses to comply,” Lee said. “What that means in practice is that if I’m a business owner, I could post a sign on my door tomorrow that says, ‘no gays’ ‘no blacks’ or ‘no old people,’ and absent extraordinary intervention by the Constitutional Court, there’s very little the law can do to stop me.”

Lee recently expressed disappointment in the band for not speaking up about the important domestic issue.

“BTS and their business folks know that speaking up in the U.S. is profitable but doing the same back home would be more trouble than it’s worth. So, they don’t,” tweeted Lee after the band’s visit to Washington.

Despite that, Lee said the band’s silence is understandable, stating that BTS would be met with “indifference at best and hostility at worse” from politicians if they did speak up.

Some South Korean celebrities like singers Harisu and Ha:tfelt have been speaking out on touchy subjects such as the anti-discrimination law and feminism, despite backlashes.

After speaking out about the 2014 sinking of the Sewol ferry, which killed 304 people in one of the country’s worst disasters, Cannes-winning actor Song Kang-ho and director Park Chan-wook were blacklisted by the administration of the ousted President Park Geun-hye, noted Areum Jeong, a scholar of Korean pop culture.

“So, although many idols might be politically conscious, they might choose not to discuss social issues,” Jeong said.

Several BTS members said during last week’s announcement that they were struggling with the group’s successes and having trouble writing new songs.

“For me, it was like the group BTS was within my grasp until ‘On’ and ‘Dynamite,’ but after ‘Butter’ and ‘Permission to Dance,’ I didn’t know what kind of group we were anymore,” member RM said. “Whenever I write lyrics and songs, it’s really important what kind of story and message I want to give out but it was like that was gone now.”

While that clouds what BTS’ next steps might be, Saeji said their continued candor was necessary because of how much the group has impacted their fanbase.

“They’re meeting the fans with that same honesty and saying to them, ‘You had my help when I needed it. And now I need my help,’” she said. “‘I need to be on my own. To think for myself, to know what I want to write a lyric about, to understand my own mind, to become inspired on my own.’”

Source: Voice of America

Oscar-Winning Director Paul Haggis Arrested in Italy on Sexual Assault Charges

Oscar-winning Canadian screenwriter and director Paul Haggis is under house arrest in southern Italy on charges of sexual assault and aggravated personal injury, accusations that Haggis denies, his lawyers said on Monday.”Mr. Paul Haggis was detained o…

Oscar-winning Canadian screenwriter and director Paul Haggis is under house arrest in southern Italy on charges of sexual assault and aggravated personal injury, accusations that Haggis denies, his lawyers said on Monday.

“Mr. Paul Haggis was detained on Sunday with an emergency measure issued by the Brindisi prosecutors and is now under house arrest in Ostuni. He will be questioned by Thursday by a judge who will have to decide whether or not to confirm the detention,” his Italian lawyer Michele Laforgia told Reuters.

Haggis was charged with forcing a young non-Italian woman to have sexual intercourse against her will the course of two days in Ostuni, Italy, public prosecutors in Brindisi said in a statement on Sunday.

“Under Italian Law, I cannot discuss the evidence. That said, I am confident that all allegations will be dismissed against Mr. Haggis,” Haggis’ personal attorney Priya Chaudhry said in a statement.

Both lawyers said Haggis was pleading innocent and would cooperate with authorities.

“A young foreign woman was forced to seek medical care” following the sexual relations, the prosecutors said in the statement.

They said that on Sunday after the non-consensual relations that man accompanied the woman to Brindisi airport, where she was left despite her “precarious physical and psychological conditions.”

An investigative source told Reuters the unidentified young woman will be questioned in the coming 10 days in what is known in Italy as an evidentiary incident, setting out evidence for a possible future trial.

Haggis, 69, wrote “Million Dollar Baby” and co-wrote and directed “Crash,” both of which he won an Oscar for.

In 2018 he denied accusations of sexual misconduct made by four women, including two who accused him of rape.

Haggis was in Ostuni to hold several masterclasses at the Allora Fest, a new film event being launched by Los Angeles-based Italian journalist Silvia Bizio and Spanish art critic Sol Costales Doulton that is set to run from June 21 to June 26.

The Allora Fest said they “learned with dismay and shock the news,” adding that the festival’s directors “immediately proceeded to remove any participation of the director from the event.”

Source: Voice of America