The article written by the Bangkok Post explained the increase in countries offering citizenship by investment programs (CIP), and how it is an emerging business in the modern world. Many countries take advantage of the fact that their citizenship can provide real value, and therefore they promote their investment programs to international investors looking to claim the many benefits of a second citizenship.
In addition to providing benefits for the recipients of the citizenship, the program also benefits the host countries. Revenue from the CIP comprises around 25% of the total gross domestic product of St. Kitt’s and Nevis. This mutual benefit is the reason behind the recent boom in citizenship programs worldwide. Since 2011, Antigua and Barbuda, Cyrpus, Grenada, Malta, and Australia have all launched their own citizenship programs, ranging from investment prices of US$250,000 (Caribbean Islands) to A$5,000,000 (Australia).
The author of the Bangkok Post article sat down with Brian Dobbin, CEO of Citizens International, and Rufus Gobat, Director of Business Development on their recent trip to Thailand. Mr. Gobat explained that the company is interested in doing business in Asia due to the growth of wealth in the region in the past 15 years. The idea of Caribbean citizenship investment is new to Thailand, so the trip served to not only seek investors, but to promote the citizenship program in Asia as well. When asked about the convenience of obtaining another passport, Mr. Dobbin expalined: “My personal idea is that you can never have too many passports in terms of security. No one is really safe, no matter where you are on the earth.” While personal security is only one of the benefits of obtaining a second or third passport, it can be especially crucial for citizens of unstable countries.