The Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation of St. Kitts & Nevis
The Citizenship by Investment Program was established in 1984, just one year after our independence. This makes the program one of the oldest, and with over 100 visa free destinations to its credit, most well respected programs in the world. The Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF or the Foundation) was established on September 15, 2006 with National Bank Trust Company as Founder. The SIDF option is just one of three approved options in addition to real estate and investments (approved by Cabinet). Its primary purpose was to assist the government to transition from sugar as the main industry to a more diversified economy by researching and funding the development of alternative industries. The Foundation has been designated a specially approved project for the purpose of Citizenship-by-Investment. Therefore, contributions to the Foundation of at least US$250,000 qualify foreign nationals, subject to stringent due diligence checks, to apply for Citizenship-by-Investment in St. Kitts & Nevis. Applications are made to and processed by the Citizenship by Investment Unit of the Government.
Since its inception, the Foundation’s purpose has been broadened to include providing support to Government in its efforts to diversify the national economy and maintain economic stability, and to support, finance or undertake the development of new and existing industries, projects or enterprises. The Foundation may also provide grants, loans, budget support, debt forgiveness or assistance of any kind to the Government or to persons or institutions that qualify for such assistance under its policies.
To date, the Foundation has invested over US$ 55,000,000.00 in the development of St. Kitts & Nevis by way of grants, loans and share holdings. Capisterre Farm is one example of a project that received funding, and the St. Christopher National Trust was the beneficiary of a grant. Money was provided to the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis to establish several funds including the Agricultural Fund, the Small Hotel and Restaurant Modernization Fund (SHARM) and the recently introduced Fund for the Realization of Economic Empowerment through Subsidized Housing (FREESH). The SIDF has also invested in Kittitian Hill, a five-star luxury resort under construction, and the St. Kitts Tourism Authority has received financing for the airlift support program.
Recognising that more substantial operating management structures were urgently required to effectively and efficiently manage the affairs and growing assets of the Foundation, the Councillors passed a resolution to establish an office. On April 16, 2012, the office was opened. A full-time management team provides the Foundation with the capacity it needs to conduct detailed analyses of proposed projects and investments in order to determine their viability and value to the economy, monitor the administration of loans and implementation of projects and create greater awareness of its activities. The activities of the Foundation are all geared towards its key objective of providing a sustainable holistic platform for future growth and development.