The EU Parliament has voted visa-free travel for the nationals of 19 third world countries one step closer. In a press release issued on 27th February 2014, Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström, revealed approval for 16 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, as well as the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Colombia and Peru. The decision, which includes business, tourism and family visit purposes, will open up opportunities and advantages also for EU citizens, as any existing visa requirement for EU citizens to travel to these countries will be eliminated.
Island visa waivers set to enter into force in 2015
The move was initiated in November 2012, when the Commission proposed to add five Caribbean Island Nations (Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago), along with ten Pacific Island Nations (Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu) and Timor-Leste to the list of third world countries and territories whose nationals are exempt from the visa obligation.
Following discussions with the European Parliament and the Council, it was agreed to add the UAE, Peru and Colombia to the original list. The visa waiver agreements look set to enter into force in 2015.
Fiscal incentives for business and investment
This is excellent news for the growing number of companies doing business and investment in the Caribbean. Grenada, in particular, is currently enjoying a business boom, with investors attracted by a number of fiscal incentives granted to qualifying business enterprises.
These include: exemption from custom duties on plant, equipment and raw materials; no restrictions on foreign ownership; no restrictions on foreign currency transactions; no restrictions on the repatriation of profits, capital and dividends; and double taxation relief.
A Grenada Citizenship by Investment program also came out at the end of 2013. Unlike some similar residency and citizenship programmes which are invitation only, this option is open to those investing in Grenadian government supported developments.
Hotel investments get 5 Star treatment
Hotel and resort investments look set to remain top on the list for the next couple of years, with additional sector support from CARICOM Development Fund’s $5.83 million pact to Grenada to develop lines of credit for the tourism and hotel sector, along with SMEs and energy efficiency.
Ray Withers, CEO of Property Frontiers, comments: “We’ve been involved with Grenada hotel investments since 2005 and have sold more property here than any other agent. Hotel room investment is a perfect win-win in an emerging market such as Grenada, which is also experiencing a boom in tourism.”
He continues: “Now the EU Parliament has voted in favour of visa-free travel, we can see a whole new level of investment opportunity opening up. Bacolet Bay Beach Resort is selling like hot cakes and we’re already investigating more easily accessible, high yielding options in this gorgeous Isle of Spice.”
With investment from £248,500 for a luxury hotel suite (including a three year rental guarantee and four weeks´ personal usage), visit www.propertyfrontiers.com for more information.