ST JOHN’S, Antigua -- The Antigua & Barbuda Investment Authority (ABIA) has made it even more advantageous for the over 30,000 nationals living in the northeastern United States to invest, unveiling the exemption of select port charges for the Diaspora.
Antiguans and Barbudans throughout the US and the Diaspora, on a whole, will now have the added benefit of no longer paying the Revenue Recovery Charge (RRC) -- a ten percent port tax -- or customs duties when importing approved Construct Antigua and Barbuda Initiative (CAB-I) materials. The initiative was introduced during the launch of the ABIA Diaspora Investment Partnership Programme at the first ABIA sponsored town hall meeting in New York last week
Manager for economic development and planning, Sherelyn Hughes Thomas, made the announcement to the audience.
“CAB-I has been modified for the Diaspora to encourage greater participation in the initiative, as participants can manage the procurement of some construction materials with greater ease and convenience. Each construction project will add value to the local economy as significant amounts will still be spent in Antigua and Barbuda,” Hughes Thomas said.
Dr McChesney Emanuel
ABIA chairman of the board, Dr McChesney Emanuel said the initiative is geared towards encouraging foreign direct investment (FDI) into Antigua and Barbuda and, by extension, boosting construction and increasing remittance flows back into Antigua and Barbuda.
“There are too many Antiguans and Barbudans living abroad to dismiss them. It is estimated that more nationals live outside of Antigua and Barbuda than at home. The numbers are large and it is important for us to engage them,” Emanuel stressed.
The chairman also noted that concerns raised by members of the Diaspora during the meeting have not fallen on deaf ears, and he intends to take their views and suggestions to government.
“I am committed to discuss this with the government to reassure nationals that the policy makers understand where they are coming from,” Emanuel assured.
During the first stop of the Authority’s three-day multifaceted outreach initiative, the delegation also apprised residents of the northeast of other investment opportunities and programmes offered.
Last Saturday, the ABIA was also represented at the popular Caribbean Splashdown Festival where it operated an information booth at Marcus Garvey Park in Manhattan. This week, the remaining Authority delegation will lead a series of face-to-face meetings with potential investors.
Marketing and business development director, Sascha Mercer said, “The delegation is pleased with the feedback received on the first in the series of such missions. The ABIA will soon announce the dates and venues for future Diaspora Investment Partnership Programmes to other US and European cities.”