ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Antigua & Barbuda citizenship has become a reality for George Georges and his family under a programme which makes people eligible to receive Antigua & Barbuda passports for a price.
The Syrian national, who has business interests in Dubai, received his passport yesterday in a brief ceremony. Earlier Georges was administered the Oath of Allegiance by Minister of National Security and Labour Dr Errol Cort.
In welcoming the newest citizen, Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer said on State Media, Georges will be working closely with government to transform the country’s tourism product.
“He will be looking at important investments, particularly in the tourism sector. He operates out of Dubai where a lot of things have been happening in that country and a lot of opportunities do exist.”
Spencer said Georges interest will be “to ensure we get airlift out of that part of the world into Antigua.”
On January 15, Finance Minister Harold Lovell said The Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) had approved six projects and was in the process of evaluating three others.
He is on record saying, “These projects represent a total investment of US $614.8 million … , it is estimated that about $60 million will be generated in the Fund in 2014.”
Georges’ gained citizenship through his contribution to the National Development Fund. George expressed gratitude to the government and people of Antigua & Barbuda.
Funds generated from CIP will go into a national development fund. The money is to be used to improve domestic infrastructure, support small businesses, and encourage entrepreneurship – particularly among the youth.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)