Vanuatu: The current conflict in the government of Vanuatu is causing chaos for the general public and the economy of the Pacific-Island nation.
Vanuatu’s Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme is on the brink to shatter following the EU Commission’s proposal to suspend the visa-waiver agreement with the European Union. However, the ongoing fray within the government is a substantial barrier that is halting the actions.
While talking about the internal brawl, a person from Vanuatu’s CBI Unit said that the dilapidated condition of the programme is alarming. He said the government’s been looking for reputable and professional assistance to restructure the programme to match international standards for the safety and security of Vanuatu and the global community.
“The government took over two years to decide which company can assist the CBI Unit of Vanuatu. Since the beginning of 2021, we have been trying to engage CS Global Partners for service as they were among the most professional service providers and are specialised in matters of economic citizenship,” a person associated with the CBI Unit of Vanuatu said on condition of anonymity.
He further added that the government realised that they required professional assistance to match the international standards and required independent universal support for advice on how to run and protect the programme.
“It took over a year to convince the CS Global Partners, and finally, the contract was signed in December 2021 to improve due diligence and many different elements of the programme, which international entities have criticised.”
Furthermore, he added that the Attorney General (AG) Arnold Kiel Loughman and Financial Intelligence Unit Director Floyd Ray Mera were against the agreement with CS Global Partners and released the complete details of the agreement between the government and the company in public domain.
“The approach of AG and FIU is highly unprofessional and embarrassing for Vanuatu at large. I think CSGP might also be reconsidering their association with the government regarding the CBI Programme of our country. There is a conflict within the government, and people will be left alone to pay for that,” he added.
“We are on the verge of getting kicked out of visa-waiver agreement with the EU, and next is the UK; if we lose both, the Citizenship by Investment Programme will no longer be of interest to people. And let me remind you that our 50% revenue stands on that. If we lose CS Global Partners, we move closer to getting suspension from the EU. Tourism is already suffering a major setback due to COVID-19, and failure of our CBI Programme will have a severe impact on the economy. The statements of AG have made us worried about the future of CBI programme of Vanuatu,” he emphasised.
Cronulla News earlier revealed that many European and other countries were recommending officials to take back the visa-waiver agreement with Vanuatu due to non-professional conduct of its Citizenship by Investment Programme, blaming the incompetent due diligence process.
Cronulla News also reached out to CS Global Partners for their comment on this matter by giving them seven days to respond to the publication of the article. The article will be updated as soon as CSGP responds to the queries.