New visa waiver programs

 GRENADA SIGNS VISA WAIVER WITH SCHENGEN ZONE AND CHINA

The strength and credibility of the Grenadian passport continue to rise. With this year’s announcement of Grenada signing a visa waiver with the Schengen Zone and most recently with China, the Grenadian passport received a significant boost in its ranking. Overall, this move has embedded the passport with visa free access to 102 countries in total, placing Grenada in 34th place on the passport index.

This move will not only positively enhance tourism but also investor interest and direct foreign investment into the country and possibly making the Citizenship by Investment program even more popular amongst wealthy applicants.

The calculated move was cleverly orchestrated by the newly appointed minister Alexandra Otway, who promoted Grenada in the UK, Switzerland and China. On his travels the minister ‘sold’ the fruitful and friendly business environment and the island’s attractiveness as a luxury destination to wealth managers, private bankers, legal advisors and private investors. The attractive citizenship by investment program resonated with the audience in Shanghai and Beijing (which was the most information hungry) with the PM addressing an audience consisting of more than 100 immigration and service providers.

By far the most active in the world the Chinese investors followed on from the PM’s visit to China and did not waste their time and seeking the Grenadian Government’s approval for a number of development projects. The most prominent Chinese investor, Charles Liu, propositioned the Grenadian government for a real estate development project worth US $1 billion. In addition to this both Li and the government successfully concluded plan for an air service agreement between the two states.. Such project and others alike will have an enormous impact on the local economy, creating a vast number of job vacancies, strengthening the tourism industry and further developing the island in record time.

The success of this collaboration gave the PM the confidence he needed when approaching Russian investors during his recent attendance at the World Economic Forum in China. The Prime Minister was quick to elaborate on the attractive tourism aspect of Grenada by offering exclusive opportunities to would be Russian tourists, known for their spending habits, to splash their wealth to their hearts’ content. The PM of Grenada also suggested that the tourism industry is a sector which he would enjoy developing the most with his Russian counterpart. In response the Russian Vice Premier Yury Petrovich said “by placing tourism operators in contact with each other and by establishing a programme that will send approximately 10 Grenadian tourism stakeholders to trade fairs in Russia to make direct contact with their counterparts.”

Earlier in the year Grenada also approached the Canadian government who agreed to review visa requirement for Grenadian citizens. The inconvenience of Grenadians having to go to Trinidad for the Canadian visa service as well as the cost and travel issues were further reasons for the request. Promises to address this issue were made and it was even suggested that, in the case that Canada is unable to remove visa restrictions, a representative could be appointed by Canada to travel to Grenada twice a month to provide visa services locally.

If Grenada signs another visa waiver program with Canada, or in conjunction with a Canadian representative and is able to provide better visa service to nationals, it will be truly on the way to firmly cementing its place on the passport ranking index. This move will no doubt boost the value of the Grenadian passport to further highs and certainly attract the interest of potential investors even more.

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