The World Bank Group and the European Union have signed a €15.6 million (US$18.1 equivalent) technical assistance program to strengthen public financial management (PFM) oversight and accountability Institutions in Iraq and increase the efficiency in the management of public resources and delivery of services.

The initiative, which will be implemented jointly by the European Union and the World Bank, complements the $41.5 million “Modernization of Public Financial Management Systems” program launched by the World Bank in 2017. It addresses some of the key vulnerabilities in Iraq’s PFM and supports the commitments and objectives for PFM reform currently under implementation.

“PFM is an essential part of any development process”, said Saroj Kumar Jha, World Bank Mashreq Regional Director. “Sound PFM supports aggregate control, prioritization, accountability and efficiency in the management of public resources and delivery of services, which are critical to the achievement of public policy objectives, as well as to restoring the trust and social contract between Iraqi citizens and the country’s institutions”.

As aid is increasingly provided through modalities that rely on well-functioning systems for budget development, execution and control, a sound PFM system is fundamental to the appropriate use and effectiveness of donor assistance. A more efficient PFM system is also instrumental in reducing inequalities in wealth distribution and promoting a dynamic and prosperous economic environment more conducive to business development.

“As was pledged in the Kuwait Conference, the European Union is committed to stand by Iraq in reconstruction and economic and political reforms,” said Ramon Blecua, European Union Ambassador to Iraq. “Our cooperation with the World Bank has been very fruitful and this project complements ongoing efforts supporting public finance management. The focus of the project we are signing today will be on the coordination of government and donors, more efficient management of resources, enhanced oversight and accountability, and fighting corruption. The EU is ready to help Iraq in facing the challenges ahead to secure a better future for Iraq”.

The program comprises of three pillars and nine sub-components. Each sub-component corresponds to a specific Government reform commitment/objective and has been assigned to a lead government institution/department acting as WBG-EU counterpart. While some components will be recipient-executed with support from the World Bank, others will be initially WBG-EU executed on behalf of the recipient due to capacity constraints.

The program envisages the creation of a Donors’ Coordination Committee, where all decisions regarding public finance management reforms and donor support to reforms will be discussed under the supervision of the Government of Iraq to ensure ownership, coordination, complementarity and overall reforms.

(Source: UN)

BP, Shell, Basra Gas Company, LUKOIL, Petronas and Chevron discuss Basra’s oil and gas megaprojects

The 5th annual CWC Basra Megaprojects Conference – Oil, Gas & Environment will be held from 9-10 October in Istanbul, Turkey chaired by the EU Ambassador to Baghdad, Ramon Blecau.

In a show of support for the rebuilding of Iraq, Ambassador Blecau and industry experts will highlight the business opportunities available in the resource-rich South of Iraq with the aim of driving more investment to develop the country’s industrial infrastructure.

The conference takes place under the patronage of Basra’s Governorate, Council and oil company and looks to find solutions to the challenges of Basra’s oil and gas megaprojects and increasing Iraq’s oil and gas production, as well as highlighting the upcoming infrastructure projects for: gas, water, electricity and environment. All the major operators will be participating in discussions including: BP, Shell, Basra Gas Company, LUKOIL, Petronas and Chevron.

Further to these discussions, there will be a strong focus on Iraq’s environment and how to build a legislative framework to tackle Basra’s environmental issues; tackling all types of challenges including the demining projects.

New technology will play a significant role in achieving operational excellence in the execution of Iraq’s projects; whilst Iraq’s new generation of workforce are eager to embrace the technologies, the conference will touch upon the training programmes that are imperative for helping Iraqis compete for job opportunities and increase the role of the Iraqi local workforce in the execution of the latest projects.

Water and desalination projects will be the centre of discussion on the second day of the conference as well as the electricity requirements for such projects and ideas for renewable projects in Iraq.

Gas and petrochemical projects will also be covered by industry experts, which will be instrumental in creating new jobs for Iraqis but raise further questions on how the environment can be preserved during these processes. During the conclusion of the Conference, all the available tenders for the new projects will be outlined.

The interactive networking sessions will be at the centre of the conference with great number of functions including the Gala Dinner at the end of the first day of the Conference. The achievements of individuals in environmental technology projects will also be celebrated at the Environmental Awards Ceremony, which will take place during the Gala Dinner with awards being given out by the Iraqi delegation.

We look forward to seeing everyone at the Intercontinental Istanbul from 9-10 of October. To download the latest programme, please visit www.cwcbasraoilgas.com/brochure-download/.

Distinguished Speakers to include:

  • Ambassador Ramon Blecua, Ambassador / Head of Delegation, Delegation of the European Union to Iraq
    • HE Kameran Ali Hassan
    , Deputy Minister of Environment, Ministry of Environment, Federal Government of Iraq
    •       HE Asaad Abdulamir Abdulghafar Al – Idan
    , Governor of Basra, Federal Government of Iraq
    •       HE Engineer Mohammed Al Tamimi
    , First Deputy Governor of Basra, Governorate of Basra, Federal Government of Iraq
    •       Ihsan Abduljabbar Ismaael Al – Saade
    , Director General of the Basra Oil Company, Ministry of Oil, Federal Government of Iraq
    •       HE Dara Reshid
    , Deputy Minister, Deputy Head of Reconstruction Fund for Areas Affected by Terroristic Operations (REFAATO), Ministry of Construction, Housing & General Municipalities, Federal Government of Iraq
    •       HE Ali Dawai Lazem
    , Governor of Maysan, Federal Government of Iraq
    •       Nafaa Abdulsada Ali Al-Hmidawi
    , Director General of Training & Development Office, Ministry of Electricity, Federal Government of Iraq
    •       Mohammed Hashim
    , Director General of Electricity Distribution, Ministry of Electricity, Federal Government of Iraq
  • MP Dr Jamal Abdul-Zahra Muhammadawi, Member of the Parliament Representing Basra, Federal Parliament of Iraq •                   Kevin J. Kveton, Ph.D.Director, Iraq Exploration & Business Development, Chevron  Europe, Eurasia & Middle East Exploration & Production
    •       Zaid Elyaseri
    , Country Manager, BP Iraq
    •       Dr Mark Wharton
    , Development & JV Manager Shell Iraq, Shell EP International Ltd.
    •       Abd Malik Jaffar
    , Iraq Country Chairman, PETRONAS Carigali Iraq Holding B.V.
    •       Yaroslav Okulov
    ,  Financial Director, LUKOIL Mid-East Ltd
    •       Dr Jaafar Oklany
    , Commercial Director, Basrah Gas Company

View the full list of speakers here: http://www.cwcbasraoilgas.com/speaker/

The renowned Conference will address opportunities, projects and tenders in each one of these industries through its 2 day Strategic Programme. Attendees can expect the following topics to be discussed:

  • Current updates on Basra’s oil fields
  • Iraq’s Environment
  • Infrastructure for Upstream Oil & Gas Projects ( Technology Showcasing- upstream activities suppliers, pipelines suppliers, demining technologies, logistics suppliers, security suppliers ) & Training on the New Skillsets
  • Finance, Laws & Regulations & Procurement
  • Water Projects: Increasing Efficiency for the Oil & Gas Projects
  • Electricity Expansion & Renewables for the Oil & Gas Projects
  • Gas & Petrochemicals
  • Energy Tenders Announcements; Downstream, Midstream, Petrochemicals & Electricity projects

View the full programme here: www.cwcbasraoilgas.com/brochure-download/

(Source: CWC)

BP, Shell, Basra Gas Company, LUKOIL, Petronas and Chevron discuss Basra’s oil and gas megaprojects

The 5th annual CWC Basra Megaprojects Conference – Oil, Gas & Environment will be held from 9-10 October in Istanbul, Turkey chaired by the EU Ambassador to Baghdad, Ramon Blecau.

In a show of support for the rebuilding of Iraq, Ambassador Blecau and industry experts will highlight the business opportunities available in the resource-rich South of Iraq with the aim of driving more investment to develop the country’s industrial infrastructure.

The conference takes place under the patronage of Basra’s Governorate, Council and oil company and looks to find solutions to the challenges of Basra’s oil and gas megaprojects and increasing Iraq’s oil and gas production, as well as highlighting the upcoming infrastructure projects for: gas, water, electricity and environment. All the major operators will be participating in discussions including: BP, Shell, Basra Gas Company, LUKOIL, Petronas and Chevron.

Further to these discussions, there will be a strong focus on Iraq’s environment and how to build a legislative framework to tackle Basra’s environmental issues; tackling all types of challenges including the demining projects.

New technology will play a significant role in achieving operational excellence in the execution of Iraq’s projects; whilst Iraq’s new generation of workforce are eager to embrace the technologies, the conference will touch upon the training programmes that are imperative for helping Iraqis compete for job opportunities and increase the role of the Iraqi local workforce in the execution of the latest projects.

Water and desalination projects will be the centre of discussion on the second day of the conference as well as the electricity requirements for such projects and ideas for renewable projects in Iraq.

Gas and petrochemical projects will also be covered by industry experts, which will be instrumental in creating new jobs for Iraqis but raise further questions on how the environment can be preserved during these processes. During the conclusion of the Conference, all the available tenders for the new projects will be outlined.

The interactive networking sessions will be at the centre of the conference with great number of functions including the Gala Dinner at the end of the first day of the Conference. The achievements of individuals in environmental technology projects will also be celebrated at the Environmental Awards Ceremony, which will take place during the Gala Dinner with awards being given out by the Iraqi delegation.

We look forward to seeing everyone at the Intercontinental Istanbul from 9-10 of October. To download the latest programme, please visit www.cwcbasraoilgas.com/brochure-download/.

Distinguished Speakers to include:

  • Ambassador Ramon Blecua, Ambassador / Head of Delegation, Delegation of the European Union to Iraq
    • HE Kameran Ali Hassan
    , Deputy Minister of Environment, Ministry of Environment, Federal Government of Iraq
    •       HE Asaad Abdulamir Abdulghafar Al – Idan
    , Governor of Basra, Federal Government of Iraq
    •       HE Engineer Mohammed Al Tamimi
    , First Deputy Governor of Basra, Governorate of Basra, Federal Government of Iraq
    •       Ihsan Abduljabbar Ismaael Al – Saade
    , Director General of the Basra Oil Company, Ministry of Oil, Federal Government of Iraq
    •       HE Dara Reshid
    , Deputy Minister, Deputy Head of Reconstruction Fund for Areas Affected by Terroristic Operations (REFAATO), Ministry of Construction, Housing & General Municipalities, Federal Government of Iraq
    •       HE Ali Dawai Lazem
    , Governor of Maysan, Federal Government of Iraq
    •       Nafaa Abdulsada Ali Al-Hmidawi
    , Director General of Training & Development Office, Ministry of Electricity, Federal Government of Iraq
    •       Mohammed Hashim
    , Director General of Electricity Distribution, Ministry of Electricity, Federal Government of Iraq
  • MP Dr Jamal Abdul-Zahra Muhammadawi, Member of the Parliament Representing Basra, Federal Parliament of Iraq •                   Kevin J. Kveton, Ph.D.Director, Iraq Exploration & Business Development, Chevron  Europe, Eurasia & Middle East Exploration & Production
    •       Zaid Elyaseri
    , Country Manager, BP Iraq
    •       Dr Mark Wharton
    , Development & JV Manager Shell Iraq, Shell EP International Ltd.
    •       Abd Malik Jaffar
    , Iraq Country Chairman, PETRONAS Carigali Iraq Holding B.V.
    •       Yaroslav Okulov
    ,  Financial Director, LUKOIL Mid-East Ltd
    •       Dr Jaafar Oklany
    , Commercial Director, Basrah Gas Company

View the full list of speakers here: http://www.cwcbasraoilgas.com/speaker/

The renowned Conference will address opportunities, projects and tenders in each one of these industries through its 2 day Strategic Programme. Attendees can expect the following topics to be discussed:

  • Current updates on Basra’s oil fields
  • Iraq’s Environment
  • Infrastructure for Upstream Oil & Gas Projects ( Technology Showcasing- upstream activities suppliers, pipelines suppliers, demining technologies, logistics suppliers, security suppliers ) & Training on the New Skillsets
  • Finance, Laws & Regulations & Procurement
  • Water Projects: Increasing Efficiency for the Oil & Gas Projects
  • Electricity Expansion & Renewables for the Oil & Gas Projects
  • Gas & Petrochemicals
  • Energy Tenders Announcements; Downstream, Midstream, Petrochemicals & Electricity projects

View the full programme here: www.cwcbasraoilgas.com/brochure-download/

(Source: CWC)

Advertising Feature

By Veronica Cotdemiey, CEO of Citizenship Invest.

Recently Cyprus has been recognized as the ‘super star’ of the citizenship by investment programs worldwide. The country has the most appealing second citizenship program being the only European country which grants the nationality in only 6 months without ever having to reside there. Cyprus has officially and by far, the fastest form of legally obtaining a European citizenship and passport which enables living, working and studying in any of the 28 countries members of the European Union.

Moreover, Cypriot passport holders can travel to major destinations without applying for visas. It allows instant visa free travel to over 170 countries including the UK, UAE, European Union countries, Canada, Australia among other major countries and often allows a stay from 30 up to 90 days at a time depending on each country.

Most importantly, the citizenship can be inherited by family members and future generations. Children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and beyond also have the right to obtain the citizenship and passport through a very simple process which takes only two weeks.

Unlike many of the fast track citizenship programs which require a non-refundable financial contribution to a Government fund, Cyprus offers its investors the possibility of earning a good return while obtaining the citizenship. The Cypriot citizenship law requires a temporary investment of EUR 2 million in a Real Estate investment in Cyprus which is required to be held for 3 years and thereafter can be sold while maintaining a property worth 500,000 EUROS. It is certain that not everyone can afford it, but for those who can, this is potentially on of the best investment they would have made in their lifetimes, leaving their families a great legacy.

The program has become so popular among HNWI citizenship applicants from all over the world especially Asia, Middle East and Russia, that the Cypriot Government has recently announced a cap of only 700 applications per annum to maintain its high standards. According to Cypriot news agencies, the Government of Cyprus has released reports of issuing passports for over 3,300 families bringing into the economy approximately USD 4.5 Billion. This has helped turning the Cypriot economy around becoming one of the fastest growing GDP’s in Europe. At the moment, Cyprus GDP levels are considerably higher than those of the Eurozone and the European Union according to a report released by the international firm KPMG.

The Cypriot citizenship by investment program is one of the many incentives established by the Government to attract foreign direct investment to the country. The first amendments to the citizenship law were introduced back in 2013. Since its inception, the program has undergone various improvements to make it more accessible and attractive for investors. In September 2016, the Government of Cyprus introduced an amendment which reduced the minimum investment amount to EUR 2 million (from EUR 2.5 million) and the option to add the parents of the main applicant for an additional EUR 500,000 plus VAT investment in a property in Cyprus.

According to official statistics from the Department of Land and Surveys, in 2017 Cyprus has recorded a 24% increase in real estate sales contracts, 30% of which accounted to non-nationals. Not surprisingly 31% of the real estate transactions in 2017 were properties valued at around 2 million EUROS, which indicates that a high number of investors are purchasing real estate as a mean to obtain the Cypriot citizenship.

The contribution of real estate to Cyprus’ GVA amounted to EUR 2,4 Billion in 2017. Construction activities from 2013 onwards indicate to have broken through the slowdown of the financial crisis, which has been clearly left way behind, and entered into an expansion period which until 2019 is set stretch to pre-2013 levels where Cyprus recorded all-time highs in real estate transactions.

From a taxation point of view Cypriot passports holders actually benefit. Non-tax residents are not liable for income tax generated outside the country. More importantly Cyprus does not impose inheritance tax on property, which gives the ability to pass it down to future generations without incurring costs.

So how does all this benefit investors? Cyprus has become one the of the most attractive real estate investments in Europe. This injection of billions of Euros in luxury real estate and infrastructure is turning the Cypriot landscape around. Limassol will soon have ‘One’ the tallest residential tower in Europe, Ayia Napa is undergoing the non-stop 24/7 construction of the most luxurious marina in the region with high end international restaurants and villas worth EUR 5 million with their own private berths. The whole country is having a radical facelift with modern contemporary architecture of glass and refined design are taking over. In the next 3 years, when allowed to re-sale, investors will be able to appreciate the growth of their investments as part of this radical transformation.

One can understand the excitement of savvy businessmen when considering buying property in Cyprus, after all they know that they are purchasing luxury real estate in a newly booming property market.

It is clear that Cyprus has not only become the ‘super star’ of citizenship programs but also earned a prime position amongst the most profitable real estate investments worldwide. Demand translates into growth which then translates into high profits. Whether applying for citizenship or not, Cyprus seems to be the place to invest in.

Experts: Ensure the investment is the basis of development

9/17/2018

Baghdad / Emad Al-Amara Iraq is suffering from the problem of the slow arrival of international and regional investments to be present in the local business arena, despite the great tendency to open up to foreign investment, especially after the achievement of the Central Bank achievement in getting out of the list of sanctions in the European Union to contribute to attract money and create the investment environment in the country and ensure the flow Investments to Iraq \ Attract investments between the academic economist d.

"The success of the entry of foreign investment into Iraq requires the creation of an appropriate environment for the process of attracting these investments, after reforming the financial structure with procedures to facilitate the entry of investors’ funds," he said.

"The institutional and legal frameworks must be set up to instill confidence in the foreign investor, Which is stipulated in the investment law is the basis for organizing any economic activity.

" Conflicting policies
He continued: "It is necessary to achieve general stability, so if the investor enters its money, it must be dealing with the administrative policies and decisions in force in Iraq smoothly and without obstacles and away from routine."

He stressed the importance of directing foreign investment first in the infrastructure, especially in the energy sector, transport and basic services as it is the basis for the success of other investments, while encouraging joint investments between foreign and national capital to transfer expertise to local investors to develop their capabilities and potential.

He explained the importance of pushing foreign investors to use national labor after being given the possible facilities and exemptions from duties and taxes levied on such investments, and obliging foreign investors to run specific percentages of the labor force to absorb the phenomenon of domestic unemployment. "

Infrastructure
For his part, the academic economist Amr Hisham need to "overcome the challenges facing foreign investment to enter the country through upgrading the infrastructure in Iraq, especially in energy sources, roads, transportation and basic services necessary for the success of investment projects."

"This requires directing the state’s effort to rebuild the basic infrastructure of the society so that the process of reconstruction and foreign investment can succeed," he said.

Investment flows
Hisham pointed out that "the absence of sophisticated financial markets able to meet the requirements of the investment sector in all forms is another obstacle to the success of any investment," but the central bank opened the door to enter the money to Iraq after he managed to get the country out of the list "The presence of such sophisticated markets helps the process of investment flows and motivate citizens to invest their savings, especially if we know that there is an intention to privatize a number of state-owned enterprises."

Investment Decision
Hisham focused on "
He called for "the development of the institutional and legal framework, especially after changes in the methodology of the state and its future directions in the transformation of the Iraqi economy from the central planned economy to the free economy, and the transition from the central management of the strong state to the federal system with broad powers to manage the regions and provinces, Its interaction with multiple institutions with unaligned powers ".

http://www.alsabaah.iq/ArticleShow.aspx?ID=163212

The Central Bank Of Iraq Officially Comes Out Of The EU Sanctions List
9/13/2018

BAGHDAD – Wisdom: The European Union officially announced the exit of the Central Bank of Iraq from the list of sanctions imposed by the Union on the institutions.

A statement by the Central Bank received a copy of the wisdom that the decision was "through the publication in the official newspaper of the European Union, which confirmed the abolition of sanctions imposed on this bank under the former regime, which provided for the {prohibition of dealing with a group of financial institutions and non-financial Iraqi, including the Central Bank Iraqi}.
"
He pointed out that "this step comes as the Iraqi Central Bank achieved significant progress in improving its performance and the application of international regulations and standards in this field.

This bank shows that under these recent amendments will allow the international financial banking institutions to deal with the new instructions as it has become a reliable financial institutions to deal with European international institutions ".

http://www.alhikmeh.org/news/archives/141297

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has announced the appointment of Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert (pictured) of the Netherlands as his Special Representative for Iraq and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).

She will succeed Ján Kubiš of Slovakia, to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his service.

Ms. Hennis-Plasschaert brings over 20 years of political and diplomatic experience, having served in several high-level government and parliamentary positions. She was Minister of Defence of the Netherlands (2012-2017), the first woman to be appointed in that role.

As Minister, she oversaw the Central Staff, Support Command, the Defence Material Organisation and the four Royal Netherlands Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Air Force and the Military and Border Police. In this role, she had oversight of Dutch involvement in military operations in Mali, Afghanistan and Iraq, building close collaboration with the European Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and United Nations partners.

Ms. Hennis-Plasschaert also served as a member of the House of Representatives of the Netherlands (2010-2012) and a member of the European Parliament (2004-2010). She worked for the European Commission in Brussels and in Riga, Latvia, and for the City of Amsterdam.

(Source: UN)

The EU Supports Reproductive Health Services in Iraq with a new contribution to UNFPA

The European Union continues its support to UNFPA in Iraq through a EUR 5 million contribution to sustain reproductive health and clinical management of rape services across Iraq.

The United Nations estimates that around 825,000 women of reproductive age are in need of humanitarian assistance in Iraq.

The delivery of health care services in both conflict affected areas and Internally Displaced People’s hosting areas has been severely impacted, as a result of the three-year devastating war against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

With this funding, UNFPA will support comprehensive emergency obstetric care in six hospitals in Telafar, Hawija, Qaim, Hammam Aleel, Qayarra and Shirqat, Basic Emergency Obstetric Care, in four facilities in Beiji, Ana, Qayarra airstrip and Sunoni, five reproductive health clinics in Jadaa, Salameya and Hamman Al-Aleel camps, and 26 RH clinics in West Anbar, West Ninewa, North Salhuddin and Kerbala.

Mr Christos Stylianides (pictured), European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, said:

“The EU will continue to provide critical medical assistance in Iraq. Facilitating access to essential reproductive health services for displaced population and assisting victims of gender based violence are top European priorities in Iraq.”

Dr Natalia Kanem, UNFPA Executive Director, said:

The new EU contribution is much appreciated as it will go a long way in addressing the serious shortfalls in reproductive health services resulting from the wide destruction of Iraqi hospitals and health facilities.

“This will also allow UNFPA to continue providing health facilities with urgently needed medical supplies and services, and ensuring that tens of thousands of women and girls can enjoy quality reproductive health services.”

The EU has been a strategic partner to UNFPA in Iraq since 2015 with a total contribution of EUR 21 million to the Fund’s reproductive health and gender-based violence interventions.

(Source: EU)

The Nineveh Governor Nofal al-Akoub and EU Delegation representative Mathieu Goodstein launched the Online Damage Assessment System in Mosul at the Governorate building.

The system gathers information about the damage of vital facilities in a centralised data base and informs administration and donors on both needs and projects implementation in restoring stability and future development of the city.

The reporting system uses web and mobile phone applications, easy graphical interface in both English and Arabic languages, and contains the damages assessed in the province accurately for each sector.

Furthermore, it provides an opportunity for citizens, local and international government agencies, NGOs and donors to monitor process of reconstruction and improvement of services that are fundamental to daily life.

Mathieu Goodstein from the Delegation of the European Union to Iraq, said:

“This project illustrates perfectly well the tangible impacts such initiative has. The real time data collection equally strengthens accountability on all sides of the equation, and the end result is the improvement of the conditions of the people of Ninewa. It is noteworthy to point out that such tool is “homegrown”, epitomizing an Iraqi solution of an Iraqi situation. Widening its scope, this tool clearly has the potential to be replicated in other Governorates – covering a wide range of sectors”.

Nofal al-Akoub, Governor of Nineveh stated that:

“This EU  visit is a support to the local government of Nineveh. We also thank UNDP for its support for the reconstruction, which was the first organization to support of Nineveh province. This online system is unique in Iraq and the rest of the provinces can borrow this experience and we are fully prepared to support that.”

The system was developed under Local Area Development Programme (LADP), implemented by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and funded by the European Union. In addition, LADP has supported the Governorate in building capacity for effective planning through the development of Ninewa Response Plan.

(Source: UNDP)

Advertising Feature

By Veronica Cotdemiey, CEO of Citizenship Invest.

Obtaining a dual a nationality or second citizenship has long been a significant goal for many families in the Middle East.

The constant struggle of not being able to travel freely; being scrutinized by immigration and governmental entities; as well as being a citizen of countries with political and economic distress are the main drivers that encourage individuals to consider investing in a second nationality.

There are two main approaches for obtaining a second citizenship by investment. The first way is through Fast Citizenship programs which are prevalent in the Middle East as they provide the quickest route to owning a lawful second citizenship. Countries like St. Kitts & Nevis, Antigua & Barbuda, Grenada, Dominica, St. Lucia and Cyprus allow foreigners to financially contribute or invest in real estate to obtain a legal citizenship within a period of less than 6 months.

Furthermore, these countries’ citizenship legislative acts do not pose any relocation requirements, which means that the applicants and their families do not need to move to another country in order to obtain or keep the citizenship. The non-relocation requirement makes these programs highly popular among Middle Eastern businessowners and successful professionals. These programs have a strong effect in raising the country’s GDP but it can also culminate in long-term economic prosperity through investment in housing and infrastructure.

Some of these programs have existed for over 30 years and are sought-after by nationals from all over the world included Americans. From Middle East the key nationalities searching for these programs are Iraqis, Syrians, Yemenis, Lebanese and many more who are constantly faced with travel restrictions. An alternate passport opens up an entirely new world on visa-free travel including the UK, Schengen countries, Singapore, Malaysia, Russia, China, Hong Kong. Additionally, many nations in the Middle East face political and economic problems, which makes it difficult to predict the future of these nations, and their family futures along with them. Therefore, having a second citizenship or passport is a strong contingency plan for many individuals in the region.

Nevertheless, there is another option available for investors and it is through Residency programs. There are many countries around the world that grant applicants a permanent residency through investment. Let us take Spain as an example. Spain’s Golden Visa includes the main applicant, spouse, and all dependent children, after the applicant purchases a property in Spain. The duration of the Residence Permit in total is 5 years, Permanent Residence may then be applied for a further 5 years where you must reside in Spain to be eligible to apply for the citizenship. Residents may study, work and live indefinitely in Spain and travel visa-free within the European region. Best of all, they will own a European nationality, which consequently allows them to live anywhere in Europe and grants them visa-free access to over 170 countries worldwide.

Another example is Portugal, which is a member of the European Union and also has its own Residency program. Unlike Spain, this program does not require investors to physically live in Portugal to obtain the Portuguese citizenship. The country has a high quality of life with modern business and medical facilities, which makes Portugal a beautiful country with high standards of living. The citizenship will be granted to the applicant and family after a period of 6 years, therefore the entire family will benefit from being European nationals and will be able to pass the nationality to future generations through naturalization.

To make things simple, permanent residency programs are primarily for investors who plan to relocate to benefit from living in a European country and eventually becoming European citizens. However, it is the long route towards obtaining a second nationality and their citizenship is no 100% secure as it is up to the Government’s discretion.

Fast citizenship by investment programs on the other hand, pose different advantages. They are more suitable for individuals who do not wish to disrupt their current lives by immigrating to a different country, who do not want to wait 6 to 10 years and who are not willing to take a language test.

Click here for more information.