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St Kitts

St. Kitts (St. Christopher) is part of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, which has been independent since 1983. The official language is English. The Federation is a member of the United Nations (UN), of the Organisation of American States (OAS), the British Commonwealth Caribbean Community, (Caricom) and many other international organisations. The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank has its headquarters on St. Kitts. It maintains the stability of the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (XCD, which has been tied to the US dollar since 1976), the currency of most Eastern Caribbean countries,

Jurisdictional information on Nevis

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1. Introduction

a. History and background

St. Kitts (St. Christopher) is part of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, which has been independent since 1983. The official language is English. The Federation is a member of the United Nations (UN), of the Organisation of American States (OAS), the British Commonwealth Caribbean Community, (Caricom) and many other international organisations. The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank has its headquarters on St. Kitts. It maintains the stability of the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (XCD, which has been tied to the US dollar since 1976), the currency of most Eastern Caribbean countries,

b. Legal system

St. Kitts and Nevis is a well-functioning democracy based on the British parliamentary system. The Head of State is the Queen of England. A National Assembly comprising 11 elected members makes laws for the Federation. The legal system is based on the English common law, and the final Court of Appeal is the Privy Council in London.

c. International financial services

St. Kitts is a relatively new player as an international financial services centre. In 2003, St. Kitts introduced a Foundations Act that abolishes several requirements regarding private foundations found in other jurisdictions.

St. Kitts and Nevis is one of only very few countries in the world that offers the possibility for foreign persons to become citizens on the basis of making an investment and without the usual lengthy residence requirements. The Citizenship-by-Investment programme of St. Kitts and Nevis was established in 1984, which makes this the longest established such programme in the world.

St. Kitts is not the typical Caribbean financial services jurisdiction but offers special and even uncommon vehicles to the international financial sector, which make St. Kitts an interesting and competitive niche player.

Editorial board
Christian H Kalin TEP
Henley & Partners, St. Kitts/Switzerland

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