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Nevis: Country and Foreign Investment

Executive Summary

Nevis is in the Caribbean Sea, about one-third of the way from Puerto Rico to Trinidad and Tobago. The climate is tropical, tempered by constant sea breezes and there is little seasonal temperature variation. The rainy season is from May to November. There can be hurricanes between July and October.

The majority of the population occupies the capital of Charlestown. Nevis’s Newcastle Airport is only capable of handling light aircraft. Long-haul flights from the US and Europe connect to Nevis via St Kitts. There is a regular ferry service between the two islands.

Nevis was settled by the British in 1628 and the federation of St. Kitts and Nevis finally attained full political independence within the Commonwealth in 1983. Nevis has acquired autonomy within the Federation, together with its own Legislature and Cabinet. A 1998 referendum to separate from St. Kitts fell short of the two-thirds majority needed. The independence issue hasn't gone away, but there have since been signs of rapprochement between the two islands under the leadership of Joseph Parry of the Nevis Reformation Party.

St. Kitts and Nevis has offshore legislation as a Federation, but so does Nevis independently. Nevis concentrates more on offshore asset protection. Nevis has been particularly successful with its LLC (Limited Liability Company) legislation. Multiform Foundations came into force in 2005.

The largely tourism-dependent Nevisian economy was hit hard by the economic downturn of 2008/9. After consultation with the federal government, in 2010 the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) obtained a ECD68m long-term loan and an ECD50m overdraft facility from the St Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank. An additional ECD10m has been raised by a new law requiring St. Kitts branches of Nevisian companies to pay their income taxes to the Nevis Island Administration.

The jurisdiction was 'grey listed' by the OECD in 2009 as a territory which had committed to, but not substantially implemented, the Organization's transparency standard (a minimum of 12 Tax and Information Exchange Agreements). Having signed 18 TIEAs by the end of 2010, the twin-island federation now sits proudly on the OECD ‘white list.’



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