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AntiguaBarbuda.com – the Official Business Hub for Potential Investors

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Little Ffryes Beach in Antigua and Barbuda, Photo ©: Yensa Werth / The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority

Antigua and Barbuda continues to display its resiliency and adaptability through AntiguaBarbuda.com, the country’s first and official business hub for potential international investors who are looking to learn more about the investment and business opportunities in the country.

AntiguaBarbuda.com is the hub poised to be the nation’s official business hub for future visitors, tourists, citizens, as well as stakeholders looking to contribute to the country’s economy.

It is the first of its kind in the region and lauds how the Antigua and Barbuda government has been proactively meeting the requirements of today’s business and tourism industry. 

The hub is informative, easy to use and navigate through, and provides a great overview about the country’s flagship residency and citizenship programs such: Nomad Digital Residency (NDR) Program as well as the Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP).

Turning policy into action

The people of my country are moving on with resilience, bravely and resolutely”, this was the strong statement of Prime Minister Gaston Browne during the United Nations at the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the 25th of September 2020.

At that time, Antigua and Barbuda was beginning to rise after having been economically ravaged by the effects of the global pandemic, especially its tourism industry.

AntiguaBarbuda.com – the country’s official business hub. The first of its kind in the Carribean region

The country made it a point not to be deterred by the difficult situation. Instead, they tackled the problem with a sound response.

They managed to quell the spread of COVID-19 in the dual island state and is one of the least affected countries in the world in terms of fatalities to date. They were able to re-open their borders on 01 June while still maintaining good nationwide health status.

This was also made possible via strong advocacies using online platforms that aimed to inform incoming tourists about what to expect when traveling to the paradise-like islands of Antigua and Barbuda.

Now, Antigua and Barbuda takes resilience a step further with AntiguaBarbuda.com, the first of its kind in the Caribbean region.  

Navigating through the business hub

Ambassador Dr. Dario Item, the country’s head of mission to Spain, Liechtenstein and Monaco enthuses about the development, saying: “The hub is home to a wide array of information that many potential investors and visitors of Antigua and Barbuda may find helpful in their decision-making process. From information about restaurants and accommodation options that may be helpful for holiday makers, as well as the benefits of investing in the country are now available through the platform.”

Visitors are also given a virtual prelude of what to see in the magnificent beaches of the country with captivating photos of resorts and other accommodation choices in the country. It also features a complete list of the other services which investors can avail of, including legal advice and list of real estate investment opportunities.

The tourism information page shows an in-depth package of what the hotels, restaurants, nightlife have to offer. These are enhanced with video clips and photos that would make you want to experience life in Antigua and Barbuda.

Through the platform, individual websites for each featured establishment can be accessed. Visitors will be able to see details such as contact numbers and even their proximity to other landmarks.

It also gives a guide on establishing a business in the premier destination in the Caribbean region.

The Nomad Digital Residency gaining more applicants

With the increased interest from investors and travelers looking to avail of the benefits of the “long-stay” visa in Antigua and Barbuda, would-be applicants may find more information, along with frequently asked questions, about the Nomad Residency Program through AntiguaBarbuda.com.

The NDR offers an initial 2-year special residency status that would allow you to work from the pristine beaches of Antigua and Barbuda and away from the hazards of restrictions and lockdowns. Successful applicants simply need to pay $1,500.00 for a single applicant, $2,000 for a couple, and $3,000 for a family of 3 and above.

Horizon looking brighter for Antigua and Barbuda

The recent uptick in the number of applicants for the NDR is a great indication of things to come for Antigua and Barbuda. This will ripple into more economic activity for the island state. The availability of AntiguaBarbuda.com business hub also boasts well of a future that will witness a bounce back from the leader in tourism of the Caribbean region.

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Finance

NYP: The US dollar has become an at-risk currency

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While a chorus of experts still insists that there’s no alternative to the dollar, this is untrue. The dollar will dominate as long as it serves the interest of those who use it. Once the dollar begins placing assets at risk, alternative tools of commerce are certain to emerge. And they already are, ‘New York Post’ writes with surprise and anxiety.

Make no mistake: a shift away from the dollar would be a huge blow to America’s international standing. The days of being able to print limitless amounts of currency could end, along with our ability to buy foreign goods cheaply.

Stark proof that a new game is afoot filtered out of Davos last month. Saudi Arabia’s Finance Minister, Mohammed Al-Jadaan, made the stunning announcement that—for the first time in 48 years — the world’s biggest oil producer was open to trading in currencies other than the US dollar.

That’s a far cry from the deal Richard Nixon cut with King Faisal decades ago to solely accept dollars as payment for oil. (In exchange, Nixon agreed to protect the Kingdom from Soviet, Iranian and Iraqi aggression.) That pact laid the groundwork for a strong dollar as oil money began to flow through the Federal Reserve.

Today, China imports 1.4 million barrels of oil a day from Saudi Arabia (up 39% over the past year), making it the Kingdom’s largest customer. Which is why both sides are seeking cheaper alternatives to using dollars for every transaction. With Aramco investing in a massive new refinery in China, the relationship will only deepen.

The Saudi shift is only the latest data point. At the 2022 BRICS summit in Beijing, Vladimir Putin announced plans to expand the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and develop an alternative for international payments using a currency basket of Chinese RMB yuan, Russian rubles, Indian rupees, Brazilian reals, and South African rand. For reference, the SCO is the world’s largest regional organization, representing 40% of the world’s population and 30% of global GDP.

A new currency is only part of the picture. China is pioneering new exchanges to shift commodity trading from Western institutions like the troubled London Metal Exchange and the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Even the Europeans have gotten into the act, by creating a special-purpose vehicle — INSTEX — to facilitate non-dollar, non-SWIFT humanitarian transactions with Iran to sidestep U.S. sanctions. Russia, predictably, expressed interest in participating and the first transaction was completed in March 2020 to facilitate a medical equipment sale to Iran to combat COVID.

Russia and Iran are also developing a gold-backed stablecoin, oil traders are already using the UAE’s dirham to settle oil trades and the Indian rupee is finally being positioned as an international currency.

The beat goes on: China’s Cross-Border Interbank Payment System (CIPS) processes only 15,000 transactions a day — Western-favored CHIPS moves 250,000 daily — but it’s growing. Russia offers its own System for Transfer of Financial Messages to allow users to bypass SWIFT.

Even the Swiss-based Bank for International Settlements is getting into the act, creating a renminbi liquidity line to support contributing central banks in times of crisis. So far, the central banks of Chile, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore have subscribed.

In the 21st century, a currency’s value — including the dollar — will become increasingly competitive. If there is less demand for dollars, the value of the dollar will decline. Everything will become more expensive. Not all at once, but over time — making deficit spending more costly or, unthinkably, impossible.

It’s not farfetched to imagine the US experiencing a debt crisis because no one shows up to buy its bonds. The US dollar  will become just one more currency, among many. And ultimately, if the dollar loses it shine, so will the ability of the US to project power, writes NYP.

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SVB fall: This is the financial catastrophe, but it’s just getting started

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SVB passed its stress tests with flying colors. It also passed its FDIC examinations, its financial audits, and its state regulatory audits. SVB published its 2022 annual financial report after the market closed on January 19, 2023. This is the same financial report where they posted $15 billion in unrealized losses which effectively wiped out the bank’s capital. The FDIC saw Silicon Valley Bank’s dismal condition and did nothing. The Federal Reserve did nothing. Investors cheered and bid the stock up, writes Sovereign Research and Advisory Group.

Since the 2008 financial crisis, legislators and bank regulators have rolled out an endless parade of new rules to prevent another banking crisis. One of the most hilarious was the new rule that banks had to pass “stress tests”, i.e. war game scenarios to see whether or not banks would be able to survive certain fluctuations in macroeconomic conditions.

…A week ago, everything was still fine. Then, within a matter of days, SVB’s stock price plunged, depositors pulled their money, and the bank failed. Poof.

The same thing happened with Lehman Brothers in 2008. In fact over the past few years we’ve been subjected to example after example of our entire world changing in an instant.

We all remember that March 2020 was still fairly normal, at least in North America. Within a matter of days people were locked in their homes and life as we knew it had fundamentally changed.

This is the financial catastrophe, but it’s just getting started. Like Lehman Brothers in 2008, SVB is just the tip of the iceberg. There will be other casualties– not just in banks, but money market funds, insurance companies, and even businesses.

Foreign banks and institutions are also suffering losses on their US government bonds… and that has negative implications on the US dollar’s reserve status.

Think about it: it’s bad enough that the US national debt is outrageously high, that the federal government appears to be a bunch of fools incapable of solving any problem, and that inflation is terrible.

Why would anyone want to continue with this insanity? Foreigners have already lost so much confidence in the US and the dollar… and financial losses from their bond holdings could accelerate that trend.

This issue is particularly of mind now that China is flexing its international muscle, most recently in the Middle East making peace between Iran and Saudi Arabia. And the Chinese are starting to actively market their currency as an alternative to the dollar.

But no one in charge seems to understand any of this.

The guy who shakes hands with thin air insisted this morning that the banking system is safe. Nothing to see here, people.

The Federal Reserve – which is the ringleader of this sad circus – doesn’t seem to understand anything either.

Even after last week’s banking crisis, the Fed probably still hasn’t figured it out. They appear totally out of touch with what’s really happening in the economy. And when they meet again next week, it’s possible they’ll raise rates even higher (and trigger even more unrealized losses).

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India’s oil deals with Russia dent decades-old dollar dominance

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US-led international sanctions on Russia have begun to erode the dollar’s decades-old dominance of international oil trade as most deals with India – Russia’s top outlet for seaborne crude – have been settled in other currencies, informs Reuters.

The dollar’s pre-eminence has periodically been called into question and yet it has continued because of the overwhelming advantages of using the most widely-accepted currency for business.

India’s oil trade, in response to the turmoil of sanctions and the Ukraine war, provides the strongest evidence so far of a shift into other currencies that could prove lasting.

After a coalition opposed to the war imposed an oil price cap on Russia on Dec. 5, Indian customers have paid for most Russian oil in non-dollar currencies, including the United Arab Emirates dirham and more recently the Russian rouble, multiple oil trading and banking sources said.

An Indian refining source said most Russian banks have faced sanctions since the war but Indian customers and Russian suppliers are determined to keep trading Russian oil. “Russian suppliers will find some other banks for receiving payments,” the source told Reuters.

India’s largest lender State Bank of India has a nostro, or foreign currency, account in Russia. Similarly, many banks from Russia have opened accounts with Indian banks to facilitate trade.

IMF Deputy Managing Director Gita Gopinath said that sanctions on Russia could erode the dollar’s dominance by encouraging smaller trading blocs using other currencies. Paying for oil in dollars has been the nearly universal practice for decades. “The dollar would remain the major global currency even in that landscape but fragmentation at a smaller level is certainly quite possible,” she told the Financial Times.

Beyond Russia, tensions between China and the West are also eroding the long-established norms of dollar-dominated global trade.

India in the last year displaced Europe as Russia’s top customer for seaborne oil, snapping up cheap barrels and increasing imports of Russian crude 16-fold compared to before the war, according to the Paris-based International Energy Agency. Russian crude accounted for about a third of its total imports.

For Indian refiners that in recent weeks started settling some Russian oil purchases in roubles, according to the trade sources, payments have been processed in part by the State Bank of India via its nostro roubles account in Russia.

India has prepared a framework for settling trade with Russia in Indian rupees should rouble transactions be cut off by further sanctions, the sources said.

The Group of Seven economies, the European Union and Australia, agreed the price cap late last year to bar Western services and shipping from trading Russian oil unless sold at an enforced low price to deprive Moscow of funds for its war. It does not work as they wanted.

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