NAME: Antigua & Barbuda
CAPITAL: St John's
POPULATION: 102,012+ people.
LOCATION: Caribbean Sea
GOVERMENT TYPE Parliamentary democracy under constitutional monarchy
CURRENCY East Caribbean Dollars (XCD)

Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda, a sovereign island nation in the Caribbean, lies at the intersection of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean within the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles.

The nation comprises two main islands, Antigua and Barbuda, situated approximately 40 km (25 mi) apart, along with several smaller islands including Great Bird, Green, Guiana, Long, Maiden, Prickly Pear, York, and Redonda. Its permanent population, estimated at around 97,120 in 2019, predominantly resides in Antigua. The capital and largest port, St. John’s, is located on Antigua, while Codrington serves as the largest town on Barbuda.

In 1493, Christopher Columbus discovered Antigua, naming it after the Church of Santa María La Antigua. Great Britain colonized Antigua in 1632 and Barbuda in 1678. After being part of the Federal Colony of the Leeward Islands from 1871, Antigua and Barbuda joined the West Indies Federation in 1958. Following the federation’s dissolution in 1962, it became one of the West Indies Associated States in 1967, ultimately gaining full independence from the United Kingdom on 1 November 1981. Antigua and Barbuda is a member of the Commonwealth and a constitutional monarchy, with Charles III as its head of state.

The economy of Antigua and Barbuda relies heavily on tourism, constituting about 80% of its GDP. However, like many other island nations, it faces challenges associated with climate change, such as rising sea levels and more frequent hurricanes, leading to coastal erosion and water scarcity.

Antigua and Barbuda offer a citizenship by investment program and do not impose personal income tax.

Regarding etymology, “Antigua” translates to “ancient” in Spanish, while “barbuda” means “bearded.” The island of Antigua was originally named Wadadli by the Arawaks, and it’s still referred to by that name locally. The Caribs possibly named Barbuda Wa’omoni. Christopher Columbus may have named it Santa Maria la Antigua after an icon in the Spanish Seville Cathedral. The term “bearded” in Barbuda’s name likely refers to either its male inhabitants or the presence of bearded fig trees.

In terms of pre-colonial history, Antigua was first settled by archaic age hunter-gatherer Native Americans known as the Ciboney, with evidence dating back to around 3100 BC. They were succeeded by the Arawak-speaking Saladoid people, who introduced agriculture to the island. Later, the Caribs settled on the island, possibly through force.

Benefits of Antigua and Barbuda
  1. Stunning Natural Beauty: The islands boast breathtaking beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush landscapes, making them a paradise for beach lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
  2. Citizenship by Investment: Antigua and Barbuda operate a Citizenship by Investment (CBI) program, allowing eligible individuals and families to obtain citizenship through investment in the country. This program provides visa-free travel to numerous countries and opportunities for global business expansion.
  3. Tax Advantages: The country offers favorable tax policies, including no personal income tax, no capital gains tax, and no estate tax for residents. This tax-friendly environment attracts investors and entrepreneurs seeking to optimize their financial assets.
  4. Political Stability: Antigua and Barbuda have a stable democratic government and a history of peaceful transitions of power. This stability fosters a secure environment for residents, businesses, and investors.
  5. Economic Opportunities: The economy of Antigua and Barbuda is diversified, with tourism being a major contributor. Additionally, sectors such as financial services, real estate, and renewable energy offer opportunities for investment and growth.
  6. High Quality of Life: Residents enjoy a high quality of life, with access to modern amenities, healthcare facilities, and educational institutions. The laid-back Caribbean lifestyle, combined with a strong sense of community, creates a welcoming environment for both locals and expatriates.
  7. Cultural Richness: Antigua and Barbuda have a vibrant cultural scene, influenced by African, British, and indigenous traditions. Residents celebrate their heritage through music, art, cuisine, and festivals, providing a rich cultural experience for visitors and residents alike.
  8. Residency Options: In addition to citizenship through investment, Antigua and Barbuda offer residency programs for individuals seeking to live on the islands without citizenship. These programs provide residency permits and associated benefits, such as the right to work and access to healthcare and education services.

Overall, Antigua and Barbuda offer a combination of natural beauty, economic opportunities, favorable tax policies, and a welcoming environment, making them an attractive destination for those seeking a relaxed Caribbean lifestyle and investment opportunities.

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