Daily Archives: May 6, 2010

New Cayman standards provide predictability for business investors. Will Barbados ever do the same?

Frustration grows with Barbados’ lack of standards for business investor residency

Our friends over at Business Barbados.com are big on attracting foreign investors and wealthy retirees to Barbados because they recognize how important this type of activity is to our country’s economy and well-being. Their website lays out exactly why so many people and businesses choose to locate or invest in our country – and rightly so. As much as Barbados Free Press is a political blog that is critical and even caustic as we campaign for changes and for a better Barbados, there’s nowhere else we’d rather be.

The writers at Business Barbados.com share our love for Barbados and they want to attract the foreign investors that we need… but they also know that not everyone with money is beneficial to Barbados.

In 2005 then Secretary General of the U.N., Kofi Annan said that Barbados “punches above its weight”. The same can be said for a certain type of foreign investor: those folks with a true desire to build something here in Barbados for the long term, who want to give something back to our country and our people, provide jobs and progress and have the integrity, knowledge and money to make it happen.

The fast-talking, fast-buck operators are a different breed even if they do have money. Barbados must ensure that we attract and screen the types of people who will be beneficial to our society because not everyone with money is a good potential resident. (Think of how Antigua & Barbuda must regret ever hearing the name “Allen Stanford”.)

“Barbados has a problem that is threatening to derail our ability to attract the right kind of business investor: there is no clear path or predictability of process and outcome in obtaining residency.”

Some folks have invested millions of dollars in Bajan businesses and yet 10 or 15 years later they still have not been able to receive status as a resident let alone citizenship. Unfortunately this situation is not uncommon and Barbados is developing a reputation for being “difficult” in this area. We know that the current government is aware of the problem but they have not acted to correct it.

The truth is that our standards for business investor residency are unclear, are sometimes even made up on the spot by bureaucrats and then arbitrarily applied.

The Cayman Islands had much the same confused situation, but their government has now acted to bring improvements that make the Caymans a more attractive business destination. The Caymans are our competition, so we might want to pay attention…

Here’s what the Caymans have done to offer stability, standards and predictability of process and outcome to potential business investors. Barbados should, within our own requirements and culture, do the same – because our international reputation in this area is rapidly becoming a negative.

Here is the news about what the Caymans have done…

Caymans Lure Wealthy Investors

The Cayman Islands parliament on April 28 passed the Immigration (Amendment) Bill 2010, which permits 25-year residence to wealthy individuals who invest in businesses that contribute to the prosperity of the islands, on certain conditions.

The new legislation introduces the opportunity for foreign individuals to apply for a Residential Certificate for Investment. While this will cost KYD20,000 (USD24,000), it allows the investor, their spouse and any dependents the right to live in the islands without the need for a work permit on certain conditions. Under the new law, investors must:

– Have a net worth of at least KYD6m;
– Invest at least KYD2.4m in licensed businesses with workforces comprising of at least 50% Caymanians, that contribute towards the prosperity of the territory;

… continue reading the Tax-News.com article Caymans lure wealthy investors

Thanks to BFP readers “R” and “H” who suggested and contributed to this article.

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Immigration, Offshore Investments

Chastened Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak preps to beat Barbados Flyin’ Fish Segway polo team

Segway Polo World Champions - Barbados Flyin' Fish

Silicon Valley Aftershocks want more punishment. Flyin’ Fish plan to Bring It!

OK folks, here’s de plan…

Steve Wozniak “Woz” and his team were grilled for lunch last time they met Barbados Flyin’ Fish in the 2009 Segway Polo final in Germany. Now they are coming to Barbados in June to seek revenge ’cause we’re hosting the 2010 Woz Cup Segway Polo championship. (Segway Polo Club of Barbados website here.)

Before the big game in Germany last year, Woz brushed off the Bajan Flyin’ Fish. (Hey Steve… how did that work out for you? heh heh)

Forbes: Tell us about this year’s Woz Cup in Germany. Did you expect the team from Barbados to beat you?

Steve Wozniak: We thought Barbados would be kind of like the Jamaican bobsled team. We really respected the German team; we heard the Austrians were very good, too. We went in thinking we have a chance to win. And luck was actually with us. We lost one match to Austria. We made it to the finals and Barbados … well, the first time we watched them, we acknowledged that they were very good. They could hit that shot good and fast, like a soccer shot.

“Jamaican bobsled team” !!!

Oh, Woz… I guess you didn’t know that Barbados and polo is like flying fish & cou cou. We gon take our cou cou sticks and… well, we’ll be ready for you again friend!

Steve Wozniak Segways everywhere!

Woz reveals his weakness! (Barbados Free Press staff understands completely!)

We received a clue about Woz in his Forbes interview last September: He is a man who enjoys a drink once in a while. Consider that he says one of the benefits of the Segway is that you can’t be charged for “DUI” (drunk driving)…

“When you’re on a Segway, you’re a pedestrian. You can stop and talk to people or look into a store window. On a national level, Segways come under consumer electronics code, not vehicle. There’s no DUI for a Segway.”

… Steve Wozniak as quoted by Forbes: Steve Wozniak on Segway Polo

Hmmmmm… So Steve likes a drink once in a while. Yup… I see a plan coming!

Here is the Flyin’ Fish victory plan!

Chris Breedy promises free pre-match drinks for Silicon Valley Aftershocks at Mount Gay. Good plan, Chris!

We know our Flyin’ Fish are going to do us proud an keep de trophy where it belongs – but all is fair in love and war, so our Shona suggests the following…

When Woz and his team arrives, we show them a real good time when they’re not practicing. Everybody make them very welcome, show them around the island and take them on some tours. Make them feel appreciated and happy as they should in a friendly place like Bim.

Let them sample some of our finest rum. Maybe a Banks Beer or eight or ten too! Then a glass or three of “special” rum punch that you’ll find on some of the boats out of Bridgetown.

Yup. Be real friendly to our guests from Silicon Valley for the two days leading up to the opening match. Keep Woz and his team happy. Real happy.

That’s the plan and if Mount Gay is still sponsoring the Flyin’ Fish as they did last year, it should be no problem.

Like Shona say, all is fair in love and Segway Polo!

Is Woz leaning to make the shot... or is there another reason? 😉

Further Reading

Wall Street Journal May 6, 2010: Aftershocks Prep for Rematch After Big Upset, but Will Wozniak Make the Trip?

Mac Daily News Oct 1, 2009: Apple co-founder Woz: “There’s no DUI for a Segway”

Forbes Sept 30, 2009: Woz talks about Segway Polo and his defeat by Barbados Flyin’ Fish

BFP July 21, 2009: Barbados Segway Polo Team – World Champions, 2009 Woz Cup

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Filed under Barbados, Celebrities, Sports