US State Department: Barbados politicians ask for bribes and business equity in exchange for favours

US State Department Barbados

The US State Department just published its annual Investment Climate Statement for Barbados. There is some wishful thinking in the report, but also some solid reasons why Bim is a good place for offshore investment. As far as the politicians asking foreign businesses for bribes or shares… That’s news?

You can read the whole thing yourself, but here’s our take on a few interesting spots in the report – the good, the bad and the ugly…

Barbados – The Good

Openness To Foreign Investment

The Government of Barbados, through Invest Barbados, strongly encourages foreign direct investment in Barbados.

The government offers special incentive packages for foreign investments in the hotel industry, manufacturing, and offshore business services.

Foreign nationals receive the same legal protections as local citizens. The police and court systems are unbiased in commercial matters, and the government operates in an essentially transparent manner.

The Bad

On December 20, 2012, Moody’s downgraded Barbados’s rating to one notch below investment grade. Moody’s also gave Barbados a negative outlook, meaning that a further downgrade is more likely than an upgrade. With this downgrade, Moody’s rating is in sync with Standard & Poor’s, which downgraded Barbados in July. Fitch Ratings does not rate Barbados. Moody’s cited two main reasons for this downgrade: poor economic growth prospects and government deficit/debt levels. These are generally the same two reasons Standard & Poor’s cited in July.

The regulatory system can be slow at times, and some companies have complained that the Ministry of Finance does not give adequate justification for rejecting a license.

According to the U.N. World Investment Report, Barbados Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) peaked at $464 million in 2008. This was followed by a decrease to $247 million in 2009. In 2010 and 2011 FDI totaled $290 million and $334 million respectively.

The Real Ugly Stuff

Corruption is not a major problem in Barbados, but some U.S. companies have reported unfair treatment by Barbados’ Customs and Excise Department.

Other U.S. companies have reported efforts by political actors to trade political support for payment or partial project ownership.

9 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Economy

9 responses to “US State Department: Barbados politicians ask for bribes and business equity in exchange for favours

  1. Menacing Denis (Downlow)

    Here is the latest lowdown on the SSA. The (biological) male who administers to the Authority and all other Environmental areas (except Graeme Hall, as he got no kickback on CLICO land development, if CLICO cannot put Apartments there then he let it rot) was informed tractor parts and vehicle accessories would be in the vicinity of $3 million. He calls RIMCO and asks where is his 10%?

    This is not commission for “selling” the parts, he just feels as the SSA is doing business with RIMCO then he must get a kickback on what he feels is his personal fiefdom. Essentially RIMCO told him to f**k off, so he cancels the order for all the vitally urgent parts in order for SSA to function properly? How low can can you go?

    This alleged “Dr” from the Uni of Cincinnati can go down low, really low (he lusted after one of the Digicel Blackberry technicians at a press conference about 4 years ago in Norman Centre – “Norman, is that you?” – and he got upset when people started to giggle when he said the Tech’s were fine, strapping and handsome… Oh my!)…

    Another problem is that monies to ensure the trucks which are on the road legally has not been paid, when one of the trucks had an accident this week, the Police told the SSA the vehicle had no right being on the road since both Insurance and Road tax are outstanding not for a day or two but a few weeks now…

    The lowdown is as a result of Police’s correct stance, a whole sweep of trucks will be pulled from active Duty leaving may four or six to serve the entire island for one Minister’s pure Greed, is that low enough?

  2. LOOK

    No place and nowhere is utopia but damn Barbados is a mess – a cess pool of mess: Contractor Al Barack, Violet Beckles, the police commissioner Darwin Dottin but worse, tourism. Barbados relies on few things to survive, mainly tourism. That, the tourism industry is on life support – fighting for life but it’s just not safe to even visit the island. The Terry Schwartzfeld and Colin Peter murders proves this, the two British women raped (Diane Davies and Rachel Turner) and recently the British professor and wife stabbing. The climate for investing in Barbados must surely change likewise reduced crime. Barbados NOW not later must target its increased crime and not miss. It must also prepare itself to destroy any and all corruptive plants by the root regardless of who they are, title and rank.

  3. Alice in Wonderland

    one wonders what rosy pictures of investment potential the US State Department are looking at when they wrote this report of pure fantasy.

    The courts are full of dozens of investment cases that have been delayed and obstructed for years?

    The purpose of all these double taxation treaties is to pass monies through
    Barbados on a tax efficient basis, not to leave it in the country.

    The behaviour of all politicians such as Menacing Denis are the reason no sane person would actually leave money in Barbados.

  4. just want to know

    The majority of people in Barbados know the politicians take bribes. Look at them when they first start out, & then you see them wearing all these saville row suites & ties. Start driving 4 wheel drives, where does all this come from? and the travel , first class on the plane & 5 star hotels. Don’t tell me that the Barbados economy can pay for all that. It’s a sad state of affairs.

  5. Theh Watcher

    This is another warning shot across the bow. It saddens me to see that Barbadians in positions of power, influence or authourity, seem to have it planted in their heads by some divinely stupid entity, that they are entitled to monies other than those remunerated to them for doing their assigned duties. In his response to the article, “Menacing Denis” said some rather disturbing things which illustrate my point. How could a head or department dare call a company and ask where your 10% cut was for engaging in business with that company. This greed-filled behaviour is part of the reason that the cost of living in Barbados is so extravagant. It is rooted in the fact that companies believe that to do business, they’ve got to play along with extortionists like this guy to survive. So they adjust their pricing suitably and we all bear the brunt of this pricing scheme. And our dear Head of Department? Well he goes home with an illicit payday, and we all “suck salt”

    If we were to take a take more than a cursory look at many of the failed projects which the government has tried to undertake, some of which they borrowed monies from international lenders to finance, you may find a similar trend existing in the “under-current” through which the monies have flowed. Bribes, kickbacks and pay-offs running rampant through the veins of the project, but none of the monies reaching the heart of the project. The net result is that a financial stroke occurs which then results in the death of the project. Now if Barbados’ F.I.U (Financial Intelligence Unit) were really to gain teeth and become a formidable force in government, the walls would come tumbling down like those of the biblical city of Jericho. But alas, there’s no champion to bring this entity to full maturity. So continue to expect nothing from them but talks, symposiums and trickles of useless information that you can garner and glean from the Internet yourself. They just collate it and present it like its their own research. Its very sad to see all this nonsense going on while simultaneously our visibility on the International stage being raised for all the wrong reasons. Piggies feeding at the trough of greed, and nothing but talk and fluff being spewed all about by the people who uphold this behaviour.

    We will soon learn though when the chickens come home to roost. Then we, the taxpayers will be expected to bear the burden while the crooks, criminals, thieves and robbers go scotch free telling us how unfortunate it is , but we can “ALL” pull through together.

    I didn’t participate in or benefit from their schemes, in the beginning, and I’ll certainly not actively or willingly put a cent or muscle toward helping to rectify it in the end.

    Fix greed and stupidity now, its the only way forward in this country that will help us all to grow.

  6. So what else is new , Now its time the People wake up to the Facts.

  7. Well Well

    Their bosses successive Prime Ministers are fully aware of their corrupt habits of bribe taking, payoffs and kickbacks and never see it fit to punish them publicly as an example to appease the taxpaying public. The citizens have long ago become sensitized against the corruption and tacky displays of disrespect encouraged and condoned by the leaders against the taxpayers.

  8. Before you all start falling into the predictable round of self-hating and Barbados bashing, ask yourself what place the corrupt, thoroughly bought, filthy, cesspool inhabiting Americans are to even comment on Barbados (which is deemed LESS corrupt than the US by transparency international).

    You want to talk corrrupt? A country whose politicians are so bought by big business that they cannot support healthcare initiatives that far poorer countries provide, since their insurance paymasters demand they do not.

    You want to talk corrupt? A country that, despite repeated massacres at schools, is so bought out by the gun lobby that its politicians cannot stop it.

    Corrupt? A place that goes to war on lies, then gives all the oil contracts to a company owned by its vice president.

    Being lectured about corruption by the US government is like being lectured about hygiene by an E. Coli bacillus.

  9. The Commonwealth Caribbean Corruption Team (CCCT) whilst observing these carrying on’s really ought to be organizing a Caribbean Beau of Investigations bringing charges against law breakers believing themselves above the law,. Presently, they are taking too long to act.