Category Archives: Business

Harlequin H Hotel now billboard for The Flying Chicken – coming soon!

Before…

Harlequin Barbados Signs

Last Night…

Harlequin Barbados Flying Chicken

Our thanks to reader “J”

17 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business

Canada’s Sault College receives $440,000 to assist Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic

Keep that foreign money flowing folks… We need it!

canada_barbados_flag

by passin thru

Times are tough on the rock and a lousy $440,000 Canadian dollars doesn’t sound like it would buy much of anything ’bout this place after VAT is considered too.

But, beggars can’t be choosers and all that.

What’s going to happen with all this money? Well, first off it’s not coming right away. Sault College “will receive” the money from the Canadian government over the next two years as the joint programme with Prescod Poly to “collaboratively develop training over the next two years to support a growing renewable energy industry in Barbados.”

Must be something I’m missing about a “growing renewable energy industry” because the last time I looked it was a solar water heaters business was destroyed with a joint venture with Nigeria. (Like that would work out!)

After Owen Arthur threw away $2.4 million dollars of taxpayer money, Aqua Sol went broke and the Trinis bought it up and changed the name to Solaris Energy Limited. It looks like the new manufacturing facility in St. Phillip is always busy, and let’s hope it stays that way – but that is just one company. Pray this new seed money from Canada actually sprouts something and doesn’t just drip away like usual.

But hey, we’ll take the money and do the training or whatever. Just send the money.

What? No plan yet? Hey… gimmie the money and we’ll come up with a plan by sundown!

The two Institutes will work together over the next few months on developing a detailed project plan. Implementation will begin in April 2014.

“We will be planning and implementing key activities such as labour market analysis, curriculum development, teacher training, facilities and equipment enhancements as well as student and faculty exchange between April 2014, and March 2016,” says Ted Newbery, Chair of Continuing Education at Sault College.

Read the whole story: Sault College joins in Bajan school program

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Canada

More UK government attacks on Global Tax Avoidance and Income Shifting

Caribbean-bank-money_laundering

Barbados had better develop some new revenue streams… like yesterday!

submitted by Not Taken

Luxembourg / Barbados / Marshall Islands – tax avoidance and income shifting is all the same shell game but it’s becoming more difficult to hide due to computers and the communication and lobbying powers of the internet.

The Brits are out to stop the game. Canada (CRA) and US (IRS) are cracking down. Barbados is very exposed. Our Government should be prepared to see its revenue from offshore businesses to decline substantially. The billion of new Treasury Bill funding to pay its bills will disappear quickly.

And at the same time as our offshore banking and companies hosting industries are coming under pressure, our tourism seems to be in a death spiral.

Many of us foresaw this situation coming ten years ago. Only fools couldn’t see it coming five years ago.

So far I’ve heard nothing from either the DLP or the BLP except excuses and criticism without solutions capable of addressing this crisis. This is not a time for gentle, incremental solutions: it is a time for radical changes, not more of the same.

Have a look at this from a Canadian newspaper…

Amazon’s U.K. unit slammed for ‘pathetic’ $3.7-million tax bill

Amazon.com Inc.’s main U.K. unit paid $3.7-million (U.S.) of taxes on its 2012 income, it said on Wednesday, despite group UK sales of $6.5-billion, prompting criticism from lawmakers and competitors.

Amazon.co.uk Ltd. added in its accounts, published through the U.K. companies register, that it received £2.5-million ($3.8-million U.S.) in government grants during 2012 – just ahead of the £2.4-million it paid in corporation tax, the U.K. form of corporate income tax.

Corporate tax avoidance has risen to the top of the political agenda in Europe following revelations in the past couple of years about how little big names like Apple Inc., Starbucks, Google and Microsoft pay in tax in markets where they reap billions of dollars in sales.

The companies say they follow the rules but U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron has called for international action on the shifting of profits, which can help firms cut tax bills. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business, Business & Banking, Economy

An Alien in my own Barbados

“I know there are many like myself who cannot find work (because we are over-educated). It’s really ironic. Tell me what do we do? Join the guys on the block? Put on ski mask and rob the banks? Turn to the world of prostitution?  Sell Cornwell? Tell me for I have run out of answers!”

Unemployment gets me down

by a BFP reader

For almost a year now I have been for lack of a better word ‘forced’ to listen to Down to Brass Tacks, although I must confess that at most times I do enjoy the lively exchanges between the public and moderators. I use the word forced because after almost a year I cannot find a decent job in my county Barbados and had to content myself with staying at home listening to Down To Brass Tacks.

I heard it was mentioned more that once on Down to Brass Tacks about persons complaining that they can’t find work. The moderator even suggests work is out there and persons really do not want to work.  I totally disagree with what is being said because there are some of us who would like to be given the opportunity to prove our worth.

Take my situation for instance; young ambitious, versatile and a self starter who studied up to tertiary level. I have vast work experience from banking to clerical officer and manager. I even owned my own business but due to the recession and problems I encountered was forced to close the doors on that.

After this I searched high and low for employment and even accepted one job that was not to my standards. A job is supposed to be a job or so they say, but I beg to differ. After some frustrations on the job I decided that Barbados seemed to have nothing to offer me. I left this island and spent some time in two other countries (Grand Caymans and Anguilla) seeking work. I did not receive work in these countries because of work permit issues. They said that due to the recession times they were offering the work to the locals first, which is understandable.  I must add that these countries saw me as highly qualified – unlike my own country. (I believe the saying, that you cannot be a king in your own country.)

I returned home and have been seeking work for months. I have been to about 50 interviews; I am not joking. I have written over 100 job applications, called around every day to places and still have had no success. At the interviews I attended I was told that I was over-qualified or I just had no response. This caused me to wonder what I had done incorrectly. I even wrote back to some of these companies asking for opinions as to why I did not get these jobs and some responded that I had no experience in those areas I applied for.

Allow me to read this letter to you. It is the latest response I received for a position I saw advertised in our newspaper. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Economy, Education

Loveridge: One politician’s verbal diarrhea about the Barbados tourism industry

Let’s play… Name that politician!

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

Debate, whether it takes place in the Upper House, Elected Chamber or through the various forms of media, demonstrates the presence of a healthy democracy, but unless its informed, does it really have any meaningful relevance?

Sometimes you have to stop and think exactly why certain people utter particular things and the timing of those comments. Ultimately they either believe what they saying is credible and truthful or have become a victim of a sudden and virulent attack of verbal diarrhea. Perhaps what is also so surprising, is why at this time, with a general election constitutionally due in less than a year, would a person voice such controversial words?

Does he feel that his party has no realistic possibility of being re-elected, so it doesn’t really matter if you alienate those generating your single largest contributing sector of foreign exchange? Even from someone who has a long track record of expressing often outrageous  and incredulous statements, frequently from a place of rare privilege, this particular verbatim quote must take the biscuit.

The claim was that ‘the private (tourism) sector was 98 per cent profit and 2 per cent social obligation’.

If it wasn’t so grossly insulting and inaccurate, perhaps many of us could excuse it as another puff of political hot air, but the phrase is so critical to the lack of understanding of this industry, it is frightening.

Whatever your partisan leanings, I sincerely believe the private sector has done an extraordinary job of trying to support Government in their attempt to protect employment and these ill-advised words simply slap those in the face that have defied almost insurmountable odds to stay in business. This despite the current administration’s policy of imposing unbudgeted increases in taxation, that without doubt have contributed substantially to the erosion of any possible profits.

Perhaps a wise undertaking might have been, before giving the impression that he actually knew something about the subject discussed, would be to check, which if any, of our remaining hotels had declared any corporation tax liability. At least this might have indicated a realist level of profitability.

Or did this person not hear the remarks made by the President of the Barbados Bankers Association a few weeks ago, where he stated that a staggering 43 per cent of all non performing loans were tourism related.

Sadly, this is another classic example of the increasing use of square pegs in round holes, and will do nothing to endear the thousands of Barbadians dependent on tourism to feed their families, and who may be less forgiving at the ballot box.

Not everyone of course can be an ‘expert’, but if you are clearly deficient on the subject in question, at least do your homework before engaging the mouth into gear. This is not the time for bluster and bravado, but surely to galvanise all the very best players, who can make a positive difference.

We all welcome constructive criticism, but let is be based on fact rather than conjecture.

Then finally, ask yourself a simple question, if owning and operating hotels was all about ‘98 per cent profit’, then why would over 30 of them have closed during the last 16 years?

Editor’s note: This article was printed as received from Mr. Loveridge with the exception of the title and subtitle that were added by Barbados Free Press. BFP also changed some of the paragraph breaks, punctuation and spelling.

And yes, it was Senator Jepter Ince who just can’t seem to get it through his thick head that being elected doesn’t mean you can spout off on anything without doing your homework – and not look like a fool.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business

Police, court, DPP abuse of witnesses and victims – one man’s horrific experience

“We have, so far, over a period of four and a half years, attended the Magistrates Court for the preliminary trial a total of 21 times. It is impossible to offer a guess as to when this case will exit the Magistrates Court to the High Court, and how many more years it will spend there.”

by Trevor Kent

Kent Construction Ltd.

Charles Leacock, Barbados Director of Public Prosecutions

In The Nation on Friday May 25 was an article DPP: Stop hiding white collar crime, in which Director of Public Prosecutions, Charles Leacock, reportedly lamented the low level of reporting by business of what is known as “white collar crime”. His take on this situation was that businesses, especially, it seems, commercial banks, have been afraid of bad publicity and thus prefer to cover up malfeasance within their operations. He urges that this practice must stop, saying, as reported in the newspaper, that “the low level of prosecutions and investigations [is] symptomatic of the fact that there is also a low level of reporting”.

I have to admit to being surprised by these reported comments, based on my Company’s experiences with reporting substantial white collar thefts by on of our employees, carried out systematically over almost seven years. After assisting with a very long, drawn out Police Fraud Squad investigation, we were informed by letter that the DPP had directed that only a fraction of the thefts for which we provide hard evidence should  be investigated, to save police time. How does that square with the stated fact of “a low level of investigations”?

Then, we have, so far, over a period of four and a half years, attended the Magistrates Court for the preliminary trial a total of 21 times. It is impossible to offer a guess as to when this case will exit the Magistrates Court to the High Court, and how many more years it will spend there.

I would thus submit that the reason companies elect not to report similar crimes is that they do not with to face the frustration of dealing with the slow Police investigation requiring numerous hand-written statements etc. followed by hundreds of hours of wasted employee time, sitting at a Magistrate’s court that often starts up to one and a half hours late, and then accomplishes very little before adjourning for the day.

The whole process then has to be repeated at the High Court, in front of Judge and Jury.

By the time a matter has gone through the Magistrates Court, and the High Court, many years will have elapsed, witnesses may have retired or died, and companies have lost many thousands of dollars in employee time, in addition to the original loss. Even if the accused is convicted, sentences are often little more than a slap on the wrist, as pleas of “first time offender” (although there may be numerous episodes relating to the same trial) are accepted by the courts. Companies thus decide, as in one case I am aware of where the owners simply sold the company and relocated overseas, to swallow the loss, leaving the perpetrator to continue stealing at another company, as often happens.

The legal trial system in Barbados is seriously time-flawed, if not broken, and in fact some of the laws are flawed also. In our case, the bank, after cashing over 300 “third-party” company cheques during the stated period, without once questioning the legitimacy of these transactions, either with the presenter or with the Company itself, was able to hide behind the Banking Act that apparently does not require ID and authorization from the payee to whom the cheque was signed in good faith by a Company director. Amazing really, when one considers that the local Post Office requires such confirmation before delivering mail to a person claiming to represent someone else. The bank has refused to engage with us at any level (despite firm written promises at the highest level) and our expert legal advice is that, whilst we are not without precedent in seeking redress through the courts, the process could well take six or seven years, and even longer on appeal… not to mention hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Crime & Law, Police

Barbados wants to know about the Organo Gold legal fight

A Caution to my fellow Barbadians

by Barbados Free Press reader “T.C.”

Many of you have lost your jobs or seen your hours cut back like I have. Money is scarce and you can see and feel how hard life is at this moment just by looking at your friends and neighbours.

Be very careful as you look for new opportunities because there are many predators who know of your desperation. They guarantee you a job in some far off place if you’ll send them money. They tell you a fortune awaits if you’ll send them money. They have knowledge of a system and they will share that knowledge if you’ll send them money.

I read the book “BLINK” by Malcolm Gladwell and I learned what I already knew: Our “snap judgements” are usually correct even if we can’t always put into words why we immediately thought as we did when we first saw something, met a new person or heard an idea.

What does your snap judgement and gut feeling tell you about Organo Gold?

Did you receive this TellBarbados email? (click photo for large)

Almost ten thousand people received the Tell Barbados marketing email about Organo Gold “Professional Independent Distributors Needed”. (click on photo at left for a large image) I was interested in making some money because I’m getting cut back on hours at work so I started looking into the Organo Gold coffee products and business on the internet. This is ‘healthy’ coffee that has or is supposed to have some health-promoting plant ingredients. That is the brand’s claim anyway. It is a multi-level marketing scheme, not that I’m saying that is a bad or good thing except everybody has seen friends try things like this and a few months later you never hear about it anymore. Some people can probably make good money selling anything, but that’s not me.

The Lawsuit

After a few hours on the internet I am no further ahead trying to discover if this is a proper opportunity or a scam. There is a lawsuit filed some time ago by one of the originators of the Organo Gold company named Jay Noland. He or someone taking his side put up a website where you can listen to long rather boring recordings of Jay Noland making accusations against his old partners still at Organo Gold.

Mr. Noland makes serious allegations about the company and says that Organo Gold changed the ingredients of the product without telling anyone. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Consumer Issues

Can Barbados produce an Electric Cycle for the world?

CameronEV – Electric Vehicles rejects substandard shoddy bikes

Will CameronEV set up manufacturing in Barbados?

We’ve followed the adventures our friend David Cameron for 2 years as he performed real world testing of electric bicycles in Barbados. David’s company CameronEV – Electric Vehicles is based in Ottawa Canada, and every four or five months he arrives in Bim with new technology and bigger plans.

BFP readers followed Cameron’s struggles to make it up Sugar Hill in 2009 and then guffawed in 2010 when he claimed he’d driven 176kms on the island for the sum total of one US dollar. That is, we laughed until we realized he’d done just that. Hmmmmmm… kind of makes the old blue Toyota look like the pig that it is!

We watched with surprise last April as David arrived in Hastings at a certain night spot with a pretty girl on the back and immediately collected a fairly substantial crowd of onlookers who were fascinated with the electric bike. (Clive shifted his attention to the bike too when he discovered that the lady in question was Mrs. Cameron. Hey… nice to see that Clive has some scruples left!)

“There is a cultural shift happening – solo BMW 4×4 drivers are the new smokers.”

Late in 2010, Cameron Industries (Barbados) was born with the goal of helping Barbados to go green – but as we saw earlier this year in March during David’s big test report, the quality of Electric-assisted bikes, well, sucks.

There are design and manufacturing problems with waterproofing of electrical components, corrosion of parts in our salt air and other issues that David can’t seem to solve no matter which supplier he looks to.

The David Cameron solution? Design and build better quality Electric bikes – and build them here in Barbados if possible.

Government MP Stephen Lashley, BlackBerry, BMWs

Dave has plans. Big plans. The world is changing. Economical and reliable personal transportation is part of that change. There is a cultural shift happening – solo BMW 4×4 drivers are the new smokers. It will take time, but eventually conspicuous consumption and waste of energy will be looked at with disdain. Solo drivers of gas-guzzlers are the new smokers.

We have to live smaller. That doesn’t mean living inconveniently or without the freedom and economic benefits that come from access to personal transportation – but we can no longer afford the cost, waste and abuse of resources that it takes to drive a big 4×4 solo for every trip. Even if individuals can afford to drive their BMW 4x4s everywhere, we as a society can’t afford it.

From the website of CameronEV Electric Vehicles

Rejection of Electric Vehicles made in the Far-East, India, the EU and North America; and the way ahead for the future.

Coupled with our research and testing in Canada and Barbados, CameronEV-Electric Vehicles attempt to obtain suitable units has proved to be totally futile from the current suppliers.

In the interests of our clients, CameronEV-Electric Vehicles will not order the units that are available due to the substandard quality of product and manufacturer service available.

The outcome of having no new units for 2011 is a reality.

The way-ahead…. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Environment

Lowe out, Kellman in as Barbados Environment Minister: Still no laws or standards

The shared DLP and BLP legacy continues

Denis Kellman, MP for St. Lucy, was sworn in on Tuesday, January 4th as the new Environment Minister. The post was previously occupied by Denis Lowe, who was hospitalized a few days ago in critical condition with respiratory problems.

Barbados does not have any Environmental Protection Act or standards for the handling, use and disposal of hazardous substances because successive DLP and BLP governments haven’t bothered to enact any in 44 years of independence.

Each year for the past 20 years successive Environment Ministers promised to implement an Environmental Protection Act but did not do so. Minister Denis Lowe promised the act would be made law in 2009 and again in 2010. BLP Environment Minister Liz Thompson told the same stories throughout her tenure and then wasted some 200 million dollars on a doomed-from-the-start foolish project to build a landfill on shifting soil in the Scotland District.

This lack of environmental laws, coupled with government policies that do not recognise the importance of green space and environmental planning has led to wholesale development on the west and south coasts. The blockage and destruction of much of the natural watershed has resulted in serious and continuing flooding in many areas at the slightest rain.

We have no mandatory recycling or local pickup. There is jet fuel contamination of wells on the south coast and we’re dumping raw sewerage into the RAMSAR wetlands while selling off green space to politicians’ developer friends. Previously protected environmentally sensitive land at Graeme Hall has already been re-zoned by the DLP to allow development. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Disaster, Environment, Health, Nature, Politics, Wildlife

Two women at the helm of Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry – Is that better than two men? Worse? Same?

First Female Executive Director for Chamber to assume duties January 2010

Lisa Gale is new BCCI Executive Director

The Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry is pleased to announce that Mrs. Lisa Gale will assume the responsibilities of Executive Director as of Monday 1st January 2010. Mrs. Gale is the first female Director in the history of the Chamber.

Having a wealth of experience in Economics and International Trade, Mrs. Gale’s prior immediate post was Senior Economist in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, where she advised Government on International Trade Policy for 8 years. This involved among other duties, interacting with CARICOM and other regional organisations, as well as preparing trade reports, briefs, Cabinet Papers and statistics. She also liaised with the public as it relates to International Trade matters – all of which suit the challenges of leading Barbados’ oldest Non-Governmental Organisation.

Madame President Glenda Medford observed that since both the Chamber’s President and Executive Director are ladies – as BCCI enters a new decade and era, the helm will benefit from ‘the feminine touch.’

Lisa Gale is a Combermerian who also received training at both the Cave Hill and Mona campuses of UWI, as well as graduating with Distinction from the College of International Broadcasting (Barbados). For three years she also tutored Micro-Economics at the University of the West Indies.

The Executive Director says she looks forward to ‘hit the ground running’ and implementing her mandate to carry the Chamber forward into the next decade. Mrs. Gale holds a bachelors degree in 
Economics and a Masters in International Trade Policy and has benefitted from a plethora of training courses organized by the World Trade Organization.

That’s the BCCI Press Release Above – Now for a Reality Check

BCCI President Glenda Medford

If a CV and experience are the sole qualities necessary for running any organisation, then President Glenda Medford and Executive Director Lisa Gale should be successful at the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Both are qualified on paper.

But as we’ve seen time and time again in other organisations, paper qualifications are no substitute for the dynamic leadership necessary to make things happen. The education and technical skills are a necessary foundation, but unless “Capital L” LEADERSHIP is there no progress will be made.

The first question is: Can the BCCI make a real difference to our faltering financial and tourism sectors that are the very heart of our country’s economy?

We at Barbados Free Press aren’t sure that having “the feminine touch” or “a man’s hand” has anything to do with making the BCCI useful to Barbados and the Barbados business community.

Okay, ladies – we’ll have a day or two of celebration about an all-female leadership team at BCCI, but then let’s talk performance.

And please appreciate that we’re happy to see more of our sisters, wives, mothers and daughters actively taking leadership roles in Barbados (and that for BCCI like everyone, there is no such thing as bad publicity.)

But January 2nd is coming and then it will be time to get back to work. BCCI’s leadership team might want to consider the following questions that are on every business person’s mind when they hear “BCCI” – even if they are too polite to ask the questions directly…

What is the mission statement of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry?

Is the mission of the BCCI still valid? Does the mission need changing?

Is BCCI fulfilling its mission? How do we know that BCCI is fulfilling its mission?

What can the BCCI do to improve my business and my profit?

How do we measure BCCI’s performance and impact upon our economy and upon my business?

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Offshore Investments

Bajans held hostage by the Chicken Cartel

The Editor
Barbados Free Press

Dear Sir/Madam,

Recently, Mr. Carlisle Brathwaithe, President of the Barbados Egg and Poultry Producers Association (BEPPA), has been keeping a lot of noise about the adverse effect that, the importation of turkey wings is allegedly having on the sale of chicken. He has alluded to the fact that, there were about fifteen-hundred persons engaged in the industry, which translated into a total of six-thousand when family members were included. Mention was also made by him, to the effect that it would be advantageous to the industry, if Salmonella spp. infections were an occurrence of the past in locally produced chicken.

barbados-chicken-legsMy position is known where the local poultry industry is concerned. I have always said that it is a cartel. This has not been disputed by the industry. I have stated in the past on numerous occasions that, the addition of water to dress chicken is unhygienic and has been banned in the European Union and the United States. In letters to your newspaper, I have shown that the cumulative effect of added water, results in an additional outlay of 1.5 million Barbadian dollars annually by the consumers. In any event, once the members of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), institute ISO 9000/WTO standards, BEPPA will not be able to export chicken, to which water has been added. The addition of water to poultry, to increase weight, constitutes food fraud.

I find it laughable that, Brathwaithe is advocating government ban the importation of turkey wings. Is this the same industry, which lobbied and obtained in 2002, from government, a sixty percent import duty on imported poultry? The duty was imposed ostensibly as a measure to ensure the retention of jobs in the industry. The industry still proceeded to down size.

Is this the same industry, which lobbied and obtained in 2002, the imposition of a fifteen-twenty percent commission from the importers, which was payable to the Barbados Agricultural Development Marketing Corporation (BADMC)? Is this the same President, who in 2000 in articles to the press had the following to say “…wings may virtually disappear from the Barbados market as a result of high prices”. This statement was in response to the imposition of tariffs of 207 percent on the product.

chicken-roost-barbados.jpgThe BEPPA has gotten its wish. Chickens wings have disappeared from the market, as a result of non-issuance of import permits by government. The BEPPA has blamed the importation of turkey wings in part, for the reduction in sales of chicken. This is the same tactic that was used in 1998 against chicken wings, despite the fact that like this year, there was a glut of flying fish. The BEPPA then, as it has done now, fail to consider the possibility that fish consumption resulted in a decline in chicken sales. The rapaciousness of the BEPPA seems to have no bounds. I wonder for how longer is government, going to allow 2.2% of a population of 270,000, to hold an entire country to ransom.

The presence of Salmonella is going to be problem as long as antibiotic are given to chicken in an effort to increase weight gain. This problem is exacerbated by the use of the spin-chiller or slush ice, in an effort to increase the water content of chicken. The constant use of antibiotics subject micro-organisms to selective pressures. That is, the organisms evolve resistant strains to the antibiotics used. In the case of the spin-chiller or slush ice, biocides are used, so the same selective pressures are operative. Additionally, bio-film formation by micro-organisms occurs readily on metallic surfaces. These bio-films are difficult to control and eradicate. Bio-film also increases an organism’s resistance to antibiotics.

Sincerely
Robert D. Lucas, Ph.D.
Food biotechnologist.

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Filed under Barbados, Business

C.L. Financial’s assets vanished into thin air – $100.7 billion down to $23.9 billion

CL Financial Fraud

“Given accounting conventions as to intervening events and their reporting, it is startling, to say the least, that this balance sheet should have declined to $24Bn just 12 months and 13 days after their reporting date. Only 56 days after publication.  This is an aspect of the fiasco which has not been discussed in public, so far.

We need to hear some accounting of this extraordinary situation.  Just to select one item of interest, Loans and Advances are shown as $21.975Bn in the CLF 2007 accounts and yet only $8.0Bn is there at 13th January 2009.

My reading of this is that CL Financial’s assets declined in value from $100.7Bn at the end of 2007 to $23.9Bn at the beginning of 2009.”

… from Afra Raymond’s excellent article Finding the Assets

Further Reading

BFP, June 3, 2009 – CL Financial, CLICO Fraud Report: Dummy Company, Phantom “Consultancy” Payments, Vanishing Money Transfers From Company To Company

BFP, June 2, 2009 – EXCLUSIVE REPORT BY BARBADOS FREE PRESS: CL Financial Group Collapse – Insiders Took Bribes To Have Company Purchase Land For More Than Market Value!

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Corruption, Offshore Investments

The Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry – Franchising Presentation with Regional Expert Mario Sabga-Aboud: Wednesday September 30th

BCCI President Glenda Medford

BCCI President Glenda Medford

Franchising – A Catalyst for Economic Development

There are strong and opposing views in the Barbadian business community over the granting of a licence to open a franchise of the American fast food chain Subway in Barbados. Some members of the business community object to Subway setting up shop citing the threat of job security during an economic recession as one reason.

Nevertheless, Barbadians like several of their CARICOM neighbours are no strangers to including fast food in their diet.  Indeed, over the years a number of well know outlets have sought to make their stake on the local market only to pull up stakes shortly thereafter.

Yet many view franchising as an attractive investment option, since a few Barbadian entrepreneurs outside of the food industry have franchised their operations across the region and beyond and continue to reap success.

Pizza Boys CEO Mario Sabga-Aboud

Pizza Boys' Mario Sabga-Aboud

The Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry is facilitating discussion between the differing viewpoints with a Special Presentation from Mr. Mario Sabga-Aboud, Chairman, Pizza Boys Group of Companies as he addresses the topic ‘Franchising – A Catalyst for Economic Development’ creating opportunities for a very enlightening and stimulating dialogue on Wednesday, 30 September 2009 at 12 noon at Hilton Barbados.

Contact the Chamber to make your reservations now, seating is limited.

Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Tel:   (246) 620-4750
Fax:  (246) 620-2907
Email: bcci@bdscham.com
Website: http://www.bdscham.com

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Consumer Issues, Offshore Investments

Conflicts of Interest and Sinister Secrecy Continue in CLICO Scandal

Update: March 2, 2010

This article was originally published by us on September 22, 2009. In light of Afra Raymond’s excellent article published by BFP on March 1, 2010 CL Financial & CLICO Bailout – The Mystery of the Missing Billions we thought our readers might want to give further consideration to the conflicts of interest by Barbados Prime Minister Thompson in relation to the CLICO scandal and bailout. We’ll repost this article at the top of the blog for a day or two.

Here is our original Sept. 22, 2009 article…

Barbados Insurance Industry executives finally sound public alarm about Prime Minister Thompson’s friendship with Leroy Parris

As CLICO's lawyer, PM Thompson helped to build the house of cards

As CLICO's lawyer, PM Thompson helped Leroy Parris build the house of cards

The Prime Minister of Barbados has a long-standing conflict of interest between his duty to the public and his close friendship with CLICO Barbados executive Leroy Parris. Mr. Thompson has addressed the conflict essentially by saying that Parris is his longtime friend and anyone who has a problem with that can pound salt. In other words, the public can “piss off”.

Sorry about the language friends, but I wanted you to be clear on the Prime Minister’s simple message when the fancy words are stripped away. Make no mistake, Barbados citizens have been told to “piss off” when it comes to mentioning David Thompson’s conflict of interest.

Now some insurance industry executives are finally speaking out. (source article at end of page)

Thompson’s Conflict of Interest with CLICO goes far deeper than his friendship with Leroy Parris

If the conflict was only friendship, it would be bad enough – but it is much worse than that…

Consider this about Prime Minister Thompson’s conflict of interest over CLICO…

Thompson used to be CLICO’s lawyer – at a time when the company illegally failed to file financial statements!

Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Corruption, Offshore Investments

EXCLUSIVE REPORT BY BARBADOS FREE PRESS: CL Financial Group Collapse – Insiders Took Bribes To Have Company Purchase Land For More Than Market Value!

UPDATED: August 9, 2010

This article has spiked in the last day as hundreds of searchers are being directed to Barbados Free Press through a Google search for “Ramchand RAMNARINE“.

Mr. Ramnarine is one of the Directors of the Florida company “B. A. Management Services, Inc.” that is associated with the fraudulent Florida land deal described in this article.

We can find no recent news stories online that would explain the sudden interest in Mr. Ramnarine, but several hundred people apparently experienced the urge to Google his name in the last 24 hours.

Can any of our readers tell us why Mr. Ramnarine is generating such interest?

Original article…

Barbados Free Press Turns Up TWO NEW Companies - One Registered Feb 2009 – Possibly Involved & Not Yet Known To Fraud Investigators!

bribery.jpgCourt documents sent to Barbados Free Press reveal that a CL Financial Group company involved in a US$300 million dollar Florida land deal – paid more than market value for the land. This happened because the seller of the land provided “incentives” (read “secret commissions”, “bribes” or “gifts”) to company insiders in return for having CL Financial Group purchase the land for more than it was worth. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Corruption, Offshore Investments

Barbados Needs Lower Intra-Caribbean Air Taxes To Help Level The Playing Field Between Cruise Ships, Air Travel And Island Hotels

barbados-cruiseship-boarding.jpgAt a time when various Caribbean Ministers of Government have recently met and agreed to levy yet another tax on intra Caribbean air travel, its time perhaps for them to contemplate exactly the effect its having on land based tourism.

A seven day cruise departing from Barbados was recently advertised with one of the largest companies, taking in St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Kitts, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Dominica and back to Barbados.   With a lead-in price from US$449 per person plus mandatory gratuities, Government fees and taxes, it represented what many might consider outstanding value-for-money. Especially as when you consider most meals, and other features like entertainment are included.

Of the overall total cost, an amount of US$55.42 per person is shown as Government fees and taxes.   Now let’s say you were the same person considering visiting our Caribbean neighbours and taking the cheapest published airfares between point to point, what would you pay in Government taxes and add-ons?

Barbados-St. Lucia US$61.87; St. Lucia – Antigua US$82.57; Antigua-St. Kitts US$42.10; St. Kitts – San Juan US$52.70; San Juan – St. Thomas US$34.50; St. Thomas – Dominica US$33.00 and Dominica- Barbados US$25.38!

Barbados Grantley Adams International Airport

Barbados Grantley Adams International Airport

So a massive US$332.12 per person in taxes and add-ons to visit the same number of destinations by air! In fact this figure is even higher, because some governments are not yet including the departure tax in the ticket price.

Now what about the overall contribution to the region?   Well we know many of the ships are not registered in the region. We know they largely employ extra-regional crew and officers, who as far as I am aware contribute little in national insurance contributions, income or other taxes to the Caribbean.   The overwhelming percentage of what is consumed onboard is sourced outside of the Caribbean.

And finally, where does the lion’s slice of the revenue and profit generated from the world’s largest cruise market go?   Of course, outside the region!   On the other hand, the almost dominant regional airline has been subsidised over decades by the Caribbean taxpayer. The reason we are told the departure taxes are so high is because we need to upgrade the airports, but wait a minute, don’t we, and haven’t ‘we’ upgraded the ports as well?

How can anyone reasonably argue for airports to extract more than six times the amount in taxes than our ports do?

For the ship cruise operators, when the going gets tough, all they have to do is haul the anchor and sail off to Alaska, Dubai or the Mediterranean.   Hoteliers and other land-based tourism partners sadly do not have that option.

I am not, repeat not advocating against the cruise ships and their recognised contribution. But simply asking the playing field to be levelled to a degree where we can at least think of competing and surviving in these troubling economic times.   Yes! There have been repeated calls for hoteliers to lower their rates and make them more affordable to Caribbean Nationals, while at the same time considerable pressure has been placed on them to maintain employment.   Most of recognise the desirability of having a truly pan Caribbean marketing campaign, but don’t do it at the expense of an already barely viable accommodation sector.

Adrian Loveridge

30 May 2009

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism

Message To The U.K. News Media: British High Commissioner To Barbados Is NOT Our “Barbados’ Head Of Trade”

“During the Trade Visit, Thomas had the opportunity to outline Akome’s services to Barbados’ Head of Trade, British High Commissioner Duncan Taylor. On his recommendation, Akome approached BICO.”

… from a press release published at 24dash.com: Cool Customer! Croydon Enterprise Business Helps Ice Cream Firm Slash Energy Bills

UK Press Release: BICO Ice Cream Gets A New Roof In Barbados

The story came to us as a press release and is actually a very interesting and informative piece about how Akome Energy helped BICO slash energy bills in half with a few changes.

Barbados Head Of Trade? I Don't Think So!

Barbados Head Of Trade? I Don't Think So!

But last I heard, Barbados is no longer a British Colony. We’ve had our own government and Trade Minister for at least a couple of weeks now.  ;-)

A small point, but it just shows you that some folks still have the same image of Barbados that they had 50 or 100 years ago.

Am I being too sensitive here, my friends?

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Energy, Environment, Politics, Technology

Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry Enlists New Marketing Communications Executive

Ian Bourne

Ian Bourne

The Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry in meeting the current economic challenges of Barbados through effective and efficient communications with its stakeholders has announced the appointment of Mr. Ian Bourne as its new Marketing Communications Executive.

Chief Executive Officer of the BCCI, Magnus Whitehead, says that Bourne will strengthen his organisation’s ability to communicate with its members, government and local and international business partners.  We are pleased to welcome Ian as a member of our team. Following the development of a three-year Strategic Plan in 2008, Ian’s appointment brings us closer to fulfilling our restructuring process and achieving our objectives, says Whitehead.

Bourne, familiarly know as a former Anchor for CBC-TV 8’s Evening News, has several years experience in marketing communications, the most recent as Public Relations Officer with a government statutory organisation.

Bourne says that while grateful for his time with his previous employer, which he views as another family, he nevertheless looks forward to reviving certain initiatives of the BCCI and developing new ones. He says he appreciates and is looking forward to the challenge of carrying forward the directives of the BCCI during a very challenging financial period.

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Business & Banking