Tag Archives: Barbados investments

Barbados Ministry of Tourism lacks a functional website. Like running a business without hanging up a sign.

Sometimes you just want to scream!

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

Should we as a sector or in fact a nation, be overly concerned that the Ministry of Tourism has not had a functional website for months?

In this time when both foreign and local investment is absolutely critical to upgrading existing plant and product, what sort of message are we sending when a default statement ‘This site is temporarily unavailable’ is the response that greets potential users of the portal?

For those non-nationals not familiar with how things work on Barbados it could also be the first point of reference and a vital source of information, including contact details for the Minister, Parliamentary and Permanent Secretary together with other heads of department that may facilitate any possible investor’s plans. It should also provide important links to other agencies, both public and private to help facilitate seamless access to enable informed decision making.

Frankly, from a prospective overseas investment perspective you are currently forced to plough through a multitude of websites. And that’s even assuming you actually know the names of the many agencies involved, which is highly unlikely unless you have intimate local knowledge.

If there was ever a legitimate call for a single ‘one-stop-shop’ then this is a prime example.  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Offshore Investments

Psssst… Want to buy Barbados residency status? Got US$2 million?

royal-westmoreland-barbados.jpg

I must have missed the changes to the law last year when the government decided to start openly selling Bajan residency, but we’ve been seeing a lot more rough men with Eastern European / Russian accents lately, haven’t we? Maybe this is something to do with it?

Wealthy Barbados Investors ‘Seek Special Permit Property’

Royal Westmoreland estate introduces special entry permit service to carry out paperwork for NHWIs buying property worth more than US$2million to qualify for the scheme.

There has been such a demand for special entry Barbados property-for-residency permits for wealthy investors that a top development has launched a special service to handle the paperwork for clients.

High-net-worth-individuals are seeking special entry permits that were introduced last year that allow buyers of properties worth US$2million or more to obtain residency status that includes their spouse and children.

The Royal Westmoreland estate, which has just announced another 200 luxury villas and a nine-hole golf course on the adjacent 210 acres of land, plus some larger plots, has seen rising demand for luxury homes from High-Net-Worth Individuals (NHWIs).

Additional planned private jet flights from Heathrow to Barbados by Royal Jet, owned by the Government of Abu Dhabi, is adding to the island’s appeal to wealthy investors, says Westmoreland.

A company spokesperson says, “There has been take up of the special entry permit and Royal Westmoreland has been introduced to a new business consultant service to carry out all the paperwork for the clients if they do not have the time themselves.”

… read the rest at OPP-Connect’s Wealthy Barbados Investors ‘Seek Special Permit Property’

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The heartache and frustration of renovating historical buildings in Bridgetown

Building before renovation

From a mutual friend we (and every other news media outlet in Barbados) received another sad tale of outrageous abuse by our government officials against an investor and business person who was doing something positive in the community.

You want a lesson in how a few narrow-minded bureaucrats can take six years to pass a few pieces of paper around and discourage even the most enthusiastic foreign investor? Read on…

The document speaks for itself, so we’ll let ‘er rip…

By Ryan Thorpe: property owner, business investor

Telephone (246) 2687665
Email : RyanThorpe69@hotmail.com

Historical Building : Violet Bourne’s Bar and Andy’s Bakery & Deli 116 Roebuck Street
Bridgetown

This property was on the market for sale over 6 years (1999)

Mr recommendation to: The Bill for the preservation of places, structures and relics or other object of archeological, historical and cultural interest.

To :

Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth, the Hon Stephen Lashley,

Permanent Secretary, Division of Culture and Sports, Ms Shirley Farnum

Deputy Permanent Secretary, Division of Culture and Sports, Ms Celia Toppin:

Dear all,

Site Description

The subject site is one of the typical small urban lots on Roebuck Street. Roebuck Street is a Class 1 road according to the Town and Country Planning Development Order 1972. This street is one of the seven Cultural Heritage Conservation Areas identified within the Bridgetown Community Plan Boundary. The sites contain a two storey stone building that has been identified by the Barbados National Trust and UNESO as a building for its historical and architectural value. The building on Lot 116, like most other heritage buildings along the throughfare of Bridgetown occupies the majority of the land space zero degree to the boundaries lines.

The property was formerly known as “V Bourne’s Bar” which was a popular Rum shop for liquid lunch, cutters, rock cakes, lead pipes and fish cakes in the 1970’s situated on the ground floor. The first floor was living quarters for the same shop keeper’s family and later in the 1980’s was a Tailors shop.

This property was renovated to almost the same architectural design alike the 1800’s, approximately six years ago by me (Ryan Thorpe) the owner and property developer resulting in a change of use to facilitate more up market retail space and corporate offices, harmonizing the old with the new designing. I have injected 40% physical labour and design into this project for this final finish.

I have resided and worked in the United Kingdom for the past ten years as a Multi-Skill Engineer with a International Blue Chip Companies and the United Kingdom government.

I was very happy with the area as an investment, having done tremendous historical research about the area, which holds so much history for Barbados and the Caribbean trading communities. I had some costly delays and setbacks with the Chief Town Planner, since it took that Department one year before the approval of my building plans, and one of the main requirements was to locate twenty five (25) parking facilities in Roebuck Street to accommodate my business venture i.e Change of use to public entertainment and Sports Bar (2011). I believe the government of Barbados should pay more attention to the Town Planning Department as these delays can hinder returning nationals and foreign investors from coming to Barbados to invest in our heritage. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Economy, Offshore Investments, Real Estate

REDjet provides tough lessons for foreign investors in the Caribbean

“REDjet might still have been flying if the Barbados Government had honoured financial commitments to the collapsed airline.”

Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur talks to The Nation about the DLP’s failure to honour its promises.

Owen Arthur chides DLP for breaking REDjet promises – conveniently forgets he did the same thing with other foreign investors

Submitted by One Who Knows

For a man who himself made false promises to major foreign investors just to entice them to Barbados, Owen Arthur has some nerve criticizing the DLP for their handling of REDjet.

Not that the DLP government is undeserving of criticism over the REDjet matter. The point is that both DLP and BLP governments have shown they will say and promise anything to a foreign investor: at least until the cash arrives. The promises aren’t always about money or tax breaks, sometimes they are about changing the laws to facilitate business or protection of the environment, or putting in roads and sewerage treatment to encourage development.

Unfortunately that long-established history of promising anything to potential investors but then failing to keep up the agreement is starting to cost Barbados credibility in the eyes of the world. Continue reading

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

Canadian tax decision should spur Barbados to ease up residency procedures

Garron Barbados Trust case has frightening implications for Bajan offshore industry

by One Who Knows

An April 12, 2012 decision by Canada’s Supreme Court is putting the pressure on Barbados. The decision changes everything for Canadian trusts residing in Barbados. Many Canadian-controlled trusts will now be taxable in Canada at Canadian rates… and if that is the case then what is the use of having the trusts in Barbados or having the annual meeting on the beach at the Bridgetown Hilton?

Barbados and other Caribbean offshore banking centres rely heavily upon favourable tax laws from Canada, Britain and the USA. As our Prime Minister is so fond of saying: Barbados is not a tax ‘haven’, we are a legitimate financial and corporate centre. There’s a difference you know – but it is a difference that the Canadian government is increasingly unsympathetic to.

The Canadian government is aggressively pursuing a policy of hunting down potential tax revenues that have been ‘missing’ offshore and Barbados is squarely in the tax-haven gunsights.

It’s all about residency… so is Barbados willing to expedite residency for worthy offshore investors?

Whether true or not, Barbados has a reputation for being a difficult country to deal with in terms of immigration, residency and citizenship. Now that Canada has set new rules that threaten the health of our offshore financial and corporate industry, can Barbados adapt quickly enough to keep the trust clients who will soon be moving out?

Offshore trusts can still fall within Canada’s tax net

On April 12, a new landmark was established in the world of tax. It’ll provide guidance to taxpayers for years to come. I’m talking about a Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) decision in a case known in tax circles as the Garron case.

One of the most fundamental questions that every government must ask is this: Who should be liable to pay tax? Most governments have adopted the same answer to the question: If you reside in a country, you should pay tax there. (The U.S. is a rare exception where individuals are taxed if they are citizens, regardless of where they live. Oh, and the U.S. also taxes those who reside there.)

The common principle is that a person who derives economic and social benefit from living in a place should owe an economic allegiance to that place. And so, Canada – like most countries – taxes based on residency.

The problem? Determining whether you’re resident in Canada for tax purposes can be tough because it’s generally a question of fact and subject to the interpretation of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) or the courts (with some rare exceptions where certain people are deemed to be resident here).

The case

Determining residency is even tougher when we’re talking about an entity that isn’t a person with a family and a home to live in. What if you’re a corporation? Or a trust? The Garron case, formally referred to as Fundy Settlement v. Canada, 2012 SCC 14, is the story of two family trusts that purported to be resident in Barbados, not Canada, and therefore claimed to escape the Canadian tax net.

The trustee of the trusts is St. Michael Trust Corp., resident in Barbados. The beneficiaries of the trusts are residents of Canada. The trusts sold shares in two Ontario corporations and realized substantial capital gains in the process. The purchaser was required to withhold and remit taxes to the Canadian government on account of these capital gains – to the tune of $152-million. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Canada, Offshore Investments

Firebombing followup: Barbadian businessman’s family still stalked

by David Weekes

Two nights ago two men came back to my cul-de-sac at maynards.

When my neighbours came in, (the same Brits who were firebombed last week Tuesday), the men DID NOT BUDGE when the lights of the car the visitors were driving, shone on them.

These stalkers remained unconcerned about the fact that they were bathed in the car’s headlights.

The Brits remained in their car for 5 minutes. The men remained in the cover of the overgrown bush and trees and DID NOT MOVE.

The visitors finally made a dash for the house and there they called the police who arrived five minutes later. By the time the Police arrived the men had left.

Yesterday I left the house to go for some foodstuff. During that time a white truck started to do what I can only describe as stalk the area. Take a look at the video my daughter made of the vehicle that was loitering in my area for about 15 minutes. (Link here if the embedded video doesn’t work.)

Watch how when she goes to one side to video the vehicle they reverse to the other side and watch how she moves to that side they drive forward. She (unfortunately) did not call the police. She was not able to get their truck number. My neighbours were sleeping at the time.

By now most readers may realise that I am not as paranoid as some detractors to this firebombing incident have claimed that I am. My neighbours indicate that the police still think it is a prank even in the face of these two men who are unafraid and do not shy away, even if the full glare of headlamps.

I must now spend thousands of dollars to clean lots 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 31, 26, 27, 22 and 23 around my home that respective owners have left unattended, spots where the bush is so high and provides lurking areas for these emboldened stalkers.

Of course to date my attempts to reach The Rt. Hon Owen Arthur and the Rt. Hon. Haynesley Benn (the BLP & DLP representatives respectively) have been unsuccessful. To the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Ms. Navanethem Pillay, she who so recently passed through Barbados. I would only say that all is not so hunkadorie in this “Gem of the Caribbean Sea”,

My daughter and I, and my UK neighbours, have become veritable prisoners in our homes at the mercy of what the police call “pranksters”

If I should fall here Lupo, do not let me fall alone.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Corruption, Crime & Law

Harlequin Resorts says change in Barbados planning laws caused one year delay

What change was that?

We can’t find any change in the law…

The Basildon Echo News in the UK recently published a major (four full pages) article about Harlequin Properties and their Caribbean projects. One of the puzzling statements by the Harlequin spokeswoman is that a change in local (Barbados) planning laws caused a one year delay.

We’ve been asking around and have been unable to come up with what change in planning laws Harlequin Properties is talking about. Does anyone have any idea?

There was an issue with setback from the cliff face listed by the critical site ‘Harlecon.net’ but that isn’t a change in the law. We reported on that story in our post Stunning new allegations about Harlequin Resorts: misuse of investors’ funds, auditors refuse to sign off

Speaking of Harlecon.net, where is the website?

As I write this the Harlecon.net website is off the internet. This happened one time a few months ago and it turned out to be a technical problem – but is this another technical problem or did Harlequin’s solicitors find a way to shut them down?

Stay tuned folks… life is always interesting when the little guy takes on big monied companies and governments!

“There are additional challenges involved with carrying out building projects in the Caribbean, where delays are not untypical.

“For instance, in Barbados, a change in local planning laws meant that construction work was interrupted for a year due to circumstances outside our control.

“We have, however, brought in additional resources in order to make up time that was lost.”

Harlequin Property spokeswoman in the Basildon Echo story When will Harlequin’s holiday homes be built? (Formerly titled The 180m holiday homes gamble)

Further Reading

PDF: copy of the Echo News April 3, 2012 article here.

PDF: May 19, 2010 letter from Barbados Prime Minister’s Office to Harlequin… DOC194

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Offshore Investments, Real Estate