Tag Archives: Offshore Investment

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

Barbados law requires 4 week response for new radio station approval – 74 weeks later, Paradise FM still waits

How to chase away business from Barbados

The Barbados government talks a good line about wanting to assist investors and business people. They talk a good line about the wonders of doing business in paradise.

And then there’s the reality…

Mr Terry Bent – Having finally calmed down from speaking to the Secretary of the Broadcasting Authority yesterday, I can now give you the latest update on our progress, or lack thereof.

Paradise FM Ltd filled in a 9 page form in July 2008. In May 2009 we were finally interviewed for 45 minutes. Now, over 6 months later, they apparently want us to answer further questions, which they decided upon 2 weeks ago , but have not yet sent to us!

I pointed out that the Law states it should take 4 weeks from receipt of application to making a decision (including the interview) and was told they had changed the law. I asked for a copy and was told it had not been approved yet, so I said “So it has not been changed yet” and was told it had in their eyes! I asked what the new timescale was, but they could not answer!!! (Because they have not changed it yet)

…read the full story at The Bajan Reporter Paradise FM has been waiting

Why Aren’t We Surprised?

Hmmmm…. maybe Mr. Bent didn’t hire the right “consultant” before putting in his application. You know how important it is to have the right “consultant” to “advise” on new business ventures in Barbados. “Consultants” make the process go smoother…

Unless the public steps in like with Matthew Kerins and his waterpark adventure. According to Mr. Kerins, he paid some 2 million dollars in “consultant fees” and then Prime Minister Owen Arthur met with Kerins and gave his blessing for the Caribbean Splash water park on the Graeme Hall watershed.

The public had other ideas though and Mr. Kerins lost his “consultant fees”. A word to the wise about “consultant fees” in Barbados!

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Offshore Investments

United States IRS to expand Barbados office and others. Looking out for American tax cheats

Welcome to the new world where Barbados is forced to allow increased numbers of American IRS tax investigators to work and investigate freely on our island.

Just because the US says so.

Our government can’t say “no” because you know what would happen.

Well, that’s what President Obama promised he would do if elected, and he’s done it. Hmmmmm… at least there’s one politician who keeps election promises!

Too bad it isn’t our Prime Minister.

IRS to Add Staff to Barbados Office

CaribWorldNews, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. Oct. 15, 2009: As the Internal Revenue Service steps up its focus on tax cheats in overseas countries, the agency yesterday said it will boost staff in its Barbados office.

As part of its efforts to step up monitoring of Americans with off-shore accounts who avoid paying their taxes, the IRS said it intends to hire more than 800 new employees in the next year and add staff to eight existing overseas offices, including Barbados.

Meanwhile, with the deadline looming today for Americans with overseas accounts to reveal them to the IRS, Commissioner Douglas Shulman on Wednesday said over 7,500 Americans have come forward so far, revealing accounts ranging in value from $10,000 to more than $100 million in the Caribbean and several other regions including Antartica.

… read the full article at CaribWorldNews.com

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Offshore Investments, Politics

Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary – 85 Employees To Be Terminated, Barbados Government’s Double Standard Against Canadian Philanthropist

Sanctuary officials confirmed that there was still no word from Government on their intentions regarding the future of the Sanctuary…

…Saying that that the future of the Sanctuary and Graeme Hall National Park is in the hands of the Government of Barbados, Allard believes that the Friends of Graeme Hall and the citizens of Barbados must decide what their priorities are.  “We have great affection and regard for the people of Barbados.  This has been an incredibly painful and saddening decision, but ultimately it is not for us to initiate or set national goals and long term environmental legacies for the nation.”

… from a press release by Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary covered at Bajan Reporter

The Double Standard From Prime Minister Thompson

It seems that David Thompson and other Ministers of the Barbados Government have been everywhere lately trying to save jobs and convince businesses and investors not to cut back on employment in these hard times. Whether talking with LIME about keeping a hundred jobs at the call center open, addressing business people at the Chamber of Commerce, giving away tens of millions to rich horse owners and Thompson’s close friend and legal client Leroy Parris, or making secret deals and guarantees to keep the Four Seasons project abuilding, the Barbados Government has been in frenzied efforts to save jobs everywhere.

Everywhere that is, except for the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary where the Government of Barbados has not even bothered to send a letter or make a phone call to the management.

Why the Double Standard?

On Wednesday, Barbados Free Press will present a compelling argument (complete with visual evidence) that the Government of Barbados is carrying out a strategy designed to allow certain friends of government to make huge profits from Graeme Hall: the last natural green space between the airport and the city. This profit will come at the expense of the citizens of Barbados who will be denied their Graeme Hall National Park. To effectively carry out the plan, the Barbados government would like to seize land from Peter Allard – the Canadian philanthropist who offered to GIVE the land to people of Barbados as part of a National Park.

The Barbados government is happy to have the gift of the land of course – but government officials want no strings so they can later sell or lease the land to friends and family members in their quest for personal wealth.

Don’t forget to visit BFP on Friday for part 2 of this article, with details that should interest every foreign investor and foreign landowner in Barbados. If it can happen to Canadian Allard (and a few others we’ll talk about) it could happen to you!

Meanwhile, head over to Bajan Reporter for the story of the layoffs and the full press release…

Bajan Reporter: BREAKING NEWS – Final Employee Termination Schedule At Sanctuary, Let’s Try And Stop This Please

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Government, Corruption, Environment, Nature, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, Real Estate, Wildlife

Witness Intimidation In Barbados: Was Mercedes Van At Home By Accident – Or For A Sinister Reason?

Similar Van Was At Witness Home

Similar Van Was At Witness Home (photo from Wikipedia - not the actual van)

For Barbados and for our children, this threatening of court witnesses must stop. This firing of court witnesses must stop. This harassment of court witnesses must stop.

If the police will not stop it, then we must turn to the court of world opinion. Barbados Free Press will do everything it can to ensure that each of our three million visitors a year learn how Bajan citizens and court witnesses are threatened, harassed and fired from their jobs by the powerful cartel that runs this island.

This must and will stop.

UPDATED: Grape Hall, Barbados – December 11, 2008 10:27pm Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Business & Banking, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Freedom Of The Press, Government, Human Rights, Offshore Investments, Police, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption