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.