Government holds talks with the Arabs

The cash-strapped Freundel Stuart administration appears to be exploring the possibility of getting financial assistance from the Arabs after all.

Almost ten months after he wrote to the Prime Minister suggesting that Barbados take up an offer of a low-interest loan from the oil-rich Arabs, Minister of Agriculture Dr David Estwick has reported that officials from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been in talks with the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) administration.

He made the disclosure last night as he responded to a question at the DLP’s St Lucy branch meeting.

“A team of persons from the UAE, led by persons from Abu Dhabi and Dubai, were in Barbados and they had fruitful discussions and those discussions are ongoing,” he said.

MInister of Agriculture Dr David Estwick at last night's meeting of the DLP's St Lucy branch. At right is St Lucy MP Denis Kellman.
Minister of Agriculture Dr David Estwick at last night’s meeting of the DLP’s St Lucy branch. At right is St Lucy MP Denis Kellman.

Estwick did not disclose when the discussions were held or what had been the outcome.

The Cabinet Minister had written to Stuart in January this year, presenting alternative fiscal measures to get the country out of its economic problems.

Estwick told the Prime Minister that, the previous month, he held talks with UAE officials who expressed “very keen” interest in working with Barbados towards restoring growth, and that a one-time opportunity was available for Government to negotiate a sinking fund to wipe out the entire national debt of US$5 billion.

“What the Abu Dhabi and UAE governments propose to do, is to establish a sinking fund to retire the national loans when they become due. They have proposed a US$4 billion fund at a fixed interest rate of two to four per cent, over a 30-year period. These terms are negotiable,” Estwick’s letter stated.

“If you compress all of the loans together and create one sinking fund, when loan payments are due on the various loans, they are paid from the single collective sinking fund and not from current revenue.”

The former Minister of Economic Affairs had argued that if the country was successful in negotiating the sinking fund to cover the entire national debt, the UAE would deposit US$5 billion in a fund in a location agreed with the Government of Barbados.

Estwick had advised Prime Minister Stuart that the traditional use of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank as sources of fiscal and debt support and development capital, caused governments to rely too much on the Bretton Woods institutions model of assistance.

19 Responses to Government holds talks with the Arabs

  1. Hightower Bajedude
    Hightower Bajedude November 10, 2014 at 7:30 am

    i really hope that the Doc on to something here that can work, i like that he is thinking outside the box! ill wait and see the outcome…………….

  2. Sean Spencer
    Sean Spencer November 10, 2014 at 7:31 am

    Did someone say oil?

  3. Lynette Arnall
    Lynette Arnall November 10, 2014 at 7:38 am

    Bye bye Barbados as we know it… Once the Arabs get in…Barbados will change big time… especially after they take possession 🙁

  4. June Parris
    June Parris November 10, 2014 at 7:40 am

    Finally going to people who actually have money and give low interest rates, good move

    • Lana November 10, 2014 at 1:27 pm

      June Parris really?? you are delusional!!!

    • musiclover731 November 11, 2014 at 9:55 am

      Not a good move. What is basically happening is that the Arabs are buying our debt which makes us wholly indebted to them. From the pan to the fire.

  5. Carolann Schwartz
    Carolann Schwartz November 10, 2014 at 7:50 am

    Is this money going to be uplifting the country or is this money going into pockets? Because so far what this administration is suppose to be using the money is not coming to light example 4season! But yet they have high end vehicles driving around! I guess the people have to wait and see!

  6. Sebastian Da Costa
    Sebastian Da Costa November 10, 2014 at 7:53 am

    good luck we need the funds

  7. Beverley Headley
    Beverley Headley November 10, 2014 at 8:05 am

    OMG-what is this?

  8. Movement of Concerned Citizens
    Movement of Concerned Citizens November 10, 2014 at 8:16 am

    What’s in it for the Arabs? Is this like the sugar factory deal that just fell through? Haven’t you guys realised the game here. These dullards make pronouncements for the sake of PR. Nothing has come to pass. Four Seasons? Sugar factory? Tourism ten point plan? 6 million dollar road project? New bus terminal? New port? The bursaries? $22 to the hospital is two weeks? WE GET IT!

  9. crackerjackkid November 10, 2014 at 8:19 am

    Something don’t sound right here though. First Muslims are not allowed to charge interest on loans. Next who is going to draw the interest on the $5b deposit.

    Whole thing seems farfetched.

  10. Carolyn Robertson
    Carolyn Robertson November 10, 2014 at 8:53 am

    Their were holding talk every since but there is no way left to hide so it out in the public domain

  11. George Sparrow
    George Sparrow November 10, 2014 at 11:16 am

    China has bought a few projects over the years so why not Arabs?

  12. bernard and india walker November 10, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Awesome . Investor can show madd gunzz by helping the gov’t stepp up . Thenn it is a open market ?? . Like USA yes !!

  13. Andrew Jordan November 10, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    Well, although we may not care for thy current methods of handling the current financial situation, they are the sitting government, and must be afforded the opportunity to make things right, I am sure when the time comes and you are NOT happy with their performance you have the constitutional right to make a change, its not like the opposition can implement these measures (correct me if I am wrong), they can only be done by sitting governments.

  14. eddy November 10, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    I could foresee oil rigs from UAE lining up on our south coast looking to drill for oil.
    What a day that will be.. I hope it is not ISIS we dealing with.

  15. YEAH RIGHT November 10, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    blab blab blab blab blab blab……that is all I’m hearing from this government….no action

  16. AJ Evans November 10, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    Independents clearly is a joke it only gives the local elected government the power the in rich them self and forget about the most important things and this is the state of all English speaking Caribbean Islands, there is nothing wrong with the Arab deal it will help us live the next 20-30 years with less stress and even if them want this rock let them have it after it int no difference, Barbadians love to complain to much.


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