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Delays a challenge

Businessman calls on govt to address approval processes urgently

Doing business in Barbados continues to be a challenge for foreign investors and a businessman wants Government to address the situation urgently.

The call came today from Nicholas Mouttet, president and chief executive officer of the Trinidad and Tobago-owned ANSA McAL Barbados Limited, as he warned that continued delays could hurt Barbados’ chances of bringing in and keeping much-needed investment.

Addressing the opening of the new Standards store in Wildey, he said his company has been waiting for almost a year to expand and invest in the island’s retail sector.

President of ANSA McAL Nicholas Mouttet.

President of ANSA McAL Nicholas Mouttet.

“Since the beginning of this year, it has been our intention to start reinvesting in our businesses, not just in this Standards flagship store but in a number of other areas. In fact, at the beginning of the year we finalized plans to invest over $10 million and create 100 new jobs before Christmas by investing in Standard.

“You may have heard me previously discuss a new Trimart store and the intention was that it would all be in place by Christmas. While today we are here to celebrate part of that plan with the opening of Standards, unfortunately, we have not been able to progress on the Trimart investment,” he said.

Mouttet said the “approval process for getting to that point has been a lot more challenging than we had anticipated”.

“I am not in a position, as a result, to talk about when that will happen. We would like it to happen as soon as possible because we are anxious to reinvest not only in Trimart but all other businesses,” he said.

“I would encourage the powers that be to work with us, to help us invest in Barbados to create jobs, to bring in foreign exchange. All these things that we talk about  . . . to encourage Barbados to work hand in hand with us to allow these things to happen, we are committed to do as soon as possible.”

Meantime Minister of Commerce and Industry Donville Inniss expressed his disappointment that businesses eager to make meaningful investments were being frustrated by the public sector at a time when the country was struggling to get its fiscal house in order.

“If an entity like ANSA McAL who wishes to expand their Trimart investment in Barbados has applications before Government departments then the public officers tasked with dealing with those applications should not go home on evenings unless they are finished,” he said.

“And this silliness of one department sitting for weeks and weeks before passing a file on to another department needs to come to a screeching halt.

“People have options, they do not have to invest in Barbados. But when they make that commitment to invest in this fair land . . . we must act with a sense of urgency without diluting our professionalism to ensure that all such investments are treated to expeditiously,” Inniss insisted.

Despite the setbacks, Mouttet made it clear that ANSA McAL was in Barbados for the long haul, “to invest in more Standard stores if we can get over the hurdle of the first Trimart store.”

7 Responses to Delays a challenge

  1. James Austin Bynoe
    James Austin Bynoe November 29, 2014 at 6:14 am

    Seems like we may be retrenching the wrong people.

  2. jr smith November 29, 2014 at 7:13 am

    Who is running things in Barbados, the person needs to make bajans be aware , if they cant do they jobs leave the various position they hold or be sacked.
    I thought we need businesses , in Barbados ,

  3. Santini More
    Santini More November 29, 2014 at 10:06 am

    James Austin Bynoe You are so very, very true. It is the middle and upper echelons in the Civil Service that are hurting this country. The structure is stuffed with over qualified, bitter and resentful paper pushers, who hate their job and seemingly delight in frustrating everybody around them. The problem is that we continue to pay these same saboteurs, when in fact they should have gone home a long time ago, way before the financial crisis hit us….This country is in crisis!

  4. Patrick November 29, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Stop letting all the companies from all over the world take over all of the business in Barbados…..Bajans need to do something to take back they Country…if not in 25 years Barbados will be owned by all foreigners.

  5. Patrick November 29, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    The people in Barbados need to put their heads and money together and invest in their own country, don’t let others come in and walk away millions, while you get nothing but an $8.00 an hour job.

  6. Maxine Baker November 29, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    While I do agree with the comment made by Santini More I still want to ask the question: When these “investors” make their profit, do they, like the other non-nationals go to the Post Office or Western Union and change those profits into US currency or GBP and send them back to their homelands? As Barbadians, we must never forget how others think of us. We continue to let ourselves to used as a “stepping stone” for such persons and then they move on to higher ground in USA, Canada or Britain.

    Could this not be causing us to have a strain on our economy? Where has all the money gone? When such persons send home their profits, do their families come and spend some in Barbados?

    Is the “Investment by Invitation” scheme really profitable to us? Through the subtle tactics of such persons would we not have to end up in the same position as Jamaica and Guyana? There seems to be those who want us to go to that level. It would be disastrous for us since we cannot trade in sun, sea and sand – the tourists who come generally do not spend much money and they are also becoming afraid of our level of crime and may not return to spend waht little they may have with them.

    WE NEED TO KEEP OUR EYES OPEN. The slogan “one Caribbean Unity” may have been intended to be a bedtime story for Barbadians to put our minds in a state of restfulness so that our faculty of Reason will remain in the unconscious realm and we will “rest comfortably” believing that they truly have our interest at heart.

  7. Brimstone November 29, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    Amazing,,,,,,,,,, we need to FIRE all the employees at Town & Country Planning for a start. We have a lot of better replacements and it will save more money than the poor little people that are being sent home.
    The other thing is that they all ran to UWI and benefit from the free education and now refuse to repay the society by way of performance.
    Anyway, you can guess which ministry they attached to,,,,, oh dear,,,,,,, you just shout FINANCE,,,,,, wow Chrissieeeeeee


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