Red tape hurting country

Benn urges gov’t to change its attitude to keep valuable business

Barbados’ Consul General in Canada Haynesley Benn says bureaucratic red tape continues to be a major deterrent to foreign direct investment in the country.

Delivering a report on his tenure since taking up the post a year ago, Benn told a meeting of the Democratic Labour Party’s St Peter branch last night that the problem exists both in the private and public sectors, though it is worse in the Government service.

Barbados’ Consul General in Canada Haynesley Benn
Barbados’ Consul General in Canada Haynesley Benn

He said there must be a shift in attitude or the country will continue to lose valuable business.

“This is bad for the country and all I can say is I wish that our people here would act with the same degree of urgency and treat matters with the same degree of importance as business persons in Canada treat matters. If we do that, I can guarantee you that there would be a lot more businesses being set up here in the country,” he said.

To drive home his point, the diplomat noted he had sent a shipment containing about 16 boxes of toys and clothing to Barbados on behalf of McMaster University in Canada since February.

To date, he said, the items earmarked for less fortunate Barbadians have not been cleared in the absence of a letter from Minster of Finance Chris Sinckler granting a waiver on the port charges.

“I find that to be so distressing and so unfortunate,” Benn said.

“I promised the organisation that when I come to Barbados I would seek to have the storage charges waived. If I can get the Customs to waive it, I would pay from my pocket the other duties that the Customs would have charged. They shouldn’t have been charged anything except a nominal fee.

“I wouldn’t want that next year McMaster University and other people have things to send down and I have to tell them they went but they weren’t used,” he added.

Meantime, Benn is due to meet with representatives of the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation this week to discuss access to the Canada market for Barbadian manufacturers of condiments.

He said there is a “tremendous market” in the North American country, given the large number of Barbadians residing there.

The consul general, who attended the 3rd Diaspora Conference held here earlier this month, is due to return to Canada at the end of this month.


5 Responses to Red tape hurting country

  1. Santini More
    Santini More August 26, 2014 at 6:49 am

    The two examples of red tape he speaks to just indicates how unsuited Benn is to such an elevated position. 1) It makes no sense sending anything to Barbados ‘hoping’ for a duty free waiver. Surely that waiver should have been secured In writing BEFORE anything was shipped. 2) The condiments industry of Barbados does not meet the food regulations and standards of the Canadian market. So as delicious, attractive and sort after they may be, they will not be allowed entry into the Canadian market….Benn is so typical of this Government, totally, totally CLUELESS.

  2. Dre Forde
    Dre Forde August 26, 2014 at 7:35 am

    So tru

  3. Les Carr
    Les Carr August 26, 2014 at 9:13 am

    Babados Today, all types of hands are tied by this tape. In a country like Barbados before you rush to press consider the illustrations you choose. You may be accused of also making news.

  4. Stuart Gourley
    Stuart Gourley August 26, 2014 at 9:58 am

    If all the unfinished homes, unused lands that have sat idle for years don’t speak to the ineffectiveness of your legal/court systems, nothing does. You need to move forward at a much quicker pace. Your courts and Judges should be ashamed of themselves. For there own personal gain they have crippled the real estate industry. If people where living in all the derelict properties the economy would fix itself. It must be greed. “If I can’t have it, know one can”. It is a small, precious island that takes it self far to serious. You would think by the size of your government that you where some huge country, when in fact you are the size of a small town in Canada that would be run by one Mayor and a few council persons. Wake up. Move on and get the country moving again. It’s time to look in the mirror and ask yourself the tough questions, regards, Stuart.

  5. jr smith August 26, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    This is a bit too late, this kind of rubbish was going on for decades.
    The feel, most persons are place in jobs they are not really qualified to do plus having no experence.
    Friends and friends of, thats how it goes in barbados.
    Barbados needs a very tough , management regime, qualifications dont mean you have the ability to hold down a top job.
    A tough regime , means anyone who cant performed in the placed position would be sack.
    The world billionaires,most of them never had secondary education.


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