Bim left behind

Too late to begin selling passports - Haynes

As far as Acting Governor of the Central Bank Cleviston Haynes is concerned, the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) ship might have already sailed past Barbados.

Haynes said the CBI, the programme through which countries, including some of the Caribbean, peddle citizenship for tens of thousands of dollars, came with such risks that Barbados would not be keen to adopt it at this time.

He was responding to questions from journalists last Friday, following his review of the Barbados economy for the first six months of the year.

The report revealed that the economy continues to struggle, with foreign reserves plummeting dangerously below the recommended 12-weeks of import cover, to just 9.7 weeks, or $635.5 million, at the end of June, down from the $705.4 million or about 10.7 weeks of import, as at the end of March.

Asked if a CBI programme was one of the non-traditional ways Government could consider to raise needed revenue to help boost the reserves, Haynes said Government has not been keen on that idea.

However, he said, if it was put on the table, the pros and cons should be carefully weighed.

“It has its benefits, as some countries have found, but there are also risks that come with it. In some of these countries, you will note that they are losing access to visa-free travel for citizens because of some of the persons who may have been allowed to come into their countries, and these are the tangibles that we have to look at before we decide to take that step,” warned Haynes.

“As I understand it, it is not currently on the table as a strategy and even among those countries that have adopted it, my understanding is that a lot of them are no longer realizing all of the financial benefits they may have [received] a couple years ago. So, in any case, that boat might very well have sailed.”

Back in 2013, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart announced that the Government was considering an economic citizenship programme.

“It is not something into which we can rush headlong; we have to look at all the implications,” he said at the time. “But, obviously, the world is changing very quickly; we are in a competitive global environment and we have to make sure that we always have a competitive edge if we are to be ahead of the game, as it were, and therefore that matter is receiving our attention as well.”

Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite would later say he saw no reason why the country could not initiate a CBI programme.

However, Stuart last month expressed concern that some people who had acquired regional passports through a CBI programme were entering the island and demanding to stay based on their acquired status as Caribbean Community (CARICOM) nationals.

Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis and St Lucia are among Caribbean countries that engage in the practice.

4 Responses to Bim left behind

  1. JasonC. August 15, 2017 at 5:43 am

    Sigh….just reading about this country’s economic status and this government, has become so depressing.

    Reply
  2. Carson C Cadogan August 15, 2017 at 7:31 am

    Selling your passport is like selling your birth right. The Govt. was right to steer clear of this scheme.

    The risks are not worth it.

    Reply
  3. Francis August 15, 2017 at 8:48 am

    CBI is for BANANA REPUBLICS

    Reply
  4. Lee August 15, 2017 at 9:30 am

    . . . . and of course Barbados is still only a breadfruit monarchy !

    Reply

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