Inniss: Crime a threat to international business

Minister of International Business Donville Inniss is concerned that if not quickly brought under control, the crime situation gripping the country could threaten the vital international business and financial services sector.

Pointing out that it was not only the island’s tax laws that were responsible for the sector flourishing, Inniss said individuals were keen on doing business here because of Barbados’ longstanding reputation of being “a peaceful nation” and a “vibrant economy”.

He said the sector was therefore not immune to local happenings.

“So let us disabuse our minds of any perspective that the international business sector functions outside of the domestic arena. If we are not a peaceful place, directors are not going to come here for board meetings. They may even decide that this is no longer a domicile from which to do business. If we do not wrestle crime to the ground, we may find that some of our most competent professionals seek safety in other jurisdictions and take with them the businesses that we have grown accustomed to,” warned Inniss at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados (ICAB) international business update seminar at the Hilton Barbados Resort today.

“For example, the reported incidents of gun-related deaths and violence and general deviant behaviour can do irreparable damage to our reputation as a safe haven for business and personal reasons. So, I join with others in saying that we must stop this menace in its track. We must all be proactive and fully cooperative with law enforcement agencies.”

Earlier this week, Inniss’ Cabinet colleague, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Stephen Lashley pleaded with Barbadians to replace the gun with alternative means of conflict resolution. His plea came after two of his Christ Church West Central constituents died by the gun, pushing the number of murders for the year to 23. More than a dozen of those were firearm related.

Inniss said there was no doubt in his mind there was a direct link between the drugs trade and the “upsurge in gun-related lawlessness” in Barbados and the rest of the region.

“Most Caribbean islands are today facing the increasing use of firearms and increase in lawlessness generally . . . . And while I am very concerned about Barbados and my constituents and family here, I am very mindful that there is evidently a relationship that flows throughout the vein of the Caribbean region,” he said.

He urged the accountants and international business and financial services officials attending the seminar not to “yield an inch of comfort to the criminal elements in our midst”, and encouraged them to report any suspicious financial transactions.

4 Responses to Inniss: Crime a threat to international business

  1. Chris Wright August 26, 2017 at 12:26 am

    In my opinion, investors are well aware of crime and violence worldwide. There are also aware of the environments and communities where violence is concentrated and the root causes.

    I’ll bet there are more crimes and specially murder committed in Chicago than there could ever be in Barbados, YET! we don’t see businesses moving from Chicago, or even New York and for the most part Tampa Fl, the nearest major city to me.

    Until business executives and investors are kidnapped and held for ransom or executed, I don’t see any reason for them not to do business in Barbados. The crime problem has to be tackled at the source which is known very well. That has been established but the network is so wide it’s going to be very difficult to get to the bottom as there are too many who have too much to lose.

    Reply
  2. Kathie Daniel August 26, 2017 at 7:53 am

    While the crime issue is important, I believe that our implementation deficit disorder and the long waits to do business are a bigger threat to the offshore industry. Why have BIBA and not accept their recommendations? Why take seven years to finally not implement proposed legislation?

    Reply
  3. Charjoy August 26, 2017 at 7:58 am

    Amen Kathie! Shut-up Inniss, fraudulent as ever!

    Reply
  4. Lee August 26, 2017 at 8:00 am

    Truly, in matters social, economic and political . . . . timing is everything . . . . like medical treatment in an emergency. Just saying that other patients have survived fine is perilous. Each country’s concomitant condition AND the TIMING of intervention will make all the difference.

    Reply

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