Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 20th 2014 Contents Grenada defends
BG12 | REGIONAL
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt MARCH 2014 • WEEK THREE
The Grenada government has defended its deci-
sion to amend legislation allowing for persons who
apply for citizenship under the island's Citizenship
by Investment Programme not to have their names
The government, which controls all 15-seats in
the Parliament, amended the existing legislation
deleting the section which required that the infor-
mation be included in the bi-annual report of the
programme which is presented to Parliament no
later than September every year.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell, speaking to
reporters during the just-concluded Caribbean
Community (Caricom) inter-sessional summit, said
while his administration had not yet granted cit-
izenship to anyone since coming to power in Feb-
ruary last year, it was necessary to amend the leg-
"If you look at economic citizenship, no matter
what country, no one puts out the name of every
single person it gives citizenship, they don't do
"That clearly was a non-starter; it was an error
on our part and we corrected it," he said. "If you
look around the globe, you don't see anyonem
including the United Statesm doing this... and
therefore we did the right thing in correcting that
Mitchell said his administration as taking a very
cautious approach towards the citizenship pro-
gramme, saying "we are making sure we dot the
"i's" (and) cross the "t's"
"We don't want to make the mistakes we made
when we implemented it years ago, and we did not
have the infrastructure in place or the administrative
mechanism and the background checks that were
necessary to make sure we do not compromise our
Mitchell said he remains very confident that
based on the interest, the citizenship by investment
programme would "bring tremendous investment
"We have seen a lot of interest, but we are doing
it diligently and we are taking our time," he said,
insisting that Grenada would not be sidetracked
by any comments from the detractors, including
"We are a sovereign nation and we will take deci-
sion on what's best for us."
A number of Caribbean countries have adopted
the citizenship by investment programme through
which investors pump significant sums of money
into projects on the islands in return for acquiring
a passport from the island. (Cana)
St Lucia's Prime Minister Dr Kenny
Anthony says his administration was a bit
"surprised" at the move by Chiquita Brand
International to acquire the Irish-based
Fyffes, which distributes fruits, including
bananas, across Europe.
Chiquita said on March 10 it would pay
about US$526 million for Fyffes. Global
industry sources said the deal will potentially
give Chiquita some sway over prices.
But Anthony told the Caribbean Media
Corporation (CMC) that while regional
banana producers would not forget the role
played by the US-based company in the
erosion of the preferential treatment for
Caribbean bananas on the European market,
the new deal also opens new possibilities
for Caribbean bananas.
Anthony said the Windward Islands
Banana Development and Exporting Com-
pany (WIBDECO), whose mandate is to
strengthen the competitiveness of the
Windward Islands' banana industry, would
now have to ensure the islands take advan-
tage of the agreement involving Fyttes that
markers the region's fruit.
"There is no doubt with the challenges
that we are facing with bananas, WIBDECO
would have to recalibrate and virtually
reshape its operations in the region and, to
some extent, is struggling to do so. Whether
or not it has been successful is a different
matter, but an effort is being made.
"I don't think necessarily that would
compound the pressure, but I would say,
on the other hand, WIBDECO would have
to lead the way in help in us to maximise
any benefits from this relationship between
Fyffes and Chiquita."
Anthony said the demands for bananas
from the Windward Islands---Dominica, St
Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and
Grenada---remain within the European mar-
"There is demand for our fruit. The prob-
lem is production. We are not producing
enough for the United Kingdom market,"
he said, noting also the "serious problems"
the regional banana sector has had to deal
within, including severe weather conditions
and the Black Stigatoka disease.
"I think this merger between Fyffes and
Chiquita does in fact present market oppor-
tunities and we have to explore these market
"Incidentally, let me also say I think there
is also huge possibility for marketing our
bananas in the region itself. There is no
reason, for example, for a country like T&T
to be importing Chiquita bananas into
"Really, what should be happening is that
bananas from the Windward Islands should
be on the market shelves in Trinidad and
the other islands, and we are yet to tap the
potential from the cruise industry. There
have been some efforts, but it has to be co-
ordinated and we now have to adopt a far
more different approach for the sale of
bananas on the regional market."
Anthony said he had been told the price
the regional banana producing countries
receive for selling their fruit in the Caribbean
"is much higher than the price we get for
selling our bananas to the UK".
According to the US Department of Agri-
culture, bananas account for more than a
quarter of all the fruit eaten in the United
States, with the country importing 3.8 mil-
lion to 4.1 million tons of bananas a year.
The new company, to be named Chiq-
uitaFyffes, will have about US$4.6 billion
in annual revenue, shipping about 160 mil-
lion boxes of bananas a year.
Though Chiquita shareholders will own
about 51 per cent of the new company,
ChiquitaFyffes will be based in Ireland.
Chiquita has annual revenue of more
than US$3 billion and employs about 20,000
people in nearly 70 countries, while Fyffes
employs about 12,000 people and has annu-
al revenue of more than US$1.5 billion.
Barbados is looking to expand its international business and
financial services sector by attracting business from Latin
Minister of industry, international business, commerce and
small business development, Donville Inniss, will lead the
charge by participating in meetings in Costa Rica next month.
Inniss made this disclosure on March 12 as he addressed
the fourth annual International Business and Financial Services
(IBFS) Sector Conference at the Central Bank of Barbados.
Examining the theme of the conference, Moving Beyond
Pass to First Class, Inniss said although Barbados was seeing
favourable growth out of markets in Mexico and Venezuela,
more had to be done in these locations and there was a need
to further explore markets in Colombia, China and others.
"Work has started on the African continent and more is to
be done. Our strategy is to engage at the diplomatic level,
bring on board commercial advisors and get out there and get
the business. We cannot sit here and complain when we have
opportunities there to pursue. There are thousands of young
and not so young, bright and energetic Barbadians, who are
depending on us to secure a brighter future for them. We
must not disappoint them," he said.
The minister said overdue legislation related to trusts, foun-
dations, service providers and limited liability partnerships,
would soon be presented to Cabinet for approval. He said this
would be followed shortly by completed amendments to the
Companies Act, Evidence Act and others.
"We have to treasure this jurisdiction and strive at all times
to build and maintain a cadre of professionals to service this
sector. As we develop products, we must have the requisite
personnel to service the sector. This must include opportunities
to continue training and retooling," Inniss said.
Additionally, the minister said despite the impact of the
continued global economic and financial downturn, the inter-
national business and financial services sector's contribution
to the economy of Barbados through the payment of direct
and indirect taxes, and its expenditure on goods and services
within Barbados, continues to be a major revenue earner.
He said the total contribution of the IBFS to the economy
of Barbados in 2012 was Bds$874 million in comparison to
the Bds$806 million in 2011. The minister said this was achieved
mainly through growth in employment opportunities and
expenditure on goods and services in the generation of economic
(Caribbean News Now)
Barbados to tap into Latam business and financial services market
St Lucia govt surprised at
banana company merger
Links Archive March 19th 2014 March 21st 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page