Minister of Industry and Commerce, The Hon. Donville Inniss, cautioned the Opposition on their constant efforts to undermine investment in the Barbados economy. He cried down the many attacks of the opposition on potential investors and their attempts to make it seem that Barbados is not a properly regulated business jurisdiction. He said this can run away potential investors, white, black, Indian, Chinese, local, from the region or international investors.
Minister Inniss took issue with the many attacks leveled by the Leader of the Opposition and other members of BLP opposition against the private sector Hyatt hotel project. This project which has as one of its major investors, Businessman Mark Maloney, came under heavy criticism by the opposition. They alleged that the project did not have town and country planning permission, and that it being a 15 story high rise hotel ran the risk of affecting the UNESCO Heritage inscription of the HIstoric Bridgetown and its Garrison.
However, Minister Inniss categorically rejected these misleading accusations as being without merit. He informed the House of Assembly in his contribution to the 2016 budget that the Hyatt project has undergone significant regulatory assessments including and assessment on its impact on the heritage inscription. Environmental impact assessments were also conducted and plans were submitted to town planning for approval to which conditional approval was given and the developers are responding to the terms of the conditional approval.
The minister of commerce and industry warned that these attempts by the opposition to give the impression that Barbados is not a properly regulated business jurisdiction will harm the reputation of the country. It is simply not true and the opposition should stop practicing their scorch earth politics.
Investments such as the Hyatt Hotel can provide close to 500 jobs to people of Barbados. it is not only an opportunity for the investor but for small businesses which can also benefit from providing meals to workers during the construction period. The project will also bring life and other investment to the city.