The issues that keep surfacing about Nationalism and loss of National icons, reiterates that too many times Bajans are reactionary. When the likes of BNB was being divested by Government, where were the consortiums? All we got was the usual rhetoric from our top “analysts”, that said nothing except that the company was a good company with great potential.
This is typical of our culture; we only see the potential after an outsider has offered to take over. There was no meaningful response from the Big businesses and again our analysts when the Government as they all “claimed” to know in their desperation divested of the likes of BNB to who would take it.
Who do we have to blame but ourselves for letting these companies fall to “outsiders”.
We have many “great” businessmen and other big business in this country that should be looking to expand. That should be looking to takeover and merge with businesses in the OECS and Trinidad and Guyana and wherever else. But what do we do? We sit back and try to squeeze every penny out of our “fellow” Barbadians and then run and cry wolf when the other really aggressive and progressive businesses come to our shores. Why has Chefette not gone regional? How many more are we going to have to have in Barbados before diseconomies of scale starts to sink in for Mr. Haloute. What he seemingly prefers to do is try to block every other Restaurant chain from touching down here rather than trust his brand. Is it that he does not believe it is as good as he tries to “convince” us that it is? Chefette is just but one example.
So how did we get into this quagmire?
There are many issues that are coming to the surface with the BS&T saga. As state above the one that is clearly revealed again is our cycle of complacency. We believe that we can keep out other businesses forever. Mr. Prime Minister please be straight with the public and remind them that this goes against all the “wonderful” treaties and agreements (CSME, WTO and the like) that you are signing us up to and in many instances without much choice as the World economies move towards one large Global marketplace.
We need to stop the cronyism…NOW!
I want to echo what Mr. Ross Solomon of Grace Kennedy said here recently. What we need to do is EDUCATE THE PUBLIC to these realities. We need to stop playing with their emotions, when we know full well that at the end of the day if a company comes to our shores looking, the Government is obliged to facilitate them. Globlisation is here to stay and we cannot expect Government (whichever one is in power) to protect businesses like BS&T etc.
Who gains when we educate the masses?
We need to take issue with the Allan Fields and the like in this country that are entrusted with the reins of these companies, and are supposed to possess the abilities to develop the potential of the companies. If then they aggressively educate and market them to the public, so that understanding and confidence is gained and hopefully their shares trade more actively and at somewhere close to their true value. Then we may not have been in this predicament as maybe BS&T might have been looking to take over Ansa McAl or Neal and Massy or some other entity. (Optimistic I know)
To my mind it speaks to the confidence then that the Consortium has in Mr. Fields and Mr. King of BS&T as they have stated that if they are successful and take over BS&T that it cannot be business as usual. (Hmmmm!)
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Alan Fields raped BS&T for his personal gain just as he did at Banks and continues to do. Look at Vending Plus a company that his son runs from Banks and the trucking company that his wife runs from Banks. The land he purchased at Stepney at $12 per sq ft to build his 5th house while land was selling by BS&T at Jordans for $20/sqft. Want to hear more about this man?
The surprising thing with sir Allan and his board of directors is that they feel they have done nothing wrong. Tell us more Maria.