We loyal sons and daughters all
Do hereby make it known
These fields and hills beyond recall
Are now our very own
We write our names on history’s page
With expectations great,
Strict guardians of our heritage
Firm craftsmen of our fate
National Anthem of Barbados (chorus)
The failure of Almond Beach Village has fuelled feeling in some quarters that Neal & Massey is shedding assets to rebalance the acquisition of BS&T a few years ago. This has caused tongues to wag about whether Barbados has a viable land use policy. It is no secret our land space is known to be approximately 166sq miles. The absence of a robust land use policy should make this a concern for all Bajans at home and abroad.
Regrettably, it is inevitable that an issue as important as a land use policy will easily become politicised. Any attempt to direct common sense (not to be confused with nationalistic fervour or jingoism) thought at this matter is too often swamped by the prospect of those who see access to foreign direct investment as the overriding consideration. Those of us who preach caution are labelled anti foreign investment. How myopic! Greedy and lazy politicians are prepared to sell our navel string and we remain silent.
Here is an example of an investor (Harlequin) who has been attracting bad media across the world. Here is an investor who has targeted Barbados and the Caribbean for investment. What due diligence did local authorities engage in before approval? Yes we should welcome foreign direct investment but it should be done between the boundary of a robust due diligence framework.