David Estwick UAE 4 Billion Dollar Proposal to Restructure Debt Rejected by Cabinet YET he Voted YES to Appropriations Bill

Chris Sinckler, Minister of Finance (l) David Estwick, Minister of Agriculture (r)

In January 2014 Minister of Agriculture David Estwick in a surprising move submitted a proposal to Prime Minister Freundel Stuart urging the Cabinet to refinance and restructure the public debt by sourcing 4 billion USD from the UAE. In what is described as the UAE proposal Estwick advised there was interest by the UAE to lend Barbados the huge sum at an interest rate of between 2 and 4% with a term of 30 years.

Fast forward to 2017: the fiscal position of Barbados has deteriorated and has fueled national discussion about going to the IMF for balance of payment and other support, devaluation, low investor confidence and so on. What is surprising is that Estwick having had his UAE proposal rebuffed by the Cabinet voted YES at the second reading of the Appropriations Bill last night (15/03/2016).

As a public service BU shares the letter Minister David Estwick sent to Prime Minister Freundel Stuart in 2014.


131 thoughts on “David Estwick UAE 4 Billion Dollar Proposal to Restructure Debt Rejected by Cabinet YET he Voted YES to Appropriations Bill

  1. I am just wondering when the Muslim lady say that Barbadians are suffering which is a mantra of the BLP what she means. Venezuela is just down there to our south, is a rich oil producing country just deployed 9000 troops to visit bakeries to make sure they use the flour to make bread and not pastries.
    What do we produce? Why are there so many pick up trucks and SUVs on our roads pot hole and all. Something is wrong with our psyche. This present set of Bajan will cause the country to be in debt for the next 100 years. It all about consuming, They want every gadget on the market. Politicians keep feeding them this narrative that we punching above our weight and we can do better. High wages and low productivity will be our downfall. It is only Tourism and a new mosquito borne disease could speed up that downfall.

  2. It is interesting to count the word “devaluation” in the media. Compare the numbers for 2015, 2016 and 201. You will see how close we are to the finish line.

    It will even be more interesting to see what will happen to projects during construction, if they are hit by devaluation in the middle of the process. If I was a bankster, I won´t issue any new loans for any project for the next two years. The risk is too high.

  3. @Tron
    all these same banks have also operated in Guyana, T&T and J’ca, economies which have devalued many times. They know how to handle it. Even the larger publicly traded companies face currency risk in the myriad of markets in which they operate. And when currencies fluctuate too much, deals are set in $US.
    Ultimately, it is people, not the government, who determine the value of a currency. As long as $US are readily available little will happen. Yet, the pressure is being applied from two sides, decreasing reserves of $US and an increasing supply of $Bds. At some point, along the current trajectory, demand for $US will outstrip the supply and people will be willing to pay more than $2Bds for a $US.

    • If the foreign exchange comes in from the Hyatt, Sam Lords and a few other smaller projects the would have bought time BUT it is a never ending cycle -there must be a constant flow of FDI to supplement revenues from tourism.

  4. http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/94742/road-safety-association-fix-lights

    The government cannot get street lights fixed, many roads are in total darkness.., death traps.

    When Koffi Anan made that punching above the weight comment for Barbados, he rightly saw that the then government had over extended itself……but he used the wrong phrase….but all the idiots since that comment was made have misinterpreted it to mean something entirely different and have continued to over extend the economy and now they are embedded and saturated in debt, I doubt if anyone ever took a dictionary to see the definition of punching above ya weight….including Anan himself.

    “if you say that someone is punching above their weight, you mean that they are having a romantic relationship with someone who is a lot more attractive than they are.”

    “A country or organization that is seen as punching above it’s weight has more influence internationally than it’s size would suggest.”

    Actually, Anan was wrong, he used the phrase in the wrong context.

  5. http://bit.ly/2nzYE34

    A continuing reality for born Americans.

    “A retired police chief from North Carolina claims he was profiled and unreasonably detained at Kennedy Airport while returning from celebrating his mother’s 80th birthday in Paris.

    Greenville’s former top cop Hassan Aden said he was held at JFK for an hour and a half as U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents attempted to “clear me for entry,” he penned in a lengthy Facebook post describing the ordeal. Aden later clarified that he was detained on March 13.

    “My freedoms were restricted, and I cannot be sure it won’t happen again, and that it won’t happen to my family, my children, the next time we travel abroad,” Aden reflected on Saturday.

    Not even Aden’s decades-long law enforcement resume made a difference.

    The customs agent told Aden his “name was used as an alias by someone on some watch list.”

  6. That would mean the useless ministers would actually have to start doing some honest work for the taxpayer’s money, besides telling lies on a daily basis. ..I cant see that..lol

  7. Browsed the letter this morning. These things are not my forte, but it seem to make sense. Browsed the comments. Don’t think I saw a comment on the letter’s merit or lack of merit.


    As we scour the world for UAE, Russian or Chinese aid, we have to ask ourselves “What is it we are bringing to the negotiation table?” Who are we dealing with?

    One morning we may wake up with our fist full of dollars but not liking our bed-mate.

  8. Perspective and context are wonderful things re WW&C March 19, at 4:38 AM …

    Since the terror attacks of 9-11 citizens of all countries have been detained and grilled at airports because of name similarities or even for having Muslim names or affiliations.

    Most famously for me was the musician known in my youth as Cat Stevens.

    He had changed his name to Yusuf Islam and voila was caught up in this terror travel ban in the early 2000s. In fact his plane was diverted and he was removed and sent back to UK….all because his name was quite similar to that of a known terrorist.

    Like Steven lots of brothers (‘Detroit Red’ and Cassius Clay two other most famous) embraced the peace of Islamic teaching back in the day and changed their names…unfortunately, that has become a real pain for people like Stevens since 9-11…

    That’s life.

    The Police Chief needs to give himself lots of time whenever he is travelling…once your name – inaccurately or otherwise – is flagged on a terrorist’s travel watch list it is a painfully long process to avoid continued problems…regardless of who is in the WH

  9. @DPD
    I saw a joke where the authorities were able to track a cow with mad cow disease across the border from Canada to somewhere in the US but have issues in identifying people.

    It boggles the mind to believe that everything is just an accident. Those in power are showing an outright disrespect to some of its citizens.

    It is good to have answers, but quite often they do not address the underlying questions.

  10. That’s not life Pedant, it’s harrassment, ya too quick to accept your own degradation….the terrorists in the US are mostly white, the killers in the US are mostly white, the mentally ill in the US are mostly white.., the thieves in the US are mostly white, the drug addicts, welfare fraudsters etc are mostly white.

    This is government overreaching because they can, it is a show of power…it’s not life, it’s wickedness…that will manifest itself more as time passes.

  11. Besides. ..Mohammed Ali’s son was detained twice within weeks while traveling inside the US, despite everyone knowing who he is…it is called profiling based on skin color and names.

    And as the net widens to torment people white Americans are also being detained.

  12. @TheGazer at 10:34 AM …Actually, that joke could be quite true.

    Consider, a Canadian ‘bull-cow’ branded and tagged is sent to OldMacDees Farm in Arkansas, US and does not go wandering off somewhere else. Then it’s quite possible to find the beautiful bull before he gets busy with his own type of attacks.

    But also consider that if there is uncertainty of what and where he had already infiltrated with his insidious disease that all of OldMacDees cattle may become collateral damage. Yes!

    Identification is still a problematic game even with unique branding (fprints, iris/facial recog) because a 100 black bulls all look the same – so do a list of names all showing Yusuf. Yosuf or Yosef Salam/Salem. — of course systems vet you now before you get on the plane.

    But unless your ‘branding’ is individually examined in that way it is as impossible to validate Mr Mad Cow from Mr Non-Mad Cow or Yosuf Salem Mohammed from Yosuf Salam Mohammed.

    We have to be practical. There will be honest errors or false positives just as there will be harassment and profiling. The latter has to be aggressively handled even as the main thrust of safety remains in focus.

    We cannot become complacent.

    The Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam incident happened in 2004 as several others have over the ensuing years.

    That the main terror incidents in the US have been white supremacists or lone wolf US based Islamic insurgent radicals is not in contention.

    But to become overly aggressive about genuine false positives which will plague and bug the system is totally counter-productive.

    The issues surrounding Mohammed Ali’s son are problematic and clearly have reached a discriminatory level but as with the Police Chief he can choose to either travel and give himself ample time to deal with the BS; not travel or to create a ruckus every time he travels.

    There is a time to shout and a time to be mild. Never have I experienced a one behaviour fits all situations that was successful.

    You, Ms WW&C apparently have had such one size fits all in your world. More power to you.

  13. I am glad that you are aware of the one size fits all argument. When the son of Muhammad Ali can be stopped twice, you would like me to believe that the authorities are using a finely tuned instrument to catch ‘problems’ instead of one size fits all. Seems more like a catch and release approach. Why must Ali’s son act unlike any other American (because he is black?) Don’t be so willing to accept the status quo. But again, you are Bajan.

    I am an old m an and so I suffer less indignities than previously, but when I was younger it used to bother me that I was always stopped randomly when entering the US and yet could not get one winning lottery ticket.

    You will hear me talk of how great is the USA. but I will also/always admit that we have our share of problems.

  14. @Gazer, what last word what. Really.

    The issue of Mohammed Ali’s son is a smelly red-herring on the debate about travel lists simply because it is so obviously a discriminatory matter.

    So I am confused and amused that we move from discussing the real and relevant issues of travel list management and the problems inherent therein to validating everything around a discriminatory act by a bunch of Customs and Border agents.

    Incidentally Ali according to reports was stopped the second time after he had done a public disapproval at a Congressional appearance in Washington…he was delayed very briefly.

    But clearly being stopped had not one thing to do with plane security as he had been quizzed just a few days prior. It was petty prejudice and discrimination.

    That type behaviour cannot and must never move the gaze off the very serious issue of travel security.

    By your own admission petty power plays by federal law officers is as old as a well aged Bajan rum so if it’s lost on you that the petty folly should never be mixed up and confused with the practical and serious business of travel security standards then that’s sad.

    We must work to stamp out profiling and prejudice. But we cannot stop careful and sometimes over-zealous scrutiny.

  15. Pedant…just say you cant face reality putting a fancy spin on evil saw your ancestors enslaved for centuries…and you still will not learn.

    Good luck crossing the border.

  16. A word of warning though, those little mutts from the hicks, get paid $9 an hour, some more, some less to be immigration officers, smiling up in their faces gets them even more angry, they were raised to be racist and hateful of black people….brown people etc.

  17. @WW&C, yours is a place where any practical thought with which you disagree is assaulted with tales of slavery’s long shadow.

    According to you, everyone is tainted by their slave ancestry and their entrapped mental capacity… oh lawd…pull the trigger do. Have gun… will shoot. Stand your ground!

    Yours is just like the US Congress or the Bajan House of Assem…no practical discourse of issues…simply rants, rants and more rants of an entrenched position.

    Managing no-fly lists or profile discrimination at airports or fingerprinting at GAIA is serious and practical business and must have a practical discourse.

    Your seeming inability to recognize the meat of the matter and properly discharge the real issues from the false issue does not augur well for anyone who meets you with your ‘glock’ primed for action.

    You are the perfect BU conundrum wrapped in a enigma baked into a pretzel!

  18. Pedant…that’s exactly what the slaves said before they were thrown overboard, the ones who survived never saw the prosperity they were promised…fool me once shame on you…fool me twice………

    This is just the more refined, updated version, that the blind like yourself cannot comprehend, it’s way beyond you. …ya will never learn.

  19. David,
    The Barbados dollar has just been devalued for the fourth day in succession. Have the prime minister, minister of finance or people of the nation been told of this?
    Let me explain: it is the Greenback that has lost value against a basket of currencies.

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