Barbados looks to international business sector to increase foreign exchange

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Friday January 31, 2014, CMC – The Barbados government says it wants to increase foreign exchange earnings by 40 per cent from the international business sector under a five-year strategic plan for the sector.

Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite told the members of the Barbados International Business Association that the plan has been given the green light by Cabinet.

Speaking on the topic “Legislative and Judicial Initiatives, Enhancing the Image of Barbados, Facilitating New Business Development,”, Brathwaite said that under the plan, the Freundel Stuart government intends to accomplish a number of objectives including a 40 per cent increase in foreign exchange earnings from the international business sector; a 40 per cent increase in revenue from corporate and personal income tax and the creation of 2,000 jobs.

He said the government was also seeking to register 2,000 new corporate entities and that the plan also sought to register 50 new foundations and private trust companies; conclude 20 new Double Taxation Agreements and 15 Investment Protection Treaties.

It is also intended to provide the Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property Office with a first class intellectual platform to eliminate paper and increase efficiency, and encourage and promote new service providers with varied expertise.

“We are still open for business. Government is still aware of the value of the sector to us as a country,” he said, indicating however that there was a lot they could do to ensure the success of the measures outlined in the strategic plan.

“We can begin by looking at the other side of the glass, and seeing the glass as half full rather than half empty. Let us all agree that Barbados has many things to commend.

“We have a strong brand recognition in the leading markets; we have a jurisdiction of quality, experience and with infrastructure; …we have a well-educated labour force and relatively cheap labour costs; we have a good business infrastructure, good quality of life, and a strong banking sector,” he said.

Barathwaite, who is also Home Affairs Minister, said the government would seek to have the Foundations Legislation and Private Trust Company Legislation completed before year end..

But he said he would be disappointed if “we did not have modernised Mutual Funds Legislation by year-end.

“It is one area that I am disappointed that we have not addressed…It is the one area that presents an opportunity for us to grow and grow substantially,” he added. Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)