President of the Barbados International Business Association, Melanie Jones enjoying a laugh with Minister of International Business and International Transport, George Hutson. (C. Pitt/BGIS)
Barbados is expected to host a workshop next month to train practitioners who will be directly involved with the exchange of information as the country prepares for its Phase 2 evaluation under the Global Forum Peer Review process.
This was disclosed by Minister of International Business and International Transport, George Hutson, as he addressed a cocktail reception to mark the start of the International Business Week of activities at the Cin Cin by the Sea Restaurant last night.
"Earlier this year Barbados was graduated from the Phase 1 Peer Review process of the Global Forum, and our Phase 2 evaluation, which engages the actual physical exchange of information for tax purposes, will start during the first quarter of 2013," he said.
He explained that the workshop was designed in collaboration with the Global Forum Secretariat to ensure that all those directly involved with the exchange of information from Barbados and the wider Caribbean could benefit from the training exercise. The actual date will be announced shortly.
Phase 2 of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, will assess whether Barbados’ framework allows for the effective exchange of information in practice. The reviews are also the first step in a three-year process for improved tax transparency and exchange of information.
Meanwhile, Mr. Hutson reaffirmed Government’s commitment to the international business sector to develop a new five-year strategic plan with members of the Barbados International Business Association and other stakeholders who will take the industry forward.
He noted that a consultation with the international business sector in May highlighted the need for Barbados to look at its business facilitation. Since then, the Minister pointed out, some strides have been made in this area to reduce some of the challenges faced by the businesses.
"I believe practitioners within the sector would admit that the process is now not as vexing as it was. So, while we still have some distance to go in terms of the facilitation, I believe that generally persons involved with the work permit process are happy that it is lot faster," the Minister said.