|Prime Minister of Barbados, Freundel Stuart. (FP)
If the Caribbean is to maintain its reputation as an attractive hub for foreign investors, then cost effective business solutions must be a part of its strategic planning.
This view was expressed by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, on Wednesday, October 26, as he addressed the Commonwealth Business Forum in Perth, Australia, on the topic, Investing in the Caribbean.
Emphasising that it was critical for the region to maintain its competitive edge, the Prime Minister said that the region continued to attract foreign investors because of its diversification efforts, fuelled largely by globalisation.
"Most people today recognise the Caribbean as a popular tourist destination and Caribbean countries have, in fact, attracted a steady flow of investment to help build out the Tourism industry over the last 50 years.
"But it would help for those in the world of business to know as well that a few of the region’s nations have?? become financial services centres from which many of the world’s leading industries, companies and executives have chosen to conduct global business," Mr. Stuart emphasised.
Citing Barbados as an example, the Prime Minister said this country had developed centres of excellence in areas such as international insurance, banking, shipping, trusts, research and development as well as in communication technology and high-tech manufacturing.
Mr. Stuart also told the Commonwealth Assembly that with the creative use of the legislative instrument, "Barbados has devised solutions to fit the versatile needs of the international business community".
He stated: "Barbados has developed mechanisms to assist in reducing the tax burden associated with international business by way of our fiscal incentive legislation, our double taxation treaties and our bilateral investment treaties, known as investment protection treaties.?? At the same time, we have provided not only a facilitating business environment, but also, a well regulated environment with ???right-sized’ regulation, reinforced by up-to-date anti-money laundering and other business legislation."
Mr. Stuart said the Caribbean was in a position to offer investors a range of opportunities for investment in areas such as tourism and its ancillary services, financial services, high-tech natural resources and natural resources exploration.