Minister of Economic Affairs and Empowerment, Innovation, Trade, Industry and Commerce, Dr. David Estwick (centre), in conversation with Executive Director of??the Barbados International Business Association (BIBA), Henderson Holmes (left), and President of BIBA, John Howard.

Government has drafted a two-year short and medium term action plan for the International Business sector to support further expansion of the sector and to preserve the island’s reputation.

Word of this has come from Minister of Economic Affairs and Empowerment, Innovation, Trade, Industry and Commerce, Dr. David Estwick, while addressing the International Business Week Conference, today, at Hilton Barbados.

Given the critical role of this sector to the island’s economic development, the???? Minister explained that the plan would also support the diversification and expansion of products and services, as well as the design and marketing of specific products for selected clients.

Dr. Estwick opined: "This initiative will ensure the preservation of the integrity and reputation of key elements of the Barbados business brand, as well as to ensure that Barbados’ products and services continue to meet the needs of the new environment.

He added: "So, the Government of Barbados, through the International Business Unit, will expand the tax and treaty network, and intensify cooperation with the OECD on taxation information exchange within the tax treaty."

Pointing to the financial contribution of the sector, Dr. Estwick revealed that it accounted for 15.2 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product last year.?? As an employer of approximately 3,000 persons in a range of categories, the Minister said the sector also accounted for 60 per cent of corporate taxes paid mainly from international banks and other financial institutions.

He further stated that for the six-month period January to June, government had collected $2.6 million in revenue from the payment of licenses and other fees that were levied on international businesses, when compared to $1.9 million for the corresponding period last year.

Dr. Estwick expressed the hope that a number of key initiatives would be identified from the conference that would guide the future development of the sector.

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