Executive Director of the Barbados International Business Association, Henderson Holmes, (left) in discussion with Minister of International Business and International Transport, George Hutson, and Past President of BIBA, Connie Smith during last night???s cocktail reception. Looking on is attorney-at-law, Dr. Trevor Carmichael. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

Barbados is forging ahead in negotiating a number of Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs) in order to strengthen its international business sector, with the most recent additions being Bahrain, Qatar and Singapore.

Minister of International Business and International Transport, George Hutson, said that the Qataris were excited about visiting and investing in Barbados, after having signed a number of DTAs.

Speaking during a cocktail reception to mark the start of International Business week at the Cin Cin by the Sea Restaurant last night, the Minister said: "I am hoping that they [Qatar] will have a delegation in Barbados during the course of November at which time we could have the formal signing of the agreement so it can come into effect," he said.

He added that discussions were also ongoing to explore the possibility of establishing an air service agreement between Barbados and Qatar. "So the opportunities are there for business, and certainly it creates the environment for the local business sector to take advantage of," he noted.

Mr. Hutson reminded members of the international business sector that the promised Private Trust Companies’ legislation would be taken to Parliament today, while the Foundations legislation was expected to go before the Lower House before the end of this session in December.

"That legislation is going to be significant because it opens up the opportunities that we have for investment within the Central and South American markets," he said. The Minister explained that the South and Central Americans’ legal systems were based on civil law as opposed to the common-law legislation that existed in Barbados.

"The Foundation legislation and the Trust legislation creates the sort of vehicle that persons engaged in the international business sector in Barbados should be able to take significant advantage of that particular initiative going forward," Mr. Hutson underlined.

He noted that when Barbados lost its advantage with the Canadians over other jurisdictions like Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, practitioners in the industry were forced to look outside traditional markets.

Activities for International Business Week are being held under the theme: Innovation, our Path to New Horizons, and concludes on Friday, October 26.


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