??Prime Minister Freundel Stuart (FP)

Barbados’ international business sector continues to do well, despite its challenges.

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, said last Friday that the sector continued to maintain its reputation as a transparent well-regulated, responsible and user friendly destination where investors could carry on a wide range of business activities.

He was at the time addressing the opening ceremony of an International Business Stakeholders’ Consultation at Hilton Barbados.

"Barbados has become well known to the international investor community as an attractive jurisdiction of choice," he said.

He added that in the face of challenging economic conditions, Barbados’ international business sector continued to show signs of improvement, with moderate growth being recorded in the licensing of entities over the last three years.

"The ever-changing pace of the global economic landscape stimulated by the financial crisis presents unique and interesting opportunities that companies and governments around the world must grasp," Mr. Stuart said.

He pointed out that Barbados remained focused and committed to exploring opportunities to maximise the island’s global competitiveness, and generate return on investment.

To this end, Mr. Stuart noted that there were improvements and expansion in the island’s legislative framework which provided generous incentives, greater flexibility for investors and competitive working conditions to facilitate international business activities.

These activities include international technology, manufacturing and oil and gas production.

The Prime Minister said amendments to existing legislation, such as the Income Tax (Exchange of Information) Regulations; the Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (Prevention and Control) Act; the Financial Services Commission Act; the International Corporate and Trust Service Providers Act; and the Companies (Amendment) Act, were made to enhance the country’s overall framework for the exchange of information.

Meanwhile, he noted that other legislative reforms were undertaken last year, while others were still being considered to further enhance the country’s regulatory and legislative framework as it relates to the exchange of information.

"The legislative framework is bolstered by an ever expanding tax and investment treaty network which is instrumental not only in securing long-lasting relations between countries, but, more importantly in providing exceptional opportunities for companies and individuals seeking comparative advantage in the global marketplace," Mr. Stuart said.

Barbados presently has 31 double taxation treaties in force with major countries and trading parties.

Mr. Stuart further noted that Government was aware of global and regional challenges faced by the international business sector, and gave the assurance that efforts were being made to improve institutional mechanisms to address some of the issues.


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