Despite the current economic hardships, Barbados is still a domicile of choice for those seeking to move their investments around the world in a safe and secure manner.

In fact, recent figures indicate that Barbados has remained the number three domicile of choice for Canadian investors who move approximately CAN 62 billion per year through Barbados.

Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, Donville Inniss, made this disclosure last Thursday evening while delivering remarks at the opening of Gildan???s second building at Newton, Christ Church.

He said: ???I know we sit here and complain and we cry that we have solid waste tax, we have consolidated tax???[but] the truth of the matter is that we are going to build this society and economy up by continuing to attract and retain companies such as Gildan Activewear and all of those who choose to make Barbados their home,??? he said, adding ???that not all of them [companies] are as grand and large in size and reserves as Gildan, but believe you me, here in Barbados they are making a very meaningful contribution to this economy and society.???

To highlight the importance of the sector to the economy, Mr. Inniss pointed out that Gildan Activewear brought a number of individuals into the country every year on sales trips and promotion activities, thus making the International Business and Financial Services Sector (IBFSS) a major contributor to this country???s tourism sector.

???Individuals may come here to do business but when they return, they stay at lovely hotels, they spend money and we really must continue to show a level of appreciation to them. We also believe that they are wonderful ambassadors to Barbados as well???So we really want Barbadians to understand and appreciate that the IBFSS is extremely critical to our economy and society.???

Meanwhile, President of Gildan Activewear, Michael Hoffman, has said that the Canadian company, which has been based here since 1999 has grown from six employees to approximately 160, hiring mostly Barbadians.

He said last year their sales were $US 2.18 billion and corporately they currently have over 37 000 employees worldwide, with the majority of companies located in this hemisphere specifically in the Caribbean and Central American region.

The President also revealed that unlike other companies they do not import their products from Asia for sale into North America and other markets, but rather they have successfully built efficient, low cost, state-of-the-art modern facilities that were manufacturing products in this hemisphere and exporting them for sale into markets including Asia and even into China ??? a feat, which he said was not being spoken about enough.

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