Minister of International Business and Industry, Ronald Toppin. (FP)

Barbados’ strong brand continues to be a major “drawing card” as the island continues to attract investors and visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister of International Business and Industry, Ronald Toppin, expressed renewed optimism in the island’s international business sector today during the 2021 virtual African Diaspora Network Impact and Innovation Forum, hosted in collaboration with Invest Barbados.

He told participants that central to the island’s strong “value proposition” was its expanding treaty network, which currently stands at 40 double taxation agreements already in force, and several others at various stages of negotiation.

Additionally, Mr. Toppin alluded to nine bilateral investment treaties and five tax information exchange agreements, which have resulted in the expansion of Barbados’ promotional footprint in North America, Latin America, the United Kingdom, China and more recently to include other Asian countries. He said plans are also afoot to establish a diplomatic presence in Kenya, Ghana and the United Arab Emirates.

The Minister of International Business also spoke of Government’s efforts to improve the ease of doing business. 

“We are more accessible than before and we are making it faster, easier and more efficient to do business with us.  Having identified it as a priority, our administration has implemented a number of initiatives to digitalise key processes in our business environment. Such initiatives include redesigning our electronic payments platform; issuance of digital national identification cards and other digital certificates, to name a few. As we continue to modernise and enhance our competitive advantages, we are concomitantly ensuring that you can conduct your business in Barbados as seamlessly as you would in Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, London or Nairobi,” Mr. Toppin underlined.

The Minister mentioned a cadre of well-educated and highly skilled professionals in legal, accounting, tax and advisory, and wealth management fraternities, and service providers who are ready to work with investors to ensure that they provide the best guidance on setting up fit-for-purpose business operations. 

Mr. Toppin also reminded the audience that reputable banks and accounting firms, such as BDO, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PwC have been operating in this country for years.

He assured them that Barbados has a strong reputation for its commitment to high levels of security and transparency, as well as to efficient regulatory and anti-money laundering systems.

“I encourage you, if you are considering expansion to a safe and thriving domicile, choose Barbados. Our warm and welcoming investment climate awaits,” Mr. Toppin stated.

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