Government’s ongoing efforts to establish a Financial Services Commission is expected to gain momentum next month.

According to Minister of International Business and International Transport, George Hutson, the Financial Services Commission Bill is slated to be laid in Parliament, when it reconvenes in mid-October.

Minister Hutson, who was addressing the media during a press launch?? for International Business Week 2010,?? noted that the?? Commission would provide?? for a more comprehensive and enhanced supervision of the non-banking financial sector; the insurance sub-sector; the co-operatives and?? the stock exchange.

Alluding to?? the?? fact that it would further help to preserve Barbados’ reputation as a well-regulated international business jurisdiction, the Minister added: "Furthermore, the law with respect to the prevention and control of money laundering and financing of terrorism will be reformed to reflect more comprehensively?? the 40 Recommendations and the Nine Special Recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force, which Barbados is committed to implement by virtue of its membership in the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force."

In outlining the sector’s importance, Minister Hutson noted that it had "grown by leaps and bounds" since its inception in 1965, to become Barbados’ second largest foreign exchange earner.

"The theme for?? the week is?? ???From Crisis to Opportunity …Unique Strategies, Competitive Edge,’ and this sends a strong message that even during?? these challenging times, Barbados is a jurisdiction?? that offers businesses an avenue to pursue opportunities through a combination of unique strategies and the competitive advantages that Barbados offers," he underlined.

Crediting the sector with providing direct employment for just over 4,000 persons, as well as indirect employment for Barbadians in numerous other spin-off industries including construction, real estate and hospitality, Mr. Hutson said the sector continued to provide a steady stream of foreign exchange annually.

He affirmed that it also augmented to the island’s international reserves, contributed, on average, a quarter of a billion dollars in corporate taxes per year and helped to stem brain drain by providing higher skilled jobs for qualified graduates.

"With so many opportunities available to the average Barbadian through the international business sector it is important from the Government of Barbados’ perspective to ensure that this sector thrives," the Minister contended.

International Business Week, which is organised by the Barbados International Business Association in collaboration with the Ministry of International Business and other strategic partners, will be observed Sunday October 24 – Friday, October 29.??

Scheduled activities include a church service; a Fun 4 Km Walk; a?? secondary schools symposium; a Careers Showcase; a discussion Forum on the topic International Business: A Positive Impact on our People; a two-day?? conference on the theme: Surviving to Thriving – Strategies for Global Expansion in Turbulent Times and a play entitled All Things Bright directed by Cross & Cross.

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