Barbados is still open for business!

That was the assertion of Attorney General, Adriel Brathwaite, as he highlighted the new five-year strategic plan for the international business sector agreed to by Cabinet recently.

He was at the time addressing the Barbados International Business Association???s January luncheon seminar on the topic: Legislative and Judicial Initiatives, Enhancing the Image of Barbados, Facilitating New Business Development at Hilton Barbados.

Under the new plan, Government intends to accomplish a number of objectives including a 40 per cent increase in foreign exchange earnings from the international business sector; a 40 per cent increase in revenue from corporate and personal income tax; the creation of 2,000 jobs, and the registering of 2,000 new corporate entities.

Mr. Brathwaite added that the plan also sought to register 50 new foundations and private trust companies; conclude 20 new Double Taxation Agreements and 15 Investment Protection Treaties; create five new solutions; provide the Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property Office with a first class intellectual platform to eliminate paper and increase efficiency, and encourage and promote new service providers with varied expertise.

???We are still open for business. Government is still aware of the value of the sector to us as a country,??? he stated.

However, Mr. Brathwaite, also Minister of Home Affairs, told those present that there was a lot they could do to ensure the success of the measures outlined in the strategic plan.

???We can begin by looking at the other side of the glass, and seeing the glass as half full rather than half empty. Let us all agree that Barbados has many things to commend. We have a strong brand recognition in the leading markets; we have a jurisdiction of quality, experience and with infrastructure; ???we have a well-educated labour force and relatively cheap labour costs; we have a good business infrastructure, good quality of life, and a strong banking sector,??? he said.

Meanwhile, he assured BIBA that several of pieces of legislation would be completed this year. These include the Foundations Legislation and Private Trust Company Legislation.

Mr. Brathwaite, however said that he would be disappointed if ???we did not have modernised Mutual Funds Legislation by year-end???It is one area that I am disappointed that we have not addressed???It is the one area that presents an opportunity for us to grow and grow substantially???.

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