Prime Minister Freundel Stuart (right) is pictured as he addressed the US Chamber of Commerce in Washington,??DC, yesterday. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

The United States business community was reminded yesterday by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart that there were several advantages of doing business with Barbados; and he encouraged companies to further explore these benefits as the US Chamber of Commerce gets ready to open an office in Barbados later this year.??

Mr. Stuart was at the time addressing several business officials gathered at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies of the US Chamber of Commerce (Caribbean Central American Action) in Washington, DC.????

In making the case for improved commercial and business relations between the two countries, the Prime Minister advanced the view that these would be mutually beneficial. He told the meeting: "The good news is that a USA-Barbados business relationship is in fact a win-win relationship. US investors in Barbados would benefit from access to professional expertise in a cost-effective environment, and the ability to avoid double taxation on their profits – thereby enhancing their global competitiveness.???? Importantly too, over the long run, business and economic success is reaped through increased access to capital, higher tax intakes and higher employment pay scales as a direct result of the profitable returns on and growth of the international investments made by companies.??

"Barbados is also a winner. In real terms, we typically enjoy access to stimulating employment opportunities, knowledge transfer and the upgrade of skills both at the professional and operational levels," he observed.

The Prime Minister went on: "In terms of tax revenues, foreign direct investment provides economies like ours with approximately 60 per cent of our corporate tax intake.?? There are several backward and forward linkages to other sectors of our economy as well – particularly our tourism, construction, retail and agricultural sectors. I believe, too, that the presence of foreign direct investment encourages us to maintain international best practice standards, as we play a key role in the wealth generation process of an increasingly interdependent and interconnected global economy.

"Today our most valuable and important relationships remain our oldest ones. It is well known that the governments of the United States of America and Barbados have long enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship.?? It is also no secret that our economies and people have benefitted from robust trade, travel, cultural and educational exchanges between our nations," the Prime Minister noted.

He said Barbados offered investors the combination of an established and reputable jurisdiction, cost effective treaty-based tax planning opportunities, a well-educated workforce and an excellent quality of life. "Successive governments of Barbados have made it a priority to provide a welcoming, stable political, social and economic environment that facilitates business in a well regulated environment.

"What distinguishes Barbados is its expanding network of double taxation treaties with developed and emerging economies in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa. This treaty advantage makes Barbados an attractive base from which to launch an international venture or provide cross-border services to key emerging markets," the Prime Minister emphasised.

The American Chambers of Commerce Abroad (AmChams) has announced plans to open an office in Barbados in the second half of this year; and, during yesterday’s address, the Prime Minister assured AmChams that "a warm welcome awaits you".??

Later today, Mr. Stuart will give the keynote address at the International Conservation Caucus Foundation (ICCF) Congressional Gala at the Andrew Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC.

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