Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart, addressing Canadian entrepreneurs at the Toronto Board of Trade in Toronto, Canada last Friday. (photo courtesy of the Barbados High Commission in Canada)????

In a wide-ranging address that skillfully held the attention of numerous Canadian entrepreneurs at a downtown, Front Street West, Toronto Board of Trade meeting, Barbados’ Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart, in one of his usual erudite but very business-oriented and investment focussed explications, left the clear message that "Barbados is a proven solution to Canadian investors, and is still open for business."

The occasion was his address on Friday afternoon to a packed Royal York Ballroom, where he portrayed Barbados as a country with a business- oriented environment that is conducive to productive, economic pursuits.

Several business persons and potential investors heard first-hand from Prime Minister Stuart why they should view Barbados as a preferred offshore jurisdiction for doing business. Throughout his address, which was filled with information about the country’s opportunities, modern facilities and stability, as well its human resource and technological development, he listed a number of reasons and advantages why Barbados stood out in comparison with other domiciles.

The Prime Minister’s theme, "The Barbados-Canada Partnership: Maximising Global Competitiveness" resonated in much of his address, with self-answering rhetorical queries that showed Barbados as an appealing, competitive and desirable domicile.

So, what are those factors that together combine to make Barbados a compelling choice? Mr. Stuart asked his audience, and he affirmed: "Our natural resources though limited, are rich, for we offer an industrious, well educated labour force. Barbados is an established and reputable treaty-based jurisdiction.?????? We have been formally attracting and facilitating foreign investment for well over five decades now.?? Successive governments have made it a priority to provide a welcoming, stable political, social and economic environment that facilitates business in a well regulated environment."

He continued: "The island offers an excellent and enviable quality of life.?? It also provides cost effective, treaty-based, tax planning opportunities, and we continue to expand both our double taxation treaty network and our investment protection treaty network.

"Compared with other offshore jurisdictions in the Caribbean, Barbados offers the most extensive network of double taxation treaties with developed and emerging economies.?? Our bilateral treaty network extends to countries 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.?? At present, we have DTAs in force with 31 countries, three more are awaiting ratification and 24 others are at various stages of negotiation."

The Prime Minister also noted that the country "has in place nine bilateral investment treaties, with several more being negotiated.?? These instruments offer investors peace of mind in an uncertain global economic climate.

"Let me assure you that Barbados will continue to target investment in international insurance, banking, treasury management, shipping, trusts, research and development, headquarter and holding companies, international arbitration, renewable energy, international banking, hi-tech and biotech niche manufacturers and R&D labs, medical transcription, call centres and other information communication technologies.?? We are also keen to attract investment in our tourism and health and wellness sector. Later this year, a major high quality medical tourism campus will break ground in Barbados, and we welcome others as well."

He advised those present that Barbados would continue to seek out greenfield investments, as well as joint venture opportunities.?? "There are a number of local companies to whom you may outsource select manufacturing or information communication technology projects," he said.

"If you need an innovative, agile and solutions-oriented environment for a business of substance – then Barbados is a compelling choice.

"If you are looking for a welcoming and trustworthy government, as well as a talented and intelligent workforce, then explore the Barbados value proposition.

"If you need a tax efficient, near shore location where doing business is seamless – then choose a domicile that is highly ranked in terms of global competitiveness, transparency and economic freedom- Barbados.

"If you are thinking of enhancing your global competitiveness, I invite you to explore the opportunities for doing business in and with Barbados.??

"I am confident that you will find Barbados to be a quality jurisdiction that works to your advantage," Mr. Stuart assured his attentive audience.????

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