In delivering Welcome Remarks at the recently concluded fifth IBFS Conference, Dr. DeLisle Worrell, Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados noted that the annual meeting presented an occasion to reflect on the challenges and opportunities for Barbados’ IBFS sector as well as to identify potential areas for improvement.
Governor Worrell indicated that, “for all of our history Barbadians have made our living as tiny players on a global market. By and large, over time, we have made a success of it, and as a result we now enjoy an enviable quality and style of life.” He also observed that the challenges faced in the “IBFS sector are of the same nature as the challenges the economy has always faced in international competition with players much larger than ourselves.”
The Governor also stated that Barbados is in fact playing to its strengths, as it responds to current challenges. He explained that Barbados’ value proposition is that international companies can establish subsidiaries in Barbados to perform international transactional services that they would otherwise do in major cities such as Toronto or New York. These companies are able to become more competitive by reducing costs while offering the same quality of service because Barbados boasts international levels of social, physical and economic infrastructure. Furthermore, he added, Barbados has “regulatory and legal oversight systems that are constantly being upgraded in light of guidance from the Basel Committee, the IMF, the FSB, the FATF, the Global Forum and other international bodies. We have a large and expanding network of range DTAs and BITs. We are constantly expanding our range of products. And we are not a tax haven; companies operating in Barbados, including IBCs, are liable to pay corporation tax.”
Barbados is seeking new opportunities to strengthen the activities of its IBFS sector and is exploring new markets in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. A mature domicile, Barbados is constantly improving and expanding its product mix to meet the needs of various markets and clients.