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Date: 16 Mar, 2021
Source: The Barbados Advocate

Yesterday, Hon Ronald Toppin, Minister of International Business and Industry, declared that his ministry has the goal of pushing Barbados to become a Financial Services Centre of excellence.

Minister Toppin made these comments during his overview of how the Ministry of International Business and Industry planned to spend the estimated budget allowance of just shy of $18 million ($17,846,845) for the year. Toppin contended that in order for Barbados to remain competitive on the international side of things, people need to want to do business with the island.

“If you are to remain competitive, you have to make it that people want to do business in Barbados and are comfortable in doing it. That they feel that their application to start business and the like can be done with efficiency and speed.”

To that end, the minister stated that the Ministry would be moving to employ cutting-edge technology, which would not only allow entities to apply to do business in Barbados, but the relevant regulatory policing is made easier through the use of an E-commerce platform. He explained that whether it be applications for licenses or renewals, the digitalization of the process was part of the plan for the year.

Expanding further he announced that the Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property Office would also be fully digitalized by year end, and the ministry was at the advanced stage in talks for the finalisation of the contract for work to begin on the implementation of an electronic platform. He acknowledged that the current manual system was at times in disarray.

Toppin said that going forward, when the registry moves to the fully electronic platform, the situation where people apply online will not result in the process being done manually, but they will experience a straight through process from filing to incorporation, including security features.

“It will mean that the interface between this ministry and all the other entities relating to business and business applications will be digitalized and highly competent and competitive going forward,” said the minister.

The head of International Business and Industry also highlighted that the ministry intended for Barbados to remain well regulated, to improve the current international [environment], mentioning the move from being blacklisted by the EU to being placed on the grey list.