Barbados’ international business and financial services sector has been “quietly and steadfastly making a major contribution” to the economy and the Barbadian public needs to be further reminded about the importance of the sector.
These sentiments were expressed by the Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development Donville Inniss, as he recently addressed the opening ceremony of the Meeting of Ministers Responsible for International Business and Financial Services in CARIFORUM at the Radisson Aquatica Resort Barbados.
Minister Inniss reported that as recently as 2011, the international business and financial services sector represented 17 per cent of the region’s GDP. As it related specifically to Barbados, he noted that the sector had contributed $180.2 million to corporation taxes in 2012; an increase from $161.2 million in 2011. Additionally, the sector’s overall estimated contribution to the Barbados economy for 2012 was $874 million or 10.3 per cent GDP as compared with $806 million or 9.3 per cent of GDP for 2011.
Admitting that more work still needed to be done within the sector to further boost its development, the Minister announced that the Ministry would soon be unveiling its five-year Strategic Plan for the International Business sector for 2014 – 2019; some details of which had already been discussed with stakeholders in the private and public sector.
Subsequent to Cabinet’s approval, the Plan would be laid in Parliament and a debate would be led by the Minister on the sector.
A component of the strategy going forward would also include Barbados’ outreach to jurisdictions such as Latin America, the Middle East and Africa to pursue additional tax treaties. To date, Barbados has 24 Double Taxation Agreements in force with 33 countries and over 4,000 registered international business entities.