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Date: 30 Jun, 2015
Source: The Barbados Advocate

Insurance and financial advisors are being reminded that they will be in the position from time to time to defend Barbados’ reputation as a ‘fine jurisdiction’
in the area of international and financial services.

This was pointed out by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Maxine McClean, as she assured the Barbados Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (BARAIFA) that this country remains a low tax, treaty-based jurisdiction, fully committed to transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes.

The Senator’s comments came against the backdrop of the European Commission recently blacklisting Barbados as a “non-cooperative tax jurisdiction”.

She was at the time addressing members of BARAIFA on behalf of Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, Donville Inniss, during their 42nd Annual Awards presentation held at The Crane Resort.

“Both the OECD and the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes – known as the Global Forum – distance themselves from the exercise which in fact supports Barbados’ position that the European Union states in question were wrong in their assessment of Barbados as a non-cooperative jurisdiction,” she indicated.

Senator McClean went on to highlight that a great strength of the Barbadian economy, and one which should be celebrated, is the quality of institutions which inform the discussion of our economy.

She observed that Barbados’ Social Partnership is celebrated around the world, and stressed the need to pay tribute to the quality and comprehensiveness of this medium to guide economic pursuits.

“However, the global economic downturn continues to impact all areas of economic activity without exception… With growth rates less than
anticipated, the international business and financial sector in Barbados continues to feel the global recession. Government, in response, has continued to implement measures to create the appropriate
environment that would attract investments into Barbados, as the global economy recovers.”

The Senator told the insurance and financial advisors gathered that the International Business division, under Minister Inniss, has sought to ensure that Barbados’ reputation as a well-regulated, responsible, and user-friendly domicile remains intact.
She further acknowledged that through the enhancement and improvement of the administration and government filiation of international business and financial services sector, Barbados has positioned itself to be seen as a higher value destination for business and investment.

“I am assuring you that is very much the case because only this week, I met with a delegation of businessmen from the United Arab Emirates who have been very interested in what they have seen in Barbados… I would want to say as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade is that the perception of Barbados is sometimes much better than we at home perceive it.”

The Senator added, “The success of these initiatives will help fashion Barbados into a mature international business, financial services sector and wealth management centre, and establish Barbados as a regional hub for Pan-Caribbean commercial enterprise.

“Further to the premise of transforming Barbados into an international services hub, Government will continue to pursue its vision for the development of the country into a first-world services economy by 2025, based on expansion and diversification of both the domestic and inter-national services sector.”