Invest Barbados, this country’s leading investment promotion agency, has been given high marks for helping to broker a new investment deal between BITT, a Barbados based financial technology company, and Overstock Incorporated, an American retail-based firm.
The investment estimated at BDS$32 million, will allow the local firm to further its technology revolution in providing a range of financial transactions. The USA company is also highlighting the creation of several new jobs, and the transfer of technologies as some of the spin-offs from the investment.
Dr. Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock showered praises on the Government-owned promotion agency at the news conference at which the new business relationship was announced.
Dr. Byrne told the media and other officials that included Finance and Economic Affairs Minister, Christopher Sinckler, that he held meetings with personnel of Invest Barbados out of which he became convinced that Overstock can do business in this country.
Those meetings, according to the Overstock CEO, gave him the confidence that Barbados “and our company can do something tremendous here.”
Calling it a very sensitive and important investment, Dr. Byrne said that for the first time he understood the political and legal environment. The CEO said too that he would not want an investment if it did not have the support of the business community. “The first people I saw were (those of) Invest Barbados. Invest Barbados had a great deal to do with this (investment) as well,” said Dr. Byrne.
He explained that when an entity makes an investment outside of its home jurisdiction, it is partly economics, and a real understanding of the business environment. Dr. Byrne stated further that there are real synergies between his company and the local partner.
He said that he has always been impressed with Barbados and the seriousness the country has placed on education.
The official explained that his company has over 2000 employees of which 700 of them are technologists. “All these ideas started to bounce around simultaneously, we could not only have our relationship with BITT, but have our technologists coming to Barbados to help out for a couple of weeks,” he promised.
Dr. Byrne also indicated that the arrangement with the local company could create thousands of high paying tech jobs overtime.
“Invest Barbados has made a tremendous difference in getting this investment here,” he said.
Dr. Byrne was also full of praise for Minister Sinckler.