Barbados is looking to enter into a double taxation agreement and a bilateral investment treaty with Kenya.
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley shared this information with people from a cross section of the private sector recently, telling them the intention was to create a framework that would “spark their interest” in forging business partnerships with the East African country.
The Prime Minister addressed the business leaders along with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta after the two leaders held discussions on areas of mutual interest. Kenyatta was in Barbados on a three-day official visit designed to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries.
Speaking at a forum entitled ‘Strengthening Trade and Investment Co-operation within the ACP Framework Kenya-Barbados Private Sector and Other Stakeholders’ at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, the Prime Minister suggested Kenya presented myriad investment opportunities.
She said forging business and other partnerships would also serve to deepen the relationship between the countries and open opportunities of which both countries would be in a position to take advantage.
“We have perfected the art of a financial domicile and to that extent we hope we can add a double taxation agreement and a bilateral investment treaty with Kenya as one of the early harvests for the deepening of our relationships” the Prime Minister added.
Mottley suggested it could be another avenue for investment of some of the $9 billion in savings which Barbadians have in commercial banks.
“This country is liquid,” the Prime Minister said, adding: “It is $9 billion in savings but we have not found the appropriate financial instruments to be able to fuel our own domestic economic growth, but also the export of capital that will shield us if we face major economic recession again”.
Kenyatta told the business people Kenya was “open for business” and shared information about that country’s policies for business facilitation.
He wanted the relationship with Barbados to be founded in economic partnerships and suggested that Kenya’s large market with a population of 46 million, plus the country’s extensive reach in the African market could mean tremendous gains for Barbados in trade and other exchanges.