Barbados sticking with International Business sector

By added on 15/09/2015

In spite of the challenges from large developing countries, assurance has been given that Barbados is sticking with the International Business and Financial Services sector, reports the Barbados Advocate.

This is according to Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, who used the opportunity over the weekend to commend Minister of International Business, Donville Inniss, for his tenacity as he contests the island’s blacklisting by some countries for the tax policies in that sector.

“The sector is important to us. We are sticking to it and doing all to make sure that the benefits that the sector can yield are yielded for Barbados, because it has served us well every since it was established.”

The Prime Minister cautioned, however, that this will not be an easy task. “Because the onshore jurisdictions want the taxes paid at them and the offshore jurisdictions want the taxes paid at them as well. That is where the battle is.

“We decided to create an environment here in Barbados, a low tax environment, so that people who want to do business and do their business profitably would come here and do it and we say to them, ‘Look, when you come here it is not only low taxes, you have charming people, we have a highly educated workforce in Barbados.’”

He noted that Barbados will be represented at an upcoming Global Forum on the island in October and assured that representation will be made to ensure untoward decisions are not made against the island.

Highlighting some of the challenges, Prime Minister Stuart reminded that President Barack Obama fought his last election with the view of bringing American businesses back home. Additionally, “a Canadian election campaign is going on now and a lot of the talk is about people who avoided paying taxes in Canada and paying them in offshore jurisdictions like ours. And when the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom chaired the last G8 meeting, agenda item number one was how to deal with British investors abroad, rather than paying taxes in Britain were paying in Barbados and other offshore countries”.

“The jobs created by the sector here, the tax revenue that we earn here is under daily challenge by those countries from which the investors come. And they call us by all sorts of names. The most popular one of course is a ‘tax haven’, which is supposed to be a term of abuse and which is supposed to awake all kinds of doubts and suspicions about how you do business in your country and we have to be constantly saying we are not a tax haven. We are not a place where people hide money; we’re not a place where people launder money. We are just a low tax jurisdiction, which is very clean and well regulated,” he stressed.