APD, trade to boost Britain’s economy
Sat, May 05, 2012 - 12:00 AM
The controversial air passenger duty is necessary to boost Britain’s floundering economy, says Henry Bellingham, British minister responsible for the Caribbean, even as Barbados and the rest of the Caribbean continue to push for a review.
On a two-day visit to Barbados last week Billingham promised to again convey the concerns of the region, but pointed out that his government had determined that the current state of the British economy necessitated the tax and the subsequent increases.
At the same time he cited British tourism as one of several potential growth areas for the region, given Prime Minister David Cameron’s mission to increase British trade.
Speaking here at a reception hosted by British High Commissioner Paul Brummell, Bellingham said British embassies and high commissions throughout the world had been charged with promoting the prime minister’s prosperity agenda aimed at increasing trade to boost the British economy.
“The [British] economy is not going to grow in Europe. It is going to grow through exports and through building prosperity abroad,” Bellingham told an audience that included representatives of British multinational companies and of small and medium-sized British companies operating in Barbados.
“We want Barbados’ exports to [Britain] because I feel very strongly that trade is a two-way phenomenon,” he added.
Billingham said Britain’s total bilateral trade with the Caribbean was £1.5 billion (BDS$4.75 billion) a year, and that figure was intended to double over the next four years.
“We can do it by promoting [British] businesses. We don’t just want [British] businesses to sell our products here, we also want [them] to come here to invest in equipment, in plant, in skills, in people. We want that trading relationship.”
The British minister signed a revised Double Taxation Agreement between Britain and Barbados and held a number of bilateral meetings with Government ministers. (GC)
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