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$14m Invest surplus

Trevor Yearwood

$14m Invest surplus

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Invest Barbados, a major investment-hunting arm of Government, now has a financial surplus of $14 million.
The bulk of it is money accumulated over the years, the company said in its recently-released 2010 annual report. 
According to the report laid in the House of Assembly last week, the surplus was boosted by a profit of $3.9 million recorded during the financial year that ended March 31, 2010.
The agency’s chairman, Anthony Bryan, said the board planned to use the surplus in its investment promotion work “in marketing when the time is right and the world recession eases”.
New investment
The funds will also be spent “in enhanced sector incentives to attract new investment and business activity from international investors, including those in the film industry, medical tourism and information communication technology”, the chairman added.
Invest Barbados will also be using the surplus to increase funding for service entrepreneurs with export potential.
The agency was set up to promote Barbados as a desirable investment location and attract foreign direct investment in or through Barbados.
Its work includes promoting the export of services and helping business people to win export business and earn foreign exchange for Barbados.
It monitors competitive domiciles, clients and markets for new trends and legislative changes and develops new markets.
It works with other stakeholders to manage and develop the Barbados brand.
The report stated that during the last financial year Invest Barbados facilitated four new non-financial services company starts. These companies were “relatively small”.
Overall, 274 new jobs from new investments and expansions were recorded during the year.
Invest Barbados also facilitated many of the 429 registrants recorded for the financial services sector. 
The agency will be having a close look at the new markets for Barbados: China, Brazil, Mexico and Panama – and possibly India – according to Bryan.
He listed the biggest challenge for the corporation “going forward” as “improving the local business environment for international investors, from tardy response times, through quality regulation of the sector, to legislative changes required to stay competitive in the ever-changing world scene”. (TY)