BIBA boss’ way forward
New president of the Barbados International Business Association (BIBA) Connie Smith has placed working with Government to reform legislation and practices that hamper business facilitation high on her agenda.
Following her election to the post at BIBA’s annual general meeting last week, Smith said that the international business sector was one of the key hinges on which Barbados’ economic recovery would swing.
She noted its importance to tourism, real estate, sustained foreign exchange earnings, and Government’s overall revenue collection.
Therefore, she said, it was critical for BIBA to continue to partner with the Government and other organisations to enhance Barbados’ competitiveness.
“In order for Barbados to compete on the international front, we must place significant efforts on ramping up the execution of any initiative that focuses on improving business facilitation.
It is past time to execute on the several initiatives that have already been studied and articulated,” the managing director of Tricor Caribbean emphasised.
Smith, a Barbadian who worked in the sector in the British Virgin Islands for more than a decade prior to returning to Barbados, noted that other jurisdictions were very dynamic in doing what it took to remain competitive.
She drew the example of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) tax information compliance “white list” on which Barbados was the only independent Caribbean nation in April 2009, but by January 2010 it had been joined by every other Caribbean nation with an international business focus. They had done what was necessary to guarantee their ascension to the list.
With this in mind, Smith said that BIBA would be working with the relevant parties to conduct reviews and, where appropriate, recommend amendments of some of the enabling legislation for international business such as the Companies Act, The Mutual Funds Act, The Exempt Insurance Act, and the Regulations to support the International Corporate and Trust Services Providers Act. (PR)