Worrell: Sector needs to keep up
IT MAY BE time for Barbados’ international business and financial services (IBFS) sector to reinvent itself to take advantage of changing circumstances and opportunities.
Governor of the Central Bank Dr DeLisle Worrell made this suggestion Tuesday during the Barbados International Business Association’s (BIBA) monthly luncheon at Hilton Barbados.
“The challenges arise from the ongoing need to upgrade our legal and regulatory framework in line with international standards as well as those of countries with which we do business,” he said.
“Barbados has begun to respond appropriately to these challenges but we need to up our game in every case.”
Worrell said recent changes to the Canadian Revenue Authority redefined the competitive landscape in that market.
“The fact that tax information exchange agreements (TIEAs) may now provide benefits similar to those available under double taxation agreements (DTAs) exposes Barbados to competition from countries where there is no income tax.
“This matters a great deal because so much of our IBFS business is concentrated in the Canadian market.”
The governor suggested that Barbados must market the other factors that made the country competitive including its regulatory framework and superior infrastructure.
Worrell noted that while Barbados should solidify its position in the Canadian market, it must begin a “deliberate campaign” to diversify the countries with which it does business.
“That is an enterprise which we need to embark on together – the industry, the community of professionals active in the international financial centre, Invest Barbados, the Ministry of International Trade, the Financial Services Commission and the Central Bank,” Worrell added. (NB)