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Focus on World Heritage benefits

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

Focus on World Heritage benefits

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The Barbados?Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI) successfully coordinated a key forum for Government and private sector interests last week to discuss the myriad benefits to be derived from the inscription of Bridgetown And Its Garrison as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The meeting took place last Tuesday at the West Wing of the Parliament Buildings. Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth Stephen Lashley expressed gratitude at the opportunity to meet with the Bridgetown business community and noted the wide range of opportunities that could be explored for both business and cultural experiences in the capital.
Meanwhile, BCCI’s Senior Vice-President Lalu Vaswani lauded the ministry and the World Heritage Committee for their efforts and work towards the inscription. He highlighted the importance of the inscription for Bridgetown businesses and the initiatives that the chamber has consistently been working towards under The Revitalization Of Bridgetown Initiative (TRBI).
The chamber’s TRBI Committee chairperson Sharon Christie outlined the origins of TRBI for those in attendance: “In 2008 the chamber recognized the trend by businesses to leave Bridgetown and decided to do something about it and started this initiative by getting input from stakeholders of our capital.”
Representatives of key businesses and properties in Bridgetown were well represented and covered a cross section of sectors of the economy. Financial services, real estate, insurance and retail all sat with Government stakeholders including Chief Town and Country Planner Mark Cummins, who is also head of the World Heritage Committee.
Other Government stakeholders included representatives from the Ministry of Transport and Works and the Ministry of Culture.
One of the major aims of the meeting was to inform businesses about the benefits that could be derived from the inscription and to show that there is an objective for balance in the development of Bridgetown and preservation of The City as a world heritage site.
Highlighting the benefits of contributing to TRBI, BCCI executive director Lisa Gale noted the special facility businesses can access under section 12 E of the Income Tax Act that allows for a 15 per cent tax credit. (RB)