Jones: BIBA undaunted by sector’s hurdles
THE BARBADOS INTERNATIONAL Business Association (BIBA) remains undaunted in its efforts to agitate for change despite several challenges and limited success in some areas.
So says immediate past president Melanie Jones in BIBA’s 2012/13 annual report where she identified several of the association’s activities over the past year.
She said that over the course of her tenure there had been a “renewed and vigorous” assault against international financial services centres across the world by the member states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
“We have also witnessed the formidable advance of the United States Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act legislation with which we must comply in order to retain our United States business and our credibility in the world arena for financial services players,” she said.
Jones, a partner in law firm Lex Caribbean, said BIBA had also grappled with “the sustained threat posed to our competitiveness by a doggedly poor business facilitation environment”.
“Frustratingly our repeated engagements with the various agencies that enable business in Barbados have not yet delivered the wide ranging improvements in business efficacy that we must secure in order to maximize this jurisdiction’s potential and capture the sizeable chunk of market share that could be ours if it were easier to do business here,” she said.
Jones, however, noted that the association had succeeded in having Government mount high-level discussions with regulatory and ministerial officials in Canada relative to the intensified scrutiny to which Barbados-resident international bank subsidiaries of Canadian parents have been put by the Canada Revenue Agency.
In addition, she said BIBA had worked with the Registrar of Companies on innovations to the registry processes and their interface with the International Business Unit, some of which were already available to the public.
The former president added that the body had also engaged in some detail with the Financial Services Commission (FSC) on important regulatory issues, with particular emphasis on those arising from the anti-money laundering legislation and guidelines as they relate to insurance entities
“Our committees have also continued throughout the year to dialogue with the Central Bank of Barbados and the FSC on various developing regulatory guidelines and policies to ensure that requirements are not made which are adverse to our international financial services sector,” she said. (NB)