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Way forward

Sanka Price

Way forward

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Empowering the international business sector is Barbados’ best bet to lift itself out of the economic doldrums, says Connie Smith and Henderson Holmes, executive members of the Barbados International Business Association (BIBA).

They contend that if the needed legislative upgrades are put in place alone, it would so enhance Barbados’ attractiveness to international investors that the more than $900 million the sector contributes to the local economy would be surpassed.

The resilience and strength of the sector – which comprises international business companies (IBCs), banks and other financial institutions – could be seen, said Holmes, in their continued growth here even at the height of the global recession. He noted that from 2007 to 2013 the sector had been attracting over 400 new companies each year.

Holmes, BIBA’s executive director, said at the end of 2013, there were 4 115 IBCs as compared to 3 221 in 2007. And over the period there was a slight increase in jobs with 4 500 locals employed at the end of 2013.

He said this was achieved despite the loss of some companies and jobs during this period. What’s more, throughout those years, the sector continued to contribute more than 60 per cent in corporation taxes to Government’s coffers, as well as provide high-paying jobs and rental of quality accommodations, which redounded to the benefit of the economy.

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