Senator Maxine McClean. (FP)
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GOVERNMENT has sought to create the enabling environment needed to facilitate sustainable economic growth and a climate conducive to attracting investments by way of progressive policies, legislation and incentives.
This was the message Minister of Foreign Affairs, Senator Maxine McClean, conveyed on behalf of Prime Minister Freundel Stuart to those attending today’s Caribbean Music Summit’s lunchtime session at Hilton Barbados.
Senator McClean acknowledged that Barbados had been negatively impacted by the global economic downturn and had to deal with many challenges, but yet was able to forge a path to economic stability.
“Barbados can boast of an expanding tax treaty network which is at the core of our competitiveness; and strategic agreements have been forged to complement the expansion efforts of international businesses.
“Quite recently, the audit threshold for companies was increased under the provisions of the Companies (Amendment) Act. The Private Trust Companies, the Trustees (Amendment) and the Foundations Acts were proclaimed, thereby expanding Barbados’ offering in the area of private wealth management products. Two other products will soon be coming on stream - the Incorporated Cell Company and the Limited Liability Partnership,” she stated.
She pointed out that Government’s focus was on the Green and Creative Economies, and noted that the country had the talent, but more avenues were needed through which this talent could be exposed to earn sustainable income for artistes and foreign exchange for the country.
Senator McClean told her audience that Barbados would wish to be seen as a choice location for film shoots and the staging of mega concerts and events, to which the world would be invited. “In the area of film, we are very open to co-production. In addition, there is land available where a sound stage could be developed. We have the support services available to film-makers in the form of camera crew, film editing for example. Our beautiful island has many sites than can provide appropriate backdrops to any scene in any movie. So film-makers are invited and are welcomed,” she stated.
She added that in the area of music, particularly performance, there was no state-of-the-art cultural centre which could accommodate large indoor audiences. “This, however, creates an investment opportunity. As top executives in the music industry, you understand why such a facility should be available. One located in Barbados could serve the region,” she opined.
Minister McClean reminded the music executives that the Cultural Industries Development Act was proclaimed on February 1, and explained that it meant that incentives now exist for persons investing in cultural projects. Therefore, she stated that if their choice was to construct a sound stage, build a cultural centre, relocate their business to Barbados, or set up a subsidiary here, the necessary framework had been put in place to give the required support. (BGIS)