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Barbados Int’l Business Sector Can Achieve More

Barbados Int’l Business Sector Can Achieve More

Posted by Shanelle Weir on October 07, 2014

Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, Donville Inniss says he wants to see the international business sector contributing even more to the economy of this country – creating more jobs and earning even more foreign exchange.

“This is only going to happen if we continue to stay ahead of the game here in Barbados by doing what we have to do to position, or reposition ourselves to be the centre of excellence for wealth management and asset management in the western world. I believe we can do it, we are near there, but we cannot be complacent,” Inniss said.

He made the comments to the media yesterday morning following the International Business Week 2014 Service at the St. Thomas Parish Church, while noting that the sector at present contributes almost $900 million to the economy and provides employment for as many as 5 000 persons directly and indirectly.

With that in mind, the minister said that there is going to have to be a concerted effort made to be cognisant of what is taking place in the market place and to be proactive as much as possible in creating new products. 

He made the point as he explained that the international business sector thrives on two things – services and products.

“The services side from the Government end – we will continue to ensure that we make our services more accessible, cost efficient and very professional. To that end, for example, you have a Corporate Affairs that’s shortly going to be online with most of the services we’re offering to the public; hence containing the costs of doing business from that perspective,” he stated.

Inniss further spoke to Government’s efforts as he referred to the introduction of the indefinite licences, a move which he suggests is good for the sector as it gives them a sense of security. It was also revealed that his Ministry is working with the service providers to boost the regulation of the sector.

“I keep telling people that unlike tourism, the international business sector is really private sector driven and we really do have a good partnership with those players in the private sector side and the State end ... that’s why we’re able to continue to look at the new suite of products that we offer to the country. We continue to find great interest in new insurance products, mutual funds is another area, matters that relate to asset protection trusts etc and then the other matters in terms of how we position Barbados in the global arena,” he said.

Meanwhile, President of the Barbados International Business Association (BIBA), Connie Smith, sharing her thoughts on the sector also noted that there is even more that they can achieve.

“We always want better and we always want more because we know that Barbados can be the centre for excellence as it relates to international business and wealth management. So we always think that we can reposition Barbados to take its rightful position on the global podium,” Smith said.

The BIBA president made that point as she reflected on the introduction of indefinite licences, noting that it has a two-pronged benefit – the potential to give Barbados a competitive edge in the market and give international businesses greater certainty in carrying out their affairs. 

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