Barbados PM woos Canadian businesses

Prime Minister of Barbados Freundel Stuart.
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Barbados’ Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has been wooing Canadian businesses in Toronto, saying that his country is “a proven solution to Canadian investors, and is still open for business.”

Stuart portrayed Barbados as a country with a “business-oriented environment that is conducive to productive, economic pursuits,” according to a Barbados government statement.

It said business persons and potential investors heard “first-hand” from Stuart why they should view Barbados as a preferred offshore jurisdiction for doing business.

Throughout his address, which was filled with information about the country’s opportunities, modern facilities and stability, as well its human resource and technological development, Stuart listed a number of reasons and advantages why Barbados stood out in comparison with other domiciles.

“Our natural resources, though limited, are rich, for we offer an industrious, well educated labour force,” he said.

“Barbados is an established and reputable treaty-based jurisdiction. We have been formally attracting and facilitating foreign investment for well over five decades now,” he added, stating that successive governments have made it a priority to provide a “welcoming, stable political, social and economic environment that facilitates business in a well regulated environment.”

The Barbadian leader said the island offers an “excellent and enviable quality of life,” with “cost-effective, treaty-based, tax planning opportunities.

“And we continue to expand both our double taxation treaty network and our investment protection treaty network,” he said.

“Compared with other offshore jurisdictions in the Caribbean, Barbados offers the most extensive network of double taxation treaties with developed and emerging economies,” he added.

Stuart said the country’s bilateral treaty network extends to countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa, stating that “this treaty advantage makes Barbados an attractive base from which to launch an international venture or provide cross-border services.”

The prime minister also noted that the country has in place nine bilateral investment treaties, with several more being negotiated.

“These instruments offer investors peace of mind in an uncertain global economic climate,” he said.

“Let me assure you that Barbados will continue to target investment in international insurance, banking, treasury management, shipping, trusts, research and development, headquarter and holding companies, international arbitration, renewable energy, international banking, hi-tech and biotech niche manufacturers and R&D labs, medical transcription, call centers and other information communication technologies,” he added.

“We are also keen to attract investment in our tourism and health and wellness sector,” he added, disclosing that, later this year, a major high quality medical tourism campus will break ground in Barbados.

He also told his audience that Barbados will continue to seek out greenfield investments, as well as joint venture opportunities.

Stuart said there are a number of local companies to whom Canadian businesses may outsource select manufacturing or information communication technology projects.

“If you need an innovative, agile and solutions-oriented environment for a business of substance, then Barbados is a compelling choice,” he said.

“If you are looking for a welcoming and trustworthy government, as well as a talented and intelligent workforce, then explore the Barbados value proposition,” he added.

“If you need a tax efficient, near shore location, where doing business is seamless, then choose a domicile that is highly ranked in terms of global competitiveness, transparency and economic freedom – Barbados,” he continued. “If you are thinking of enhancing your global competitiveness, I invite you to explore the opportunities for doing business in and with Barbados.

“I am confident that you will find Barbados to be a quality jurisdiction that works to your advantage,” Stuart assured his audience.

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