Barbados continues to struggle to attract new international businesses and financial services.
Latest official data showed that there had been declines in the overall formation of new companies in 2012.
In providing the statistics at the monthly luncheon of the Barbados International Business Association at Hilton Barbados Resort this afternoon, minister with responsibility for the sector, Donville Inniss revealed that the number of new entities licensed at the end of last year, totalled 433, compared with 564 the year before.
This, he added, represented a 30.2 per cent decrease in new companies.
“During 2012, there were 393 new international business companies as compared with 511 in the previous year, which represented a 30 per cent decline in IBCs,” Inniss added.
He said the figure for new international societies with restricted liability for last year, was comparable with 2011 data. New entities, the Cabinet minister explained, amounted to 27, one less than that recorded for 2012.
“With respect to renewable, there were 91 more ISRLs renewed in 2012 over 2011, a 28.5 per cent increase in the renewal of these entities,” Inniss noted.
“In the insurance sub-sector, there was a significant decrease in the number of exempt insurance companies. During 2012, eight new EICs were registered, compared with 21 in 2011, a decrease of 61.9 per cent.
Exempt insurance management companies stood at four last year, as against two the year before.
Applications for renewal of offshore banks did not move from 45.
Inniss stated that while there were declines in new international businesses last year, the overall renewal rate went up during the same period.
“During the 2012 year, some 4,024 entities renewed licences compared to 3,170 in 2011. This represented a 26.9 per cent increase in total entities renewed in 2012, when compared with the previous year,” he added.
However, Inniss made it clear that most Barbadians failed to recognise and appreciate the importance of the international business and financial services sector to the development of the economy and society.
“How many persons in Barbados are aware that the IBFs sector contributed approximately $878 million in income to our economy in 2011 by way of taxes and other expenses?” asked Inniss.
He observed that this translated into about nine per cent of Gross Domestic Product. (EJ)†††