As Government prepares to send home 3,000 people from the public sector by March, Cabinet has just approved a strategic plan to create 2,000 new jobs in the international business and financial services arena.
Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite told the first business luncheon of the Barbados International Business Association for 2014 at Hilton Barbados Resort this afternoon, the new employment will come on stream as part of a five year plan for the sector.
“Cabinet has just agreed a new five-year strategic plan. Over the next five years, we intend to accomplish the following: we intend to achieve a 40 per cent increase in foreign exchange earnings from your sector; we intend to achieve a 40 per cent increase in revenue from corporate and personal income tax; we intend, with the help of yourselves and your sector, to create 2,000 new jobs,” Brathwaite announced.
He said, too, that the plan proposes the registration of 2,000 new corporate entities.
“I believe we should be aiming for between 2,500 and 3,000, given that we did 474 last year and 433 the previous year, 2012 and about 500 odd in 2011; but I assume that the ministry had decided to be cautious in their expectations,” added the Attorney General.
The plan also provides for 50 new foundations and private trust companies.
“I have had dialogue with the registrar of companies in Anguilla in terms of their experience, with respect to foundations and I see no reason why we cannot and should [not] be able to attain, if not surpass this target,” he pointed out.
Over the next five years, the Government also projects the conclusion of 20 new double taxation agreements and 15 agreements for tax treaties. The Intellectual Property Office will also be provided with a “first class” IT platform to eliminate paper and increase efficiency.
“Already you can electronically conduct file searches, reserve names, request files for inspection, arrange certification, notorisation . . .” Brathwaite informed the gathering of business leaders.
Service providers will also be encouraged and supplied with varied expertise, he continued. The attorney general disclosed, as well, that further investment and possible job opportunities will result from current negotiations for DTAs with 29 countries around the world.
“We are very optimistic and we do have 29 countries that we are targeting. We are hoping, that in fact, that we can bring them to fruition within the shortest possible time.”
The cabinet minister also revealed that the plan is develop Barbados as a centre for medical and educational services, with one medical school already established here and growing.
“And I’m aware of an enquiry to established an internationally accredited and recognised boarding school,” he added. Brathwaite, who is also minister of home affairs, announced that the existing medical school here was now looking for new premises and alternative accommodation for 60 people, which he suggested, translates into regular income for locals with rental space. Other plans call for the development of Barbados as a wealth management centre, a place for more private banks, a hub for investment from Canada and South America and a domicile for the relocation of headquarters.