There is no exodus of businesses from Barbados.
Furthermore, the future of the international business sector is secure.
This assurance has come from president of the Barbados International Business Association (BIBA) Connie Smith, who said today there was confidence in the sector despite the economic uncertainty or “continued name bashing” globally.
“We are not seeing an exodus of business from Barbados or large multinational corporations choosing to use another jurisdiction besides Barbados for their international business needs as a result of any blacklisting or anything that is negative in Barbados’ view,” she said as she addressed the launch of International Business Week 2014 at the Central Bank of Barbados.
Smith said the sector remained one of the most vital when it came to contribution to the Government coffers, adding that the employment opportunities were significant for Barbadians as the sector did not only employ and benefit non-nationals.
“The employment factor is just one of the opportunities available to Barbadians. The spin-off benefits offered by this sector to taxi drivers, couriers, security firms, restaurants, realtors, and others, have been counted in the hundreds of millions of dollars, not to mention the benefit to Government,” she said.
“According to a study by Invest Barbados, at the height of the global economic crisis between 2008 and 2010, the international business sector contributed close to $800 million to the Government coffers in the form of license fees, National Insurance Scheme (NIS) contributions, corporate taxes, and other fees. This was further bolstered by income tax and NIS contributions made by our employees themselves, which totalled over $100 million in that three-year period.”
Responding to questions from reporters, Smith said while the sector was always focused on growth, she did not expect it to be as high as some territories since Barbados was a mature jurisdiction.
She added that the island was still able to attract new businesses.
However, she stopped short of saying what companies could be coming to Barbados in the near future.
“But because Barbados has the ability of attracting significant multinational corporations, as well as subsidiaries of a number of Fortune 500 companies, we don’t have any reason to believe that Barbados will not continue to attract that type of business opportunity to its shores,” Smith added.
The BIBA president said the sector had a bright future in Barbados given the number of qualified individuals that were leaving university each year.
She said there were several opportunities for “absorbing” the talent across the sector in a range of areas, including research and development for niche products that are developed and produced in Barbados.
International Business Week 2014, which is in its sixth year, will run from October 5 to 11 under the theme International Business Barbados – Embrace The Opportunities.