Not satisfied that Barbados is as competitive as it should be as an international business jurisdiction, president of the Barbados International Business Association (BIBA) Andrew Alleyne has thrown out a challenge to Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite to give the office of the chief parliamentary counsel additional resources.
The BIBA head also wants Brathwaite to introduce relevant legislation that will give the island a better chance against its competitors.
The international business sector employs some 4,500 Barbadians directly and contributed over $1 billion to the economy between 2013 and 2014, according to Alleyne.
However, he said despite these contributions and the fact that “several other thousands” benefit indirectly, the chief parliamentary counsel’s office remains underfunded and the legislation is inadequate.
“As minister responsible for the chief parliamentary counsel’s [office], we encourage you to increase the resources of this very important department that is critical to growing the international business sector,” Alleyne urged an absent Brathwaite at the opening reception of BIBA’s International Week reception at the Fairmont Royal Pavilion Hotel last evening.
“In order for the sector to achieve its true potential Barbados must become an easier place in which to conduct business. International investors require an enabling business environment characterized by timely responses and certainty of process . . . Legislation is an important product offering for an international jurisdiction such as Barbados. It must be able to meet the requirements of foreign investors. With a weak and recovering economy we do not have the luxury of missing opportunities because our legislation is not competitive in international markets,” he added.
Alleyne revealed that BIBA officials had met with the chief parliamentary counsel about two weeks ago and an offer was put on the table for BIBA to play a greater role in some of the decision-making processes. He said the offer to be more involved in the process of drafting new legislation and amending existing legislation was accepted.