A call is being made for Government to consider merging the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC) and Invest Barbados.
Contributing to the debate on the repeal of the Fiscal Incentives Act in the Upper House on Wednesday, Senator Lindell Nurse suggested that the two entities be brought under one umbrella in order to help cut Government transfers.
He argued that it could also result in increased efficiency and an overall improvement in the climate for doing business here.
“Some years ago we had a split off of this Invest Barbados and I was never convinced and I am still not certain. There always seem to be a grey area as to what these two entities do exactly and I would like to suggest that now Government is looking at reducing significantly its expenditure, and its attempts to make Government much more efficient, this may be timely that you consider bringing these two entities back together.
“That certainly would provide an opportunity for reducing for us, the amount of transfers that Government has to make to those entities and also increasing the efficiency of those two entities,” Nurse said.
Invest Barbados, according to its website, is an economic development agency of Government, responsible for attracting, winning and sustaining international investment for Barbados. The corporation is also responsible for helping to develop and manage Barbados’ international business brand.
Invest Barbados, which was initially established as the Barbados International Business Promotion Corporation (BIBPC) as a statutory corporation on November 10, 2005, became operational in October 2006 after it gained permission to operate under its current name.
In 2007 the international business division of the BIDC was transferred to Invest Barbados.
The BIDC is a Government agency whose mandate is to contribute to the diversification and growth of the economy through new investment, increased exports and employment creation by fostering the development of competitive business enterprises.
The BIDC also administers Government’s incentive programme for industry and provides a range of free advisory services for companies looking either to make a market debut or to expand operations.
An estimated 60 per cent of BIDC’s funding comes from Government, while the rest comes from the rental of operating spaces at the agency’s many estates.
In an attempt to slash its salaries and wages and transfers, the Mia Mottley-led administration is currently examining the possibility of merging some state entities, privatizing others and possibly having some services delivered through a public private sector partnership. (MM)