It was back-to-school all over again for the offshore business community last Friday as they gathered for the end-of-August networking session at the CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank’s Warrens Great House location.
Dubbed Back 2 School, scores of Barbados International Business Association (BIBA) members had the opportunity to represent their alma mater in the after-work mix and mingle.
Among the valuable lessons for the night, the business officials were reminded of the importance of strategic partnerships in order to tackle any challenges facing the sector.
BIBA President Julia Hope reminded members that the association continued to battle a range of issues, as she thanked them for their efforts so far, and called on them to continue to give of their time and expertise.
One of the lingering issues for the sector is being able to put regimes in place in order to meet the December 1, 2018, deadline to be fully compliant with the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development’s (ECD’s) Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) rules.
The OECD refers to BEPS as tax avoidance strategies that exploit gaps and mismatches in tax rules to artificially shift profits to low or no-tax locations.
“We have so much more work to do and we look forward to a lot of you volunteering on many working groups that will shortly be set up,” said Hope, who also reminded the gathering of the association’s upcoming 10th annual international business week, which will run from October 21 to 27.
In his brief remarks, CIBC’s Associate Director of International Banking, Corporate and Private Wealth Management Richard Kennedy said it was critical that the international business sector form strategic partnerships with the banking sector and those offering technological solutions.
“These are the partnerships that are critical in the international business sector – ensuring that sturdy infrastructures are in place to support the various services provided across the board to this international business sector,” said Kennedy.
Director of C&W Business Barbados Maya Wiltshire pledged her company’s continued support for the international business sector.
“We understand the importance of having reliable connections and I also want you to know that C&W Business remains motivated to expand our understanding of the ways the products and services we offer directly contribute to tangible socio-economic growth for Barbados,” said Wiltshire.
“Just as we continue to invest in our network we also continue to invest in our relationships with the local business community. So, I want you to think of C&W Business as a technology partners, and lean on us as you seek new and creative ways to improve operational efficiencies and accelerate your revenue strategies,” she said.
Amid the drinks and canapés, the island’s offshore folk drew prizes and surprises from a lucky dip, with the proceeds going to the school with the most “students” present.
But perhaps the biggest surprise of the night was a performance by multiple award-winning artist Ricky Lil Rick Reid, who performed some of his popular tunes for this year including Breakfast in Bed, True Story and Mudda Sally.