In just 24 hours of Prime Minister Mia Mottley announcing an 80 per cent reduction in Corporation Tax, there is already increased interest in building new businesses within the fishing and marine sector.
This revelation came from Minister of Maritime Affairs and Blue Economy, Kirk Humphrey, who told Barbados TODAY that already people, who were previously deterred by Barbados’ tax regime, are now reconsidering the country as a destination for business ventures.
“The Prime Minister described it in a way as being brought to this moment because we were signed onto it without even being ready for it, but the way the Government has responded is amazing and persons are seeing Barbados in a new light practically overnight,” said Humphrey, who gave an example of the new-found keenness to do business under Barbados’ new low tax regime.
In an interview with Barbados TODAY on the sidelines of a Sargassum symposium at the 3Ws Oval, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, the Minister revealed “as soon as I finished speaking this morning, a young man came to me and said that they’re looking at creating a regional body for tackling the sargassum issue because the Government of Barbados has now lowered the taxes so much that while they were not looking at Barbados at all, overnight Barbados has become the place where they want to house that regional body.”
Yesterday Mottley gave local businesses an early Christmas present, announcing a massive reduction in corporation tax from 25 per cent to between 1 to 5.5 per cent.
The development means that local businesses will now be operating here on a level playing field with their international counterparts following Government’s decision to overhaul the tax regime to be compliant with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
This morning, Humphrey predicted that the interest he has seen since the announcement will be widespread in the business sector in the coming months.
“This is an example of what will happen, not only in the fishing industry but in all sectors. There are going to be people who want to come to Barbados because it is now a low tax jurisdiction and do their businesses,” he said.
However the Minister warned that there was still significant work to be done to make Barbados the ideal destination for doing business including making it easier to set up and operate businesses.
“It wasn’t only the tax rate, it was also the time it took to set up a business in Barbados. It took too long or it was just too bureaucratic and too cumbersome. Some people had ideas to work in Barbados and they left. So, yes, we’re going to lower the tax rate because it makes sense, but also we have to make it easier to do business in this country, he added.