Barbados will soon be signing a bilateral investment treaty with the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Minister of Energy and Business Development Senator Lisa Cummins said Cabinet approved the signature of the treaty last week.
“Now, negotiations began on this agreement late last year and so we have now approved the signature of that agreement. The delegation from the UAE will be coming to Barbados at the end of September and we will be signing that agreement as an indication of our continued immersion,” she disclosed at the recent launch of Global Business Week 2023, which will be held from October 22 to 28 under the theme Adapt.Evolve.Execute – Be the Change.
“By the time we (Invest Barbados) go to the World Investment Forum in the Middle East…later…in the year, you will have a brand new minted investment treaty that we are hoping…you will be in a position to operationalise as part of your outward mission,” the minister told members of the international business sector gathered in the Warrens Conference Room, at Baobab Towers.
Cummins shared some of the various initiatives being undertaken by the Government in the area of international business while stressing that being proactive is important. She noted that Barbados has agreed to a three-year technical assistance programme with the OECD, that goes to 2025.
She continued: “We don’t want to be on the back foot; we have to always be on the front foot. So, where we are largely compliant, the technical assistance programme now is designed to keep us as compliant. Where we are partially compliant, we are still aiming for compliance but we’ll settle for largely compliant, and we don’t have any areas of non-compliance at this point. So, it’s being proactive and ensuring that we get in front of what comes down the pipeline.”
Cummins said the Government was pushing ahead fairly aggressively with legislative reform, explaining that changes were recently made to the foreign currency permits’ legislation. She stated that piece of legislation is currently with the Chief Parliamentary Counsel for finalisation, so it can be taken to Parliament.
She added that further changes will be made to the economic substance legislation, and the Companies Act is also on the radar.
“Over many years, we have tinkered with the Companies Act, and regulation and legislation are also part of our competitive set. So, we are going to be…looking at…the best practices in the world, in particular, to see what comprehensive overhaul needs to be done to our companies’ legislation, and where Barbados needs to position itself through a legislative, regulatory and business facilitation reform process…,” Minister Cummins indicated.