Last week we learned that the European Union (EU) released its “black” list of non-cooperative jurisdictions and Barbados was included among those countries. Subsequent to the EU report, the Minister responsible for International Business by way of a press conference and an official press release communicated to the country the chain of events that took place prior to Barbados being categorised as mentioned above.
BIBA, through our tax committee, has been involved in the process of fashioning the government’s response, particularly to the OECD, given that the two bodies conducted their reviews simultaneously. According to the EU report, Barbados failed to meet their demands as a result of one piece of legislation that remains on its books. BIBA has taken a position that the categorisation by the EU is unfair given that there have been numerous pieces of correspondence between Barbados and the EU. However, we believe all resources must be deployed to remedy this situation.
The report from the EU is very concerning for BIBA and we have been contacted by some of our members expressing serious apprehension about the implications this could have for their businesses and for Barbados.
On behalf of the BIBA Board of Directors I would like to inform you that we are in constant communication with the Minister of International Business, the Hon. Donville Inniss, and the Director of the International Business Division, Kevin Hunte, and have been assured that the Ministry is engaged in vigorous discussions with the EU on this matter, and that the EU will be
issuing its response to Barbados by Friday, December 15th, 2017. To this end, we are very optimistic that this interaction will result in a positive outcome for Barbados.
Barbados’ reputation has been dealt a blow with the release of this report, but as we are aware, the so-called Offshore Financial Centres (OFCs) will always be under the scrutiny of the G20 countries, and related international organisations. It is therefore imperative that our government remain engaged with these international bodies to mitigate what is potentially harmful to us all.
As the recognised representative organisation for the sector BIBA has to continue to work with government on all matters relating to the reputation of our jurisdiction since our members are the ones on the ground and have a direct interest in ensuring that these very callous and unsubstantiated reports are countered at the source, hopefully before they make it to the media. Fortunately, we have a cadre of professionals in the industry who are committed to working with BIBA, and the government to make sure that Barbados’ reputation remains clean and unblemished, and that the jurisdiction continues to be perceived as a domicile of choice.
BIBA asks that you continue to partner with us to keep Barbados in the vanguard of international business.