A Welcoming Business Environment – A Tried and Tested Product

Barbados has been an international business sector centre of choice for several decades. Investors from all around the world, seeking to be cost effective and globally competitive, have selected Barbados as their base. Why Barbados? A strong pull factor has been the combination of the transparent and strong regulatory framework for financial services products and […]

By Emeline Taitt

March 12, 2014

Barbados has been an international business sector centre of choice for several decades. Investors from all around the world, seeking to be cost effective and globally competitive, have selected Barbados as their base.

Why Barbados? A strong pull factor has been the combination of the transparent and strong regulatory framework for financial services products and fiscal incentives for manufacturing and business processing outsourcing. Barbados offers so much more. Strong human capital to support financial services, manufacturing and business processing outsourcing is only one part of what is truly a welcoming business environment. For years, supporting Barbados’ fiscal offerings, have been its treaty based activity, high international rankings, world class infrastructure, well established and fair legal system, efficient regulatory systems, together with a business friendly and enviable quality of life. Combined, these factors have attracted investment flows to Barbados for decades now.

We have welcomed to our shores over 4,000 international business companies, all benefitting from our low tax regime and no capital gains tax. The strength of our jurisdiction is supported by the presence of most of Canada’s top commercial banks along with effective service support through the presence of the big four accounting firms, experienced management companies and a cadre of lawyers well qualified in international business and tax law.

The sway of our product is also manifested by our growing treaty base. Barbados currently has 33 double taxation agreements and nine bi-lateral investment treaties in force with about 21 others in various stages of negotiation.

To maintain its appeal Government continues to institute change to suit the conditions of the global environment. In 2012, changes were made in respect of taxation of the international business sector lowering the applicable tax rate of international business companies, international societies with restricted liability and international banks with profits above BDS$30M from 1% to 0.5% for income year 2012, and to 0.25% in the income year 2013. At this time, it also expanded the services eligible for foreign currency earnings credit to include exploration, extraction and mining, oil and gas activities, licensing and sub- licensing of intellectual property, and shipping services.

In addition to the introduction of new products such as private trust companies, foundations, and headquarters and holding companies, a new attraction is the non- domiciled High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) programme which provides an excellent wealth management offering for foreign individuals emigrating from high tax jurisdictions for global and capital gains tax planning as well as estate planning reasons. Other products in the pipeline are limited liability partnerships, a new mutual funds act, incorporated cell companies, international trading floor on Barbados stock exchange, international arbitration, and medical tourism.

Barbados offers a safe environment with excellent restaurants, from fine dining to fast food, and sporting activities such as golf, surfing, sailing and other water sports, polo, football, cricket, tennis, volleyball, badminton, netball, basketball, hockey, motorsport not to mention our idyllic weather and great beaches.

Invest Barbados (IB) is proud to contribute to Barbados’ welcoming environment and today, continues the tradition of facilitating international business. Invest Barbados holds the mandate for not only marketing Barbados to potential investors, but assisting with their establishment and expansion in the domicile. This type of service has helped to define the Barbados brand internationally and earned the jurisdiction its reputation of being a tried and proven, quality product.

Invest Barbados assists international investors who are thinking of doing business in Barbados in a number of ways. Uniquely positioned to be the investors’ first point of contact, Invest Barbados guides and facilitates investors through the establishment processes. In conjunction with service providers who ably provide planning advice, as well as conduct day to day international business transactions, Invest Barbados ensures that investors are aware of how best to make Barbados work for them.

As the key business facilitation entity for foreign investors, the Corporation helps investors begin and maintain dialogue with key public and private sector partners including, government agencies, business associations and service providers.

Logistics is another area where Invest Barbados lends assistance. Searching for an appropriate location, whether for rent or construction, can be a daunting task. The team in the Investment Promotion and Facilitation Division works closely with investors to identify and secure suitable properties. Where necessary the team also works with the relevant government offices to obtain appropriate building and development permits.

Other key constituents for Invest Barbados are the HNWIs who are facilitated under the Special Entry Permit scheme. Invest Barbados works closely with the Immigration Department to facilitate the processing such applications.

For key company personnel requiring work permits, Invest Barbados, in conjunction with the Immigration Department, facilitates this process. TT Electronics is only one of the many companies that have taken advantage of the assistance available in this area. “Invest Barbados personnel maintain close contact with the company and are always prepared to facilitate any relevant issues that arise. Only recently they aided the company by totally managing the work permit renewal for the CEO. With Invest Barbados managing the process, it allowed the company to concentrate on its own activity of running its day-to-day-business.”

Investors in Barbados are valued and therefore assistance continues beyond establishment. Invest Barbados offers an excellent after care programme for international entities. Officers meet with their clients regularly to keep abreast of business challenges and to see how they can assist with solutions. Invest Barbados sees this as an extremely important part of its mandate because not only does it assist the investor, but the feedback gathered helps in its constant efforts to improve Barbados’ business environment.

Several investors have discovered firsthand the excellence of the Barbados experience. Thousands continue to thrive here. KM2 Solutions Barbados is one of these: “Barbados’ government promotion agencies are excellent partners, enabling business ventures to be successful. They make great facilities available, assist with accessing workplace equipment and materials, contribute to the education and training of employees, and come to the planning table with sound, facilitative ideas.”

If you have not already experienced our welcoming business environment, I encourage you to do so today.

Commenting on RBC Wealth Management’s success in Barbados, Jerome Dwight, Managing Director and Head of the Corporate and Institutional Business in the Caribbean and Latin America said: “Because Barbados is such a key jurisdiction for conducting international business, our ability to integrate corporate solutions such as global custody, treasury and institutional investment management along with private wealth planning for the respective business owners, has enabled us to serve a diverse global client base.”

Join those who have already tried and proven our quality product. Contact Invest Barbados and let us help to make Barbados work for you!

Emeline Taitt

Chief Executive Officer, Invest Barbados