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Support from international business sector for elements in 2013 budget

Small crowd, strong security presence.

Small crowd, strong security presence.

The body which represents the island’s international business sector has identified some positives from this evening’s Budget.

Reacting to Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler’s 2013 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals, Barbados International Business Association President Ryle Weekes, said the presentation clearly defined the remedial action necessary in a fairly swift corrective period and indicated Government’s intention to address the issues in a measured manner.

Commenting on the budgetary proposals pertaining to international business, Weekes noted that there were not many, but acknowledged the fact that the sort of measures required from Government to enhance the sector were not financial in nature but more focussed on devoting more resources to the areas of business facilitation, legislative drafting and investment promotion.

Weekes said BIBA still welcomed the few measures that were identified to benefit the sector, especially the implementation of multi-year licences for international business companies, and the provision for the Inland Revenue Department to consult with a tax expert to expedite tax law resolution decisions, and the creation of a Business Facilitation Unit in the Ministry of International Business.

He said BIBA was also encouraged by the increase in financial resources being given to Invest Barbados as the association had stressed in its pre-Budget meeting with Sinckler that the agency tasked with driving foreign investment into Barbados should not be hobbled by a lack of resources.

The BIBA president also called for the rapid implementation of the public sector restructuring mentioned by the Minister of Finance and urged Government to look beyond the review of statutory corporations to the ministries themselves to achieve the “more flexible, accountable, and transparent public sector” as mentioned by Sinckler.

Weekes said BIBA would be closely monitoring Government’s implementation of the measures proposed to ensure its commitment to international business as a key economic driver for Barbados’ economy is realised. (SC)

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