IBFS changes ahead

Minister inniss promises to improve conditions within the sector by september

Income Tax and Insurance Act exemptions are on the cards for some operators in the international business and financial services sector.

Minister of International Business Donville Inniss today said those were among a number of changes and upgrades which will be implemented in the coming months to improve conditions in the sector.

Speaking at the International Business Annual Update 2014 at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre this morning, he said he was aware of the challenges affecting the sector and work has already started to address them.

“We are currently working on – and this has passed Cabinet and in the Chief Parliamentary Counsel’s office – proposed amendments to the Income Tax Act and Insurance Act to provide for what we call warranty business to be granted exemptions here in Barbados . . . We are also committed to relook the Incorporated Cell Company (ICC) legislation, particularly as we want to address matters of filings for the respected cells therein,” the minister said.

Inniss added that over the coming months his ministry would be examining arrangements for online applications and licensing of entities in the same manner he had done in other sectors, particularly when it comes to the Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property Office (CAIPO) and the facilitation of online incorporations.

He said this was “at a very advanced stage” and he expected when Parliament resumed in October, they would be debating seven pieces of legislation.

Inniss said a new strategic plan has also been developed, charting the path for the sector over the next five years. He said his ministry was working with the Ministry of Labour in commissioning a Manpower Needs Assessment Survey for the international business sector.

“It is envisioned that this survey will identify the varied – both academic and professional – skills required for the present and future development of this critical sector,” he informed.

He told the room of mainly accountants and legal advisors: “My ministry will be focusing on the development of an integrated approach to marketing and promotion at the domestic level and internationally as well, refashioning our regulatory framework, creating a new dynamism in the development of policies for the sector as well as placing renewed emphasis on product formulation and development.”

“We have made provision for Private Trust Companies and Foundations, which allows for the creation and use of Private Trust Companies, another financial vehicle through which trusts might be managed by family members within the same group. My ministry is also actively seeking to ensure that new Mutual Funds Legislation is soon introduced,” he added.

Inniss advised the participants that despite increasing global pressure for higher standards in international financial centres, they should not see the changing  environment as an onerous challenge but as an opportunity to be more competitive.

“We are serious about making it easier for individuals and companies to do business in the international business sector in Barbados,” he said, while calling on operators in the sector to produce new products and services and continue to invest in their human capital.

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