Still no ease

BIBA chief identifies threats to sector

The international business sector has identified a number of areas that must be addressed if Barbados is to maintain a strong international business presence.

In his final message for the year, President of the Barbados International Business Association (BIBA) Gregory McConnie said perhaps the most pressing issue in 2016 for the sector was addressing the “ease of doing business”.

Gregory McConnie

He said while he was confident that the sector could continue to grow “exponentially”, it would “only occur in conditions conducive to such growth”.

Warning that international investors could choose from several jurisdictions in which to do business, McConnie said it was critical that both the private and public sectors offer consistency and certainty of process.

“Barbados must demonstrate that it can meet the high standards of service expected by international business investors and practitioners, and that it can do so consistently if it is to be perceived as a high quality jurisdiction,” McConnie said.

“Agility is the other aspect of ease of doing business. That, along with certainty of process, is vital to being able to compete effectively for international business. As a jurisdiction we need to demonstrate agility in adapting to changes in the environment to capitalize on opportunities.

“This includes initiating and implementing legislative changes and effecting the relevant business process changes when new legislation is passed or new opportunities are identified in relatively short time frames. Our time frames for execution must be shortened significantly,” he explained.

The BIBA head said due to a number of factors, including outdated processes and shortage or resources within key governmental bodies, the country fell short on those areas in 2016.

“We recognize that the sustained development of our sector requires an approach that encourages continuous dialogue among government regulators, facilitators and business professionals who must see themselves as being joint architects of Barbados’ economic development. We are committed to this constant engagement,” he added.

However, McConnie said he was pleased the association had achieved a number of its objectives this year, including the launch of a national secondary school quiz tournament, as well as greater awareness about benefits and contribution of the sector to the society.

He said BIBA had also made “appreciable progress in the areas of improved communication and engagement” with members and the wider business sector.

15 Responses to Still no ease

  1. Santini More
    Santini More December 24, 2016 at 8:16 am

    Since 2008 the Barbados economy has seen a drop in corporation tax from International Business’s of over $200 million per year. This dear people is what happens when our Govt is made up of incompetent, arrogant individuals who have no idea how to support a sector that helped to keep Barbados on a strong economic footing.

    • Ric December 24, 2016 at 9:25 am

      I do not think that is entirely fair. Lots of thing happened that affect in the IBC’s but part of it was that the sector was never really being improved prior to 2008 and was just succeeding based on the favourable international climate.

  2. Richard Johnston December 24, 2016 at 8:32 am

    In short, Barbados is hamstrung with bureaucracy and outdated procedures and the public administration is filled with too many employees whose main goal is to make themselves seem necessary.

  3. Peter December 24, 2016 at 8:34 am

    The President of BIBA touched on almost everything it takes to do business in Barbados. From the lack id knowledge, to the long time it takes to get things done. Not forgetting the outdated system of operations. The relevant legislation must be in place in order to attract lucrative investors to this major money making sector which has great expectations for growth. It is long past the time that this government wake up and smell the coffee. Get on board and help develop the offshore sector and stop procrastinating. Formulate a training program to educate budding professionals. Govt. needs to work with BIBA on this. NOW! as in IMMEDIATELY! Without delay. Get my point?

  4. Hal Austin December 24, 2016 at 11:04 am

    How many new jobs have so-called international businesses brought to Barbados?

  5. Greg December 24, 2016 at 11:24 am

    The one I work for had brought 10 in 2016 increasing from 20+ to 30+. All professional level jobs. Also Gildan has been actively recruiting and expanding steadily.
    Its also more than jobs – professional fees for legal and accounting, rents and other operating costs all contribute to the economy. And all of it is foreign currency coming into Barbados to pay for the local service as these businesses earn no income fro Barbados domestic sectors.

  6. Peter December 24, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    Hal, that is why we have to immediately embark on educating and training our young folks.

  7. Donild Trimp December 24, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    Peter, training the young to do what?

    There are no jobs in Barbados and the few low paying jobs associated with the tourist industry is the biggest rip off of workers ever.

    Barbados is a basket case, a banana republic.

    The late Errol Walton Barrow must be rolling in his grave.

  8. Hal Austin December 24, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    But I am told we have the best educational system in the world. You do not have to send people to university to be waiters and receptionists, with respect. IBCs have only created 4000 jobs, out of 150000. It is an illusion, a myth, self-delusion.
    For fifty years we have been fooling ourselves. Hre is a simple idea: if we want to move in to th offshore financial seggor, we must have the skills to do the back and mid-office jobs.
    But being Bajans, we want to top jobs, which we are inexperienced to do.

  9. Peter December 24, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    Honestly Donald? Are you implying that one cannot be educated in Barbados? So you are saying that our doctors, attorneys, engineers, bankers, all high paying jobs including our members of parliament are from overseas? If that is your prognosis then why do we send our children to school? Why is there a university? Donald, come on my brother, I’ve always admired your comments and your tenacity. We can educate our young ones and send them into the world of international investment business and management system. I will not even venture to say that you as a Barbadian and speaking for all Barbadians, arte uneducated also. You are much too smart.

    • Donild Trimp December 25, 2016 at 11:48 am

      No Peter, I am not saying what you are saying.

      How many positions for Doctors, Attorneys, Engineers and Bankers are available in Barbados? What I am saying is coded.

      I can give you the statistics for the number of trained Barbadian Doctors, Attorneys, Engineers and Bankers who are currently working in Barbados and you may be pleasantly surprise to learn that it is not a rosy statistic.

      The network for high paying jobs in B’dos is simply not there and I do not see any concerted effort to create that network in the near future.

      Right now the educational system in Barbados exist solely as an illusion and the only industry available to adsorb the thousand of students leaving school with 6 CXC’s is the fickle low wage tourist industry.

      This is not a bright future for Barbados.

      • Donild Trimp December 25, 2016 at 11:53 am

        May I add, unless of course you are Peter Wickham in which case you already know what I am postulating.

  10. BaJan boy December 24, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    We also have an empty all mouth of all things Minister who addresses everything in every other Ministry except what is happening in his own Ministry. With all the chat I hope all you guys who continue to find favour with Donville Inniss and are complimentary of his big empty mouth realize that he is a monumental failure.

  11. Suzette P January 3, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    All of these negative comments in this room and not one recommendation about how we can move the country forward and create jobs. That is the real challenge we have in this country, many complain, few do something about it.

  12. Bobo May 25, 2017 at 3:18 am

    Suzette quote-few do nothing-because the majority do not know the sovereignty of the country pertain to the people and not to few politicians–par-ex- if a politician cannot deliver he/she has to remove, saving lots of taxpayers money.

    Ref To Hal Austin– you and I grew up in Barbados with ”the best of the best–a proper education development–civil discipline was there to be respected — ”unity” was the name of the game

    The most important to move forward a country is to educate the people –at present Change of 17 century education Curriculum to 21st century curriculum from kindergarten from 2-half years) to skills training–developing human growth and a steady economy–


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