International business a billion-dollar industry for Barbados
President of Barbados International Business Association (BIBA), Gregory McConnie, says focus needs to be paid on the diversity of opportunities derived from the international business sector. According to him, while the International Business Sector directly employees over 4,000 people, of which about 90 per cent are Barbadians, the spin-off benefits create opportunities for taxi drivers, couriers, security firms and restaurants and others. Addressing the launch of International Business Week 2016 at Invest Barbados’ offices in Hastings, Christ Church, this morning, McConnie says the sector also contributes over $1 billion to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) annually. “It contributes over 60 per cent of the total corporation tax collected by Government and this sector is the most reliable and consistent earner of foreign exchange for Barbados,” he noted. While highlighting the rather impressive figures and noting that there is reason to boast of the sector’s contributions, the BIBA President says the upcoming week of activities is about drilling past the numbers to illustrate to the public what the sector and its contributions mean to the average person. He says they intend to work on debunking the myth that the sector mainly employs and benefits non-Barbadians. This is a message that will be taken to the youth through the Secondary School Symposium carded for Tuesday October 18 at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre and also at the Careers Showcase at the University of the West Indies on Wednesday October 19. Through their Public Discussion Forum slated for the night of Tuesday October 18, BIBA will be seeking to remind Barbadians that international business does not take place “on some rock off Barbados”. McConnie emphasised that the sector must be seen as an integral player in the country’s economic survival as it helps to stabilise foreign exchange reserves, curb the brain drain by providing rewarding and fulfilling employment, whilst contributing to the financing of Government’s social programmes such as education and public health. The week of activities which runs from October 16 – 22 is being held under the theme, “Embracing the Opportunities.” Other events include a church service on October 16, an International Business Conference October 20-21st and The BIBA Charity 5k Fun walk and run on October 22nd 2016. Article compliments LOOP News Barbados.
BVI launches new public-private initiative to support financial services industry
BVI Finance Limited, a new public/private initiative that will see the creation of a company to better support financial services promotion and business development in the British Virgin Islands, is set to launch in January 2017, reports Caribbeannewsnow.com The new entity, which will take over from the existing BVI Finance, is part of an ongoing government programme that aims to strengthen and reposition the financial services industry. BVI Finance Limited will operate in keeping with best practice and along similar lines as Jersey Finance, Cayman Finance, Bermuda Development Association and other agencies charged with the promotion of financial services. As a corporate entity under a fundamentally new structure, BVI Finance Limited will have greater autonomy and flexibility in fulfilling its role as the marketing and promotional arm of the financial services industry. Under a partnership agreement to be entered between the government and the private sector, the new organisation will be responsible for promoting financial services as an industry to customers, intermediaries and regulators abroad, as well as by developing new business opportunities to pursue through legislative, regulatory and product changes and innovation. A number of carefully considered objectives have also been designed through consultation for the new organisation, against which it aims to deliver. These include coordinating the efforts of all key private sector stakeholders within financial services, encouraging sustainable growth of financial services through excellence, innovation and balance, as well as promoting and encouraging capability building within the financial services industry. Commenting on BVI Finance Limited, Lorna Smith, interim executive director of BVI Finance, said, “I am delighted to report that preparations for BVI Finance Limited are progressing well and that come January 2017 the new entity will start delivering on its objectives. Having built a leading international finance centre over the last 30 years, BVI Finance Limited will play an important role in ensuring the sustainable future of our financial services industry.” She added, “Moreover, through the establishment of a public/private partnership, BVI Finance Limited will play an even more collaborative and effective role in the way financial services are promoted and marketed.” Brodrick Penn, permanent secretary in the premier’s office also commented, saying, “BVI Finance Limited represents another positive step that we’ve taken to improve representation for the private sector and should be seen as a sign that the BVI is determined to continue creating value and enabling growth by providing a world-class destination for international business and commerce. “I am grateful to members of the private sector for serving on the BVI Finance Ltd taskforce and for contributing their knowledge and experience to the design of a new entity that is fit for purpose and which has been approved by government.” Article compliments IFC Review.
Google gets $400m tax bill from Indonesia
An official in Indonesia wants to collect around $400m in fees from the ads giant. Muhammad Hanif of the tax office special cases branch said authorities have visited Google and suspect that the tax avoidance may go back as far as five years, reports The Register Google had declined an earlier request to be audited. After an investigation, it was accused of failing to pay taxes in the 2015 calendar year and would face a fine of four times the taxes owed: about 5.5 trillion Rupiah, or $418m USD. Further penalties could be issued if Google was found to have similarly avoided paying taxes in previous years. A Google spokesperson told The Reg: “Google Indonesia has been incorporated as a local company in Indonesia since 2011. We have been and will continue to cooperate with the government and have paid all applicable taxes in Indonesia.” Should Google indeed run into tax troubles, it would find itself in familiar company with a rival. Apple has been accused of skirting billions in taxes owed to EU authorities, and the case could end up costing the Cupertino maker of iMovie $14.5bn. Apple has denied any wrongdoing in that case and has vowed to fight what CEO Tim Cook has called a threat to the sovereignty of EU member states. In an unrelated case, Apple has also had to reach into its pocket to cover a $120m tax bill it had not paid on iTunes sales in Japan. Article compliments IFC Review.