B’DOS TO CLEAR UP CONTENTS OF DOING BUSINESS REPORT
THE Barbados Government intends moving to clear up what are believed to be some misrepresentations in the Report about Doing Business in Barbados. This assurance was given by The Right Hon., Freundel Stuart, Prime Minister of Barbados while updating the media on discussions at Monday’s meeting of the Social Partnership at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Conference Centre. Stuart said that while it was agreed that all of the explanations contained in the recent World Bank Report on Doing Business in Barbados would satisfy the most elastic definition of accurate, it was decided that some of the contents of the report could influence people who want to do business in Barbados. “Therefore we have to treat perceptions as reality,” the Prime Minister said. He stated that one area of concern is that when information published in the report is challenged, there have been no responses to the challenges. Stuart noted therefore it is not known who the persons compiling the report had spoken to in Barbados. “We are committed to ensuring that we get to the bottom of it and that Barbados’ position is not perversely misrepresented,” he declared. The Report had put Barbados at position 118 out of 189 countries, which already brought a sharp reaction by Donville Inniss, the Minister of International Business. One of the highlights of the discussions on the Ease of Doing Business in Barbados was a presentation by Mr. Andrew Brathwaite, representing the Private Sector, who zeroed in on the same World Bank Report. Stuart said it was a meeting which should have taken place since May. However, he said that because of certain requests made by the other two partners it was decided to get some pressing issues out of the way before agreeing to convene for Monday’s meeting. Members dealt with a number of issues which Barbados has to deal with, if according to the Prime Minister, Barbados is to make a great leap forward. There was agreement on such issues as the country’s macroeconomic position, and the state of the foreign reserves. He said there were presentations by the Central Bank of Barbados and the Private Sector, which the Prime Minister said got the respect, approval and admiration of the Social Partnership members. He said that they committed themselves to ensuring that the macroeconomic situation does not deteriorate. They also dealt with productivity. “Everyone left the meeting committed to the Social Partnership to guarantee Barbados’ viability,” Mr. Stuart added. Article compliments The Barbados Advocate.
Social Partnership Meeting Gets Thumbs Up
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has described yesterday’s Social Partnership meeting as “refreshing”, saying “an atmosphere of goodwill and frankness” existed through the talks. At the end of the meeting last night, Mr. Stuart told the media that people left the meeting recommitted to the Social Partnership as the mechanism officials needed to use to guarantee Barbados’ economic and social viability. The Prime Minister said: “The meeting today [yesterday] was refreshing and I think the Social Partnership as we have known it rests on very solid ground… All of the stakeholders are committed to its even better functioning in the foreseeable future.” He further disclosed that a meeting would be reconvened in January to discuss the agenda items which were not dealt with during yesterday’s session. He explained the areas included CARICOM, the Caribbean Single Market and Economy and sustainable development. He pointed out that they discussed the island’s macro-economic situation and the state of the foreign reserves. He added that they committed themselves to ensuring that the macro-economic situation did not deteriorate and that the “green shoots” being seen in the economic performance of Barbados were not allowed to die. Mr. Stuart noted that the vexing issue of the ease of doing business in Barbados was addressed, with officials zeroing in on the World Bank report. “While it was agreed that not all of the information contained in the report about Barbados would satisfy the most elastic definition of accurate, we did agree that the perception created by what is contained in the report could influence people who want to do business in Barbados. “Therefore, we had to treat perception as reality and those issues that were within our competence to correct, we move quickly to correct them,” he disclosed. The Prime Minister said concern was expressed that when information was published in the report and a country wrote to challenge it, no responses were forthcoming. “We do not know to whom these people are talking when they come to Barbados but some perverse information is making its way into the public domain and the international arena and we are committed to ensuring that we get to the bottom of it and Barbados’ position is not perversely misrepresented,” he explained. According to Mr. Stuart, there was consensus that there were problems with productivity and employee engagement, and those reasons had to be carefully explored. “The issues of engagement and productivity are indissolubly linked, and if you have workers going to work every day, feeling no attachment to their workplace and hating their job … it is unlikely that they would be as productive as workers who go to work, like what they are doing, like the environment at the workplace and are optimistic about their prospects for upward mobility,” he stated. Article compliments GIS.
UNDP Report Gets Government Backing
Barbados has thrown its support around the UNDP’s recent Caribbean Human Development Report, which one Government Minister says addresses some of the island’s concerns. Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean, intimated this today as she addressed the launch ceremony of the Report at the Hilton Barbados Resort. Senator McClean said of the document, entitled: Multi-dimensional progress: human resilience beyond income: “It is a clear demonstration… that our consistent and persistent advocacy against a ‘one size fits all approach’ to development has been heard and accepted.” Acknowledging that it fitted neatly with what the Caribbean had identified as its core development issues – vulnerability, resilience and sustainability – she recalled the 36th Meeting of the Heads of Government of Caricom, held here in June 2015, had also highlighted these. “They [Heads of Government] emphasised the particular nature of SIDS (Small Island Developing States), which made them a special case for sustainable development, and called for measures to address the inherent and permanent vulnerability, and in particular to facilitate resilience building and economic natural and social systems,” she said. Stating that Barbados continued to face inherent as well as exogenous challenges, the Minister said these related to its geographical location making it vulnerable to natural disasters and climate change; and its small size limiting its capacity and openness that made it vulnerable to externally imposed economic and financial practices, such as correspondent banking, with which the island is grappling. However, the Foreign Trade Minister pointed out that Barbados’ success in pursuing strategies which have fostered a measure of resilience, has resulted in its classification as a high income state based solely on its GDP per capita. “This in turn has increased our vulnerability since graduation from concessionary financing, and this of course has meant a greater debt burden with its resulting effect on the quality of human development,” she stated. Senator McClean noted the island was working to adopt more effective strategies to strengthen social, economic and environmental resilience with the main aim of promoting sustainable growth and development, and she assured the UNDP representatives and local, regional and international delegates present of Government’s commitment to creating a resilient economy for all Barbadians. Lead Author of the Caribbean Human Development Report, Dr. Compton Bourne, said it conveyed the concept that human progress was not unidimensional and it would be a huge strategic error to measure human progress only by growth of personal incomes or by aggregate economic growth, and not to examine as well the factors which determine human resilience. Speaking to the four key messages contained in the report, he said countries in the region must boost inclusive economic growth and simultaneously seek to achieve multidimensional progress. “Secondly, there is increasing human vulnerability in the Caribbean; third, sluggish economic growth has constrained multidimensional progress, the region needs to act decisively to accelerate its economic growth rate; and fourth, the Sustainable Development agenda requires policy initiatives that build upon interrelationships across sectors, institutions and actors,” he stressed. Article compliments BGIS.
Security boost with refurbishment of RSS aircraft
The Regional Security System’s (RSS) second C-26 surveillance aircraft has returned to Barbados after millions of dollars have been spent by the United States and Canada on its refurbishment and equipment upgrade. Executive Director, Grantley Watson says the RSS now has increased capability to “sense and see” what is happening in the region’s waters and land spaces, to stop the flow of drugs, guns and other illicit activity. He made the comments on Wednesday afternoon, during a handing over ceremony at the RSS hangar to mark the completion and return of the refurbished maritime patrol aircraft. Watson told the small gathering: “With these aircrafts, several arms of the RSS and our partner nations will be able to work more coherently together to ensure that the overarching regional security mechanism is provided with timely and accurate surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting data, which is critical to the execution of effective operations.” According to him, this would assist in the building of stronger relations, communications and trust with the System’s global partner agencies and states. “The major threats today are manifest in transnational criminality, terrorism and the natural forces of the environment. Equipped with state-of-the-art surveillance assets such as the C-26 aircraft, tactical operations will receive a key enabler and a high-valued platform which will provide longer term strategic benefit to the RSS and its partners and neighbours in the wider Caribbean,” Watson added. He pointed out that in globalized societies and economies, problems could move across borders in seconds. He therefore insisted that in order to keep up, defence and security functionaries must continuously engage in cross-border law enforcement and security cooperation. “I know that the Regional Security System and the Government of the US have such a relationship. We are committed partners in the regional effort to disrupt illicit trafficking networks, suppress transnational organized crime, tackle cyber-crime and prevent terrorism. The transnational and interconnected nature of such threats has drastically increased over the years, requiring all defence and security agencies to share their knowledge, expertise and resources to close the gaps that transnational criminal organizations, and indeed terrorists seek to exploit,” Watson stated. In her address, US Ambassador to Barbados, Linda Taglialatela, said her country’s signature RSS project was the refurbishment of the RSS A1 and RSS A2, and US$8.25 million was spent on the effort. She added that the United States was proud of its role as a partner and committed supporter of the RSS. “Thanks to President [Barack] Obama’s Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), the United States has more resources to help build citizen security and combat illicit trafficking in the region… “Since CBSI began in 2010, we’ve provided the RSS and its member states US$38 million in assistance to help build sustainable citizen security solutions through durable programmes that are eventually taken over by our CBSI partners,” the Ambassador disclosed. Counsellor (Political) at the High Commission of Canada, Agnes Pust, pointed out that enhancing security in the Caribbean was an important element of Canada’s engagement in the Americas. She disclosed that CAD$5.3 million was provided towards equipping the RSS Air Wing with new radar, infrared scanners and avionics. “As part of our commitment to this region, and through the Anti-Crime Capacity Building Programme, Canada has funded a three-year project with the RSS in the development and delivery of the RSS Training Institute. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police International Training Bureau has been a partner in the development and delivery of the RSS Training Institute,” Pust noted. She stressed that Canada was committed to working with Caribbean partners and other donors for a safe, secure and prosperous hemisphere. Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister in St. Kitts and Nevis, Osbert DeSuza, represented the Chairman of the RSS Council of Ministers, Dr. Timothy Harris, at the ceremony. He reiterated that by having two C-26 aircrafts with hi-tech surveillance capabilities, the RSS had significantly improved its tactical, strategic and operational strengths in the wider Caribbean. He added that the C-26 would also be a part of the region’s humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations. DeSuza highlighted the significant contributions of partner nations, such as the United Kingdom, Canada and the US, saying that without such assistance, the RSS would not be reaping its current successes. “The Regional Security System and the Government of the US have a symbiotic relationship in that we are steadfast in our commitment to tackle illicit drug trafficking, organized and cyber-crime, as well as protect the region against acts of terrorism,” he stated. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Ambassador Luis Arreaga, said the Department of State and the Bureau had been helping to improve counter-narcotics capabilities and the interdiction of contraband in the Caribbean for decades. He recalled that a decisive moment in that history occurred 15 years ago when the two C-26 airplanes were donated to the RSS by the US. He said the planes had proven their value time and again.“They have been, and they will continue to be, a critical link in a chain that provides authorities information they need to bring the rule of law to the region. These planes and their crews are truly protectors of the peace, and providers of security. Their work and our investments, along with that of our partners from Canada have paid off many times over,” Ambassador Arreaga opined. The diplomat added that the threat of drugs and the smuggling of contraband represent a constant challenge. He gave the assurance that together with the RSS, they would continue to secure the region’s stability, success and freedom. The RSS Air Wing was formed in 1999. Article compliments Barbados Today.
IMF: Barbados Economy Turning A Corner
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says there has been a pickup in economic activity in Barbados and it appears the economy is turning the corner. But it warns that notwithstanding the authorities’ consolidation efforts, the large fiscal deficit and a further increase in public debt remain a challenge. The assessment follows the IMF’s Article IV Consultation with Barbados concluded by the Fund’s Executive Board of Directors this week. The directors said fiscal adjustment and public sector reforms are necessary to bring public debt on a downward path, preserve external sustainability, and improve investor sentiment. They also underscored the need to eliminate impediments to stronger long-term growth and bolster competitiveness. The Board further commended the authorities’ commitment to fiscal adjustment and reforms, but said that further efforts are needed to put the high and growing public debt on a sustainable path, while minimizing the negative impact on growth and preserving social cohesion. The IMF welcomed new measures outlined in last week’s budget, including reductions in current expenditure and new revenue measures such as a 2% National Social Responsibility Levy. It underscored the importance of completing the reform of the Barbados Revenue Authority and improving tax administration and increase compliance. The directors also stressed that stronger efforts are also needed to reform state-owned enterprises through better governance, consideration of user fees, and potential divestment and consolidation of public entities. They called for swift action to eliminate government arrears and emphasized that the continued financing of the fiscal deficit by the Central Bank of Barbados (CBB) is inconsistent with maintenance of the exchange rate anchor. The directors therefore encouraged the CBB to “allow domestic interest rates to rise in line with increases in US interest rates and ensure adequate international reserve buffers.” Meantime, the IMF directors agreed that a comprehensive growth strategy is needed to lift the country’s long-term competitiveness in the key tourism sectors. “Priorities for raising growth include timely implementation of tourism investment and infrastructure projects, improving public service efficiency and streamlining business regulation, increasing labour market flexibility, and unlocking agriculture’s growth potential,” they said. Article compliments Caribbean360.com
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.
Cayman Islands included on Italy’s ‘whitelist’
Cayman Finance, the private sector organisation that represents the Cayman Islands’ financial services industry, has welcomed the news that the British territory has been included on Italy’s “whitelist”, reports Caribbean News Now. CEO of Cayman Finance, Jude Scott, said inclusion on the whitelist will, among other things, allow Cayman Islands funds to invest in Italian securities such as bonds and securitization instruments and receive interest payments gross of withholding tax. Additionally, Cayman funds may benefit from full exemption from Italian tax on profits attributable to them where they own more than five per cent of an Italian real estate investment fund. While statistics show managers in the United States manage approximately 74 per cent of net assets from Cayman domiciled regulated funds, Europe remains an important player in the alternative investment industry. Scott said this decision was a positive step forward for Cayman’s financial services industry in Europe, particularly on the heels of the European Securities and Markets Authority’s (ESMA) recent deferral of its recommendation on the Cayman Islands’ application for the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) passport. “We are optimistic that the pending legislation for the Cayman Islands AIFMD regime will be in place late 2016/early 2017,” Scott said. “Once the remaining legislation is enacted, we see no impediments hindering Cayman’s AIFMD passport application. The creation of this regime will offer wider opportunities for Cayman domiciled funds and managers in Europe.” The Cayman Islands continue to make positive strides as a reputable international financial centre as it co-operatively develops legislation for the AIFMD compliant regime to market into Europe beyond the national private placement regimes. Scott said Cayman’s financial services industry is encouraged by Italy’s recognition of the Cayman Islands for its good tax governance and inclusion of the jurisdiction on its whitelist. “The inclusion of the Cayman Islands on Italy’s whitelist echoes to the global financial services industry its recognition of our robust framework to combat corruption, money-laundering and tax evasion but as importantly, Cayman’s commitment to comply with international standards of transparency and exchange of information,” he said. “It is encouraging to be recognised by many European countries and more recently Italy, on tax information exchange. We look forward to building a stronger partnership with Italy and other EU countries in an effort to combat financial crimes,” he added. This development will enable Cayman funds, particularly credit and real estate funds, to provide much needed inward investment into Italy. The granting of the right to receive interest income gross of withholding tax is very positive for Cayman funds investing in Italian securities. Scott said Cayman’s funds industry could play an increasingly important role in providing liquidity and credit to Italian businesses, to help offset the challenges faced by Italian banks as a result of the recent global credit crises. “Cayman funds have played this role with other major economies,” he said. “As a premier global financial hub and allocator of global capital and financing, Cayman provides a cost effective, neutral platform to allow international investment to be made into economies that need that investment, while at the same time giving pension funds and other international institutional investors an opportunity to invest in a diversified portfolio of securities. “The Cayman Islands enables parties from around the world who are domiciled in countries that may have differing laws, regulations, tax structures and customs to benefit from doing business with each other using Cayman as an efficient and effective global financial hub. “This inward investment from Cayman will ultimately help stimulate economic activity, create much needed jobs and generate taxable revenue in Italy.” Scott said, if Cayman is granted the AIFMD passport, Italian resident investors and pension funds would be able to invest in Cayman domiciled structures including many of the world’s best alternative investment structures. “As Cayman funds continue to market into Europe, all stakeholders can take confidence that the Cayman Islands government, the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority and the financial services industry remain committed to building a vibrant alternative investment funds industry that safeguards its investors but facilitates growth and good business,” he said. The Cayman Islands signed a Tax Information Exchange Agreement with Italy on 3 December 2012, which came into force on 13 August 2015. To date, the Cayman Islands has signed 36 tax information exchange agreements, two inter-governmental agreements, namely with the United States and the United Kingdom and more recently a multilateral competent authority agreement to implement the OECD Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information – Common Reporting Standard to improve international tax compliance and the exchange of information. Article compliments IFC Review.
Caribbean banks hope IMF can solve de-risking-risk
The Caribbean Association of Banks (CAB) has welcomed recent remarks by Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), over the problem of correspondent banks in the region de-risking and hopes that the organisation can help stop the current trend. As larger, mainly North American banks end their relationships with regional banks because of perceived regulatory risk and small profits, the banking sector across the Caribbean is getting increasingly concerned that the constant withdrawal of partner banks will destabilize all of its economies. The problem came to the forefront in Cayman last summer when a number of local money transfer firms lost their relationships with their US banks, making it very difficult for the thousands of overseas workers here to remit earnings back to their native countries or for Caymanians to help their friends and family overseas with cash transfers. But the de-risking is having a wider impact on Caribbean banking in general and Lagarde has described it as a “collective action problem that calls for a collective solution” as banks pull out of the region. The CAB said that it has been raising the alarm about the effects on the Caribbean region for two years and has requested intervention over the loss of correspondent banking relationships that could render the Caribbean region “unbankable and ultimately destabilize all sectors of the economies”. Among the many negative impacts anticipated from the disturbing trend of de-risking on small nation states is the risk of financial exclusion, a shrinking financial sector, thriving underhand economies, increased use of unregulated payment options and a barrier to attaining the Millennium Development Goal 10. “Correspondent Banking relationships are critical for the enabling of key economic and financial transactions such as remittances, foreign direct investments (FDIs) and international trade in goods and services, which constitute some of the key drivers for sustaining the Caribbean region’s growth and development,” the CAB said recently. As was demonstrated by the enormous level of concern last summer from Jamaicans in Cayman who regularly send money home, that country is extremely dependent on remittances. The CAB said average remittances to Jamaica from overseas work accounts for 15% of the entire GDP. Lagarde emphasized the problem in July when she said, “Correspondent banking is like the blood that delivers nutrients to different parts of the body. It is core to the business of over 3,700 banking groups in 200 countries.” While the CAB is hoping the IMF will come up with a solution, so far the private banking sector in North America in particular is still pulling out of the region, which the CAB said is putting the livelihoods of Caribbean people in serious danger. Article compliments CNS Business.
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.
Business confidence dives to five year low after Brexit vote
Britain’s businesses are less confident about their future in the wake of the Brexit referendum, according to a survey of companies by Lloyds Bank. It found a net balance of 19pc of firms reporting an improvement in business activity, a sharp drop from 41pc in July and the lowest level seen since December 2011. The plunging figure indicates a turnaround from previous optimism on the state of the economy. As business confidence is closely correlated with economic growth, the figure suggests the UK is likely to experience a slowdown. There are still more firms reporting growth than a deterioration in their fortunes, however, which indicates the slowdown may be modest rather than extreme. However, the correlation works both ways – businesses lose confidence when they think they economy will perform poorly, and a lack of business confidence cuts investment levels which itself dents growth. As a result the ultimate impact on the economy depends on how much investment firms make in the coming months, and how many choose to delay or cancel projects. Not every sector is suffering – industrial firms are increasingly confident and 33pc expect to hire more staff in the next year, the highest level in five months. The sharp fall in the pound may be one factor boosting manufacturers’ trade, as it makes UK goods more competitive to international buyers. There was also a small increase in the number of firms which are upbeat about the wider economic environment, from 37pc to 39pc. This was outweighed by a larger increase in the proportion of those companies surveyed which believe the economy is getting worse, which rose from 20pc to 27pc, indicating the degree of uncertainty among Britain’s businesses over the impact of the Brexit vote. “Our survey is consistent with a slowdown in UK growth prospects in the second half of the year and may reflect a growing expectation for some that a more challenging economic outlook will have a negative impact on their own company prospects,” said Lloyds’ senior economist Hann-Ju Ho. “Despite this, hiring plans continue to indicate resilience.” Businesses also continued to borrow in July, according to Bank of England figures, indicating some degree of confidence. Small- and medium-sized enterprises borrowed a net £610m in the month, up from £508m in June and the highest monthly total since February. Big businesses borrowed an extra £1.6bn, also an increase on the month. Weakening business sentiment has also contrasted with strong consumer confidence – while businesses are increasingly cautious, British households are spending enthusiastically. Official figures showed retail spending in July was up 5.9pc compared with the same month a year earlier, while unemployment has continued to fall since the referendum, which should continue to support consumer spending. Article compliments The Telegraph.
What just happened to Apple, explained
The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, is ordering Apple to pay $14.5 billion in taxes to Ireland. But Ireland doesn’t want the money, and Apple says it shouldn’t have to pay. And the kind of tax breaks that the EU accuses Ireland of offering Apple are similar to the kind of deals common in, and legal in, the US. What happened? This is what the EU says: Apple Inc., which is based in California, set up two companies in Ireland: Apple Sales International and Apple Operations Europe. According to the European Commission, these companies had no employees or real offices but still realized large profits. Apple paid virtually no tax to Ireland, or to any country, on these profits because of a former law in Ireland. In the last year that the law was in effect, 2015, Apple Sales International paid just 0.005% tax, according to the commission. The European Commission is led by Margrethe Vestager, a member of Denmark’s social liberal party. The commission is not a tax authority; instead, its job is to maintain fairness between the EU member states. And that brings us to the most important part in this story: The commission says this law specifically favored Apple for special treatment. When Apple sold iPhones, iPads, and Macs in an EU single-market nation, such as France, the commission said Apple would funnel the profits from France to Ireland and would not pay tax in either country. But this is not really about Apple’s tax-avoidance strategies, which are infamous. The European Commission’s issue is really not with Apple but with Ireland. Aid versus tax How’s this for a tricky balancing act? EU leaders have no issue with different member nations charging different corporate-tax rates. That’s why it’s acceptable for Ireland to charge businesses a 12.5% income tax whereas France levies 33.3%. This is crucial because nations want to maintain autonomy over their fiscal policies. That’s part of the ongoing power struggle between individual nations and the EU (remember Brexit?). What’s not acceptable is what the EU calls “state aid.” This is when a country offers something special that’s seen as benefiting an individual company. It can be even more basic. If France taxed companies in the north less than those in the south, that’s generally state aid in the EU’s view. It’s the same with trying to get a German company to move to Denmark by abating property taxes for a new headquarters. “The view is that not levying taxes that everyone else has to pay amounts to the same result as giving money to just one company,” Philipp Werner, a partner in the law firm Jones Day’s Brussels office who has represented multinational companies appealing state-aid decisions, told Business Insider. If Apple had just paid the standard 12.5% income tax in Ireland, the country wouldn’t have EU leaders upset in Brussels. Instead, the commission says Ireland gave Apple “selective tax treatment” starting in 1991, with the first of two tax rulings. In effect, Ireland signed off on a plan in which Apple would move money to a stateless “head office” with no meaningful activities. “Therefore, only a small percentage of Apple Sales International’s profits were taxed in Ireland, and the rest was taxed nowhere,” the commission said in a press release. Ireland explicitly said this was fine by its standards. But the EU contends that this arrangement “gave Apple an undue advantage that is illegal under EU state aid rules.” “Apple entered into a deal with Ireland to not pay tax on all those profits,” Edward Kleinbard, a professor of law and business at the USC Gould School of Law, told Business Insider. Instead, Apple paid “an arbitrarily small amount to Ireland in return for a vague promise to keep jobs in Ireland.” Apple and Ireland aren’t the commission’s first targets. There were similar rulings against the Starbucks’ tax dealings in the Netherlands and a division of Fiat in Luxembourg. Apple and Ireland have a different view Apple was one of the first major tech companies to set up shop in Ireland. At the time, in 1980, Ireland was in bad economic shape. Unemployment was high, and many people left Ireland to try to find work in other countries. Low corporate tax was one way Ireland improved its economy and attracted big companies, and Apple was one of the early companies to benefit. Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan has categorically rejected the notion that this was a special deal for Apple. “The Irish Revenue don’t do deals,” Noonan told CNBC on August 30. “They issue opinions to clarify a tax situation for individual companies, but we never do deals.” He continued to say that Apple doesn’t owe any taxes to Ireland. “They may owe it elsewhere, but not to the Irish authorities.” To underscore the delicate relationship, Noonan accused the commission of meddling in the policies of sovereign governments. For its part, Apple CEO Tim Cook shot back, saying in an open letter that the European Commission “has launched an effort to rewrite Apple’s history in Europe, ignore Ireland’s tax laws and upend the international tax system in the process.” Both Ireland and Apple say the company has become a big part of the Irish economy, with 6,000 workers there. And Cook also objected to the ruling being retroactive. Under EU rules, it can compel a country to collect taxes going back 10 years from the first date it asked for information. Ireland doesn’t want the money Here’s one of the ironies: The EU is, in effect, ordering Ireland to collect a lot of money. Most, if not all, of the $14.5 billion would go to Ireland and could be used to pay down debts. But Ireland is not interested. “Although they get a huge amount of money back, they also want to fight it,” said Werner at Jones Day. “They’re not only thinking about Apple — they’re thinking a whole lot of other companies established in Ireland.” Losing this battle will hurt Ireland’s credibility as an inexpensive place to do business, and a place where tax laws are clear and settled. Why is the US fighting this? Another irony: You might think the US would applaud any effort to collect tax from US-based multinationals using Irish subsidiaries to pay less, or zero, tax. But there are a few reasons the US Treasury department is vehemently against this EU ruling and other pending cases targeting companies, such as Amazon. One is simple: It wants to protect US businesses, and the Treasury says they’re being unfairly targeted by this EU crackdown. Second, the US wants to preserve tax revenue it hopes one day will come its way. Companies like Apple say US taxes are too high, so they keep foreign earnings overseas. But Congress has long debated ways to get multinational American companies to repatriate some of that cash. The Treasury Department says if the commission wins this case, US companies could use these taxes paid in Europe to offset US taxes. That, it says, “would effectively constitute a transfer of revenue to the EU from the US government and its taxpayers,” according to a Treasury white paper. What about other European countries? In his letter, though, Cook may have stepped into another debate over its aggressive tax avoidance by saying, ” A company’s profits should be taxed in the country where the value is created.” This is a different issue. If Apple made money in France but realized those profits in Ireland, it is up to France, not the EU, to complain and try to get some of that money back. The whole reason Apple’s European operations are in Ireland, after all, are for its tax advantages. The question is just whether Apple received illegal special treatment. Wait, don’t these tax breaks happen in the US all the time? One reason all this might seem odd to Americans is that the “special treatment” Ireland is accused of giving Apple is similar to incentives American states give companies all the time legally. Massachusetts, for instance, put together $145 million in incentives to persuade General Electric to move from suburban Connecticut to Boston. Never mind that some research suggests these sweetheart deals often don’t pay off. Politicians can’t stop offering them. When Tesla said publicly it wanted to build a Gigafactory to produce batteries, states like California, Nex Mexico, and Nevada stumbled over themselves to offer the most generous tax breaks. In the end, Nevada agreed to $1.2 billion in tax incentives to win the deal. If these deals were issued by France to attract a company based in Denmark, it would be illegal under EU rules. What about inversions? Some American companies have gone further than Apple to take advantage of Irish tax breaks. Pharmaceutical firm Allergan has acquired or formed Irish subsidiaries and then “inverted,” or transferred its legal headquarters to Ireland. Even if its headquarters were in the US, it is effectively an Irish company. “Inversions are separate but related,” Kleinbard said. Companies that invert “take advantage of an easily manipulated definition of what is a US company.” Nothing in the European Commission ruling affects inversions. It’s up to US authorities to crack down if they want to stop the practice. Congress, for instance, could change tax law to consider a company American if its leadership and most of its workers are based in the US. What’s next? Apple, the most profitable company in the world, and Ireland, which has some of the lowest corporate taxes, made easy targets for the European Commission. But it’s clearly not done yet. It’s targeting McDonald’s for allegedly paying no tax on its earnings in Luxembourg. The antitrust regulators are also looking into Amazon. Ireland, however, will almost surely appeal the ruling against its dealings with Apple. It has a lot more on the line than $14.5 billion. Article compliments the Business Insider.
Save the Date: BIBA Networking Mingle (June 24th, 2016)
The Barbados International Business Association will be hosting its third Networking Mingle on June 26th, 2016. Further details to come closer to the event.
Save the Date: BIBA Networking Mingle (April 22nd, 2016)
The Barbados International Business Association will be hosting its second Networking Mingle of the year on April 22nd, 2016. Further details to come closer to the event.
Save the Date: BIBA Networking Mingle (June 24th, 2016)
The Barbados International Business Association will be hosting its third Networking Mingle on June 26th, 2016. Further details to come closer to the event.
Mr. Gregory McConnie – President’s Address BIBA Luncheon Seminar July 22, 2016
President’s Address BIBA Luncheon Seminar July 22, 2016 by Mr. Gregory McConnie BIBA President Protocol having being established, good afternoon ladies and gentlemen and thank you for joining us for our luncheon seminar. It gives me great pleasure to greet all of you this afternoon. I must truly thank Senator the Hon. Darcy Boyce for taking the time out to engage and inform us about the function of his new role, the approaches he intends to employ, as well as receive feedback on the very serious issues affecting the way business is done in Barbados. The topic is a timely one as business facilitation is in our view the most pressing issue to be addressed. We see two main elements to business facilitation, certainty of process and agility. All users of services provided by both the private and public sectors require consistency and certainty of process in order to be able to effectively manage their affairs. This means having timeframes within which transactions are processed and delivering on them, every time. This is particularly important for the international investor where Barbados is competing against other jurisdictions for their business. 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 continue to be perceived as a high quality jurisdiction. Agility, the other aspect of business facilitation that is vital to being able to compete effectively for international business, includes initiating and implementing legislative changes and effecting the relevant business process changes in relatively short timeframes after new legislation is passed. While other jurisdictions have been able to implement new initiatives quickly, like the new LLC legislation recently passed in the Cayman Islands and similar legislation planned for Bermuda, in Barbados the Private Trust Companies and Foundations vehicles legislation have been passed but still cannot be utilized and the implementation of Incorporated Cell Company legislation has not been smooth. Our timeframes for execution must be measured in days and weeks rather than months and years. Wherever there is adversity there is generally also opportunity, and amongst the externally imposed challenges arising from BEPS, the Panama Papers and “de-risking” opportunity lies. There is no doubt in my mind that the IB Sector in Barbados can take advantage of these to expand and grow exponentially under the right conditions. However, we need to step up our game if we are to really take advantage of the opportunities available. Just this week the Central Bank of Barbados released its review of Barbados’ economic performance for the first six months of 2016. Part of the review stated that there was a 3 percent decline in the number of international business and financial services (IBFS) licenses granted during the first half of the year. Of course we know that this statistic by itself is not cause for alarm because many new companies doing international business are opting to operate as regular Barbados companies to take advantage of our tax treaties, rather than as licensed entities. However, one of the main statements made by Central Bank Governor Dr DeLisle Worrell which stood out was that Barbados’ foreign exchange reserves fell by a further $43 million to $884 million. It has fallen consistently over the past 5 years by about 40% from the 2011 levels of $1.4 billion. It should be known by now that the international business sector is the most reliable and consistent earner of foreign exchange for Barbados. This sector contributes has been $1billion to Barbados Gross Domestic Product annually. That is all foreign exchange because this sector earns no revenue from Barbados. Again, there is potential but we need to address business facilitation issues first and we need to address them immediately. Therefore, BIBA welcomes the recent appointment of Senator Boyce to provide that dedicated effort towards reducing, if not eliminating, the difficulties currently being experienced in doing business on this island. In support of Senator Boyce’s business facilitation role, BIBA intends to work collaboratively with the key Government departments to ensure that everyone involved understands the potential that the IB sector holds for Barbados’s growth, while we seek to understand the challenges those departments face when interacting with the private sector and share with them the challenges the private sector encounters, with the intention of working together to develop solutions to the issues identified. As a nation celebrating 50 years of independence we need to commit ourselves to making Barbados the easiest place for doing business in the world. This is not just the responsibility of the government but it should be a national commitment so that every man and woman sees himself or herself as having a responsibility for making this a reality and will approach their work whether it be in the private or public sector with a mindset that says I am helping to generate business activity in my country that will lead to the creation of jobs, and the generation of government revenues that will go towards financing healthcare, education and other social programmes. Thank you for your time and interest.
MR ANDREW ALLEYNE – PRESENTATION AT 2016 IBFS CONFERENCE
International Business and Financial Services Conference Wednesday, March 16th, 2016 WELCOME REMARKS Mr Andrew Alleyne, President of BIBA It gives me great pleasure to join Dr. Worrell and the Hon. Donville Inniss in welcoming you to this year’s International Business and Financial Services Conference. Each year, BIBA is pleased to support the Central Bank of Barbados in its efforts to bring together representatives from both the public and private sectors that are key to the success of this sector, to dialogue and share views on how to further advance our collective goals. The theme for this year’s conference Reflecting on the Past: Planning for the Future, is a timely topic in light of the ongoing celebrations of 50 years of Independence. It is important for us to reflect on the history of the international business and financial services sector and its immense economic and social contribution to the Barbados economy. We will hear more about the sector’s contribution from Mr. Downes later. It is this sector’s level of importance that should drive each and every one of us to continuously examine the business environment, highlight the challenges faced, and work together to find workable solutions. The issue of banks “de-risking” was raised at last year’s conference and has since developed into a major concern for the Caribbean region. The origin of this problem lies within the enacting of new international regulations intended to address money laundering and the financing of terrorism. It also requires international correspondent banks to be satisfied that their “front line” banks are also undertaking the same level of due diligence and that they know their customers. As recently as last week, the United States Comptroller of the Currency (Thomas Curry) announced that OCC may create new guidance to deal with de-risking. In his March 7th speech he said the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is collecting data on banks de-risking decision-making processes. He said “Our goal is to identify current practices and possible gaps in existing policies and procedures for conducting periodic client risk evaluations and for making account termination decisions”. While it is too early to speculate if the OCC’s involvement will improve the decision making process, the Agency might require banks to conduct enhanced due diligence tests that require input from Senior Management before breaking ties with a foreign correspondent. To further add fuel to the fire, the Caribbean has been unfairly branded as “high risk” and as a result some of these banks have started to withdraw their correspondent relations to the Caribbean. Look at Belize! The larger banks have already severed relationships with banks there, the first being the Belize Bank, and subsequently other indigenous banks. This forced a closure of several indigenous banks leaving many businesses and individuals without a means to receive or make international payments. Western Union has withdrawn its services in the Bahamas, Cayman and the Turks and Caicos. As a result Fidelity Bank has closed its Western Union accounts in the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands. Closer to home an Antigua bank, CUB recently lost its correspondent banking support when a US correspondent bank terminated its relationship. In Jamaica, Barclays has advised the Jamaica National Building Society that it will be terminating its correspondent relationship on April 1st. In some instances the decision to withdraw correspondent banking services is based on low business volumes or low revenues. However, the focus on the Caribbean is not based on an objective assessment of the region’s risk, but reflects a lack of understanding of the region by risk managers who are largely unfamiliar with the Caribbean’s high regulatory and compliance standards. Last December, BIBA’s First Vice President, Gregory McConnie, and I attended a roundtable discussion hosted by the Financial Stability Board, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Central Bank of Barbados. The discussion focused on global initiatives to lower the risks associated with correspondent banking. These included the work international standard setters are undertaking to better measure, understand and address the challenges presented by the reduction of these important banking services. Another issue of concern to all of us is business facilitation. Unlike the withdrawal of correspondent banking services, this is an issue that is within our power to fix. There is now a greater need to improve our country’s ranking in the World Bank’s “Ease of Doing Business” index, especially given that the international business sector is losing some of its competitiveness due to new and expanding tax transparency laws and regulations in North America and Europe. On a more positive note, the TMF Complexity Index recently ranked Barbados 7th, in terms of “Ease of doing business” a significant improvement from the precious year when we were ranked 22nd. Within the Americas, Barbados was ranked an impressive 4th as a location to conduct business. Ease of doing business is critical for the sector to grow. We must continue to find ways of improving efficiency within our public and private sectors in order to enhance the attractiveness of Barbados as a jurisdiction from which to conduct business. It is hoped that through this conference, we can find a workable plan of action. Thank you for your attention.
Ms Connie Smith – Presentation at 2015 IBFS Conference
Protocol having been established, it gives me great pleasure to join Dr. Worrell and the Hon. Donville Inniss in welcoming you to this year’s International Business and Financial Services (IBFS) Conference. Each year, BIBA is pleased to support the Central Bank of Barbados in its efforts to bring together representatives from the public sector agencies key to the success of this sector, to dialogue with and share views with BIBA and other private sector representatives on how to further advance our collective goals. It is interesting to note that the Bank has identified the opening up of the Cuban market as one of the potential growth areas for the Barbados IBFS sector. The shift in United States policy that has created this potentiality could likely lead to more multinational companies targeting Cuba and, with a long-standing bilateral investment treaty and double taxation agreement between Barbados and Cuba already in place, I believe that we are well poised to capitalize on this interest. Ironically, as we sit and meet today to learn more Cuba, right at this very moment, history is being created in Panama at the convening of the Seventh Annual Summit of the Americas – for the first time in history, Cuba has a seat at the table for this Summit. I therefore look forward to the first panel presentation unlocking this potential for us. It is well recognized that Barbados has all of the factors necessary to continue to grow the international business sector. Indeed, we continue to show year-on-year growth in new entrants to the sector, even during the height of the international economic turbulence within the last seven years. The most recent figures show that Barbados continues to attract new IBC registrations in excess of 400 annually since 2007, and at an average rate of 458 new registrations annually over that period. In relation to international insurance, we continue to maintain our number at just over 240 active entities, and while on record our international banks have dwindled from 40 at the end of 2013, to 32 at the end of 2014, we should note that much of the business that was being carried on by companies holding banking licences, is now being conducted within IBCs, ISRLs, or just regular Barbados companies. However, we must remain ever cognizant of the challenges that threaten to undermine our growth potential. And unfortunately some of the more major challenges are not of our own making. The changes made to the domestic taxing environment in Canada last year have had a significant effect on a market segment that we have historically enjoyed. This is reflected in the number of entities currently holding banking licenses as I referenced earlier – another reason that I am keen to hear the presentations from the panel in a few minutes. Increasingly, some members of BIBA have been raising concerns with us about the hurdles they and their clients are facing as clients of local commercial banks. As was ventilated during our first BIBA luncheon seminar for this year, the strict requirements being imposed on international business clients by commercial banks is as a result of the risk profile with which Barbados is viewed by the international correspondent banks that mediate between the local commercial banks and the global financial community. This is an extremely untenable situation as Barbados seeks to fulfil the mandate of its sector’s strategic plan and become the International Business and Wealth Management Centre of choice in this hemisphere. It also does not bode well for our attempts to expand our treaty network into Africa and Latin America and attract more business from those source markets. I think that it is time that we refreshed our strategy in terms of expanding the correspondent banking relationships within our commercial banking sector and I am offering BIBA’s support to the Central Bank of Barbados in leading the development of a new strategy to attract new players into this arena. However, I must reiterate, as I always do, that if we are to keep the new businesses that we attract, and hold on to the ones that are already here, we must improve the ease with which we conduct business in Barbados. We need to put service level agreements in place that guarantee clients in the public and private sector certainty of process when they engage with a business facilitation agency. I would say that the recent implementation of guidelines for all public sector employees by the Office of Public Sector Reform is a step in the right direction and I would encourage that Office to undertake as its next project, to produce benchmarking guidelines for government agencies, especially the client-facing ones, so that there are standards to which they can be held accountable. Our judicial, business incorporation and immigration systems are the first places that I would recommend we start. On that note, we have a stimulating day ahead of us and far be it for me to delay the Minister in delivering his keynote presentation. I look forward to hearing from the presenters and yourselves on some of the key issues that I have raised, as well as the other topics under consideration, during the course of today. Thank you for your time and attention.
IBW 2016 Conference: Weathering the Perfect Storm
The Barbados International Business Association (BIBA), in collaboration with Invest Barbados and other strategic partners, will be hosting the annual International Business Week of activities October 16th to 22nd, 2016. The flagship event of this week will be a two-day conference to be held on October 20th and 21st at the Hilton Barbados Resort. This year’s conference, themed Weathering the Perfect Storm: Explore, Evolve and Adapt, provides a unique opportunity for delegates to gain an understanding of current issues affecting the international business and financial services sector and the global trends impacting its development. This year’s topics include: Is There a Need for IFC’s in the Modern World?; Dawn of Digital Currencies: Who Needs Banks Anyway?; Transparency & Privacy: Can They Co-exist; Cyber Security; Crisis Management; and Block Chain – What is it and How Does it Work? The conference registration fee is BDS$900/US$450. All meals and refreshments as well as an informal cocktail gathering on day one of the conference are included in the registration fee. Persons registering and paying on, or before, September 30th 2016, may take advantage of the early bird discounted rate of BDS$750/US$375. Companies that register three or more persons may also benefit from the discounted rate. All payments must be made to the Barbados International Business Association (BIBA) by way of cheque or bank draft in advance of the conference. Registration closes October 14th, 2016. Interested parties will also have the opportunity to exhibit their services. In the event that the booth option has not been included in your sponsorship package, a limited number of booths have been made available at a cost of BDS$3,000/US$1,500 each. Exhibitor details and schedules are to be forwarded to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. REGISTER NOW We invite you to be a part of this event and encourage you to register as soon as possible. All conference registrations are to be through www.investbarbados.org. If you have any queries, please email us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to welcoming you to the International Business Week Conference 2016.
BIBA Announces New Board for 2016-2017
The Barbados International Business Association held its Annual General Meeting on Thursday, June 16th, 2016 and a new board was appointed to handle the affairs of the organisation. The new board for 2016-2017 is as follows: President – Mr. Gregory McConnie 1st Vice President – Mr. Marlon Waldron 2nd Vice President – Ms. Julia Taggart Treasurer – Mr. Nicholas Crichlow Secretary – Ms. Cadian Drummond Directors: Mr. Elliott Barrow Ms. Janice Burke Ms. Melanie Jones Ms. Connie Smith Ms. Dominique Pepin Ms. Tara Frater Mr. Derrick Cummins BIBA’s Annual Report for 2015-2016 was also released. Please click here to view. It includes the President’s Report, as well as reports from the Executive Director and the various committees, such as the Legal Profession, Insurance, Banking & Wealth Management, Marketing and Communications, Tax and IBCs/Service Providers. A summary of the activities undertaken by the BIBA-Canada, BIBA Charity and an overview of International Business Week 2015 are also included.
No need to panic about Panama Papers Scandal
Thirty-four companies in Barbados are allegedly listed among the thousands named in the 11.5 million confidential papers leaked from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, detailing the establishment of offshore companies for the global elite. However, Executive Director of the Barbados International Business Association (BIBA) believes that while this may be an area to watch, there is no reason for Barbados to panic. “Developments of this sort are typically a cause for concern for us, as Caribbean and Latin American international financial centres (IFC) are always tarred with the same brush,” says Mr Holmes. “However, we must be confident about what Brand Barbados stands for and focus on the continuous improvement of what this jurisdiction offers, both in terms of products and providers,” he said. The Executive Director made reference to the recently enacted Corporate & Trust Service Providers Act which has initiated the process of licensing and regulating firms providing corporate, trust and management services to international companies and investors. “The setting up of corporate structures in IFCs for the purpose of global tax minimisation is not an illegal activity,” states Mr Holmes. “However, since the beginning of the global financial crisis and its deleterious effect on the tax revenues of the developed countries the offshore financial centres have been targeted as the reason and made to suffer vilification and harassment”. “The motivation for this seems very much a political reaction to moral outcries of the citizens of these countries who, with their limited understanding of how economies work, are of the view that the companies that are practicing global tax planning are not paying their fair share of the tax and therefore engaging in something that is dishonest,” said the Executive Director. “Perhaps there are circumstances where the individuals behind the corporate structures are under a duty to declare the existence of these types of companies and when they don’t this may lead to the view that they are hiding something, or worse engaging in something that is illegal”. OECD’s Secretary-General Angel Gurría issued a statement that the Mossack Fonseca leak “shone the light on Panama’s culture and practice of secrecy”. He described Panama as “the last major holdout that continues to allow funds to be hidden offshore from tax and law enforcement authorities”, and said the OECD has been “consistently warned of the risks of countries like Panama failing to comply with the international tax transparency standards.” “One can only surmise from his comments that more pressure, and blacklisting / naming and shaming of this type will follow, whether it is warranted or not,” said Mr Holmes. “Barbados does not have a reputation for secrecy. We are perceived as a well regulated jurisdiction insisting on transparency,” he continued. “The question you may wish to ask is “If a list of companies incorporated and managed by a law firm in Delaware, Nevada or Wyoming was to be leaked would the global reaction be the same?” Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, and Vice Chair of the Steering Group of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes within the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Donville Inniss noted in a recent Press Release, that Barbados has long embraced transparency and the exchange of tax information between governments. As evidenced, Barbados has officially and publicly endorsed the OECD’s Global Standard for the Automatic Exchange of Information and has agreed to facilitate compliance with the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. “Additionally, beyond being highly cooperative and transparent, Barbados’ position as a preeminent low tax jurisdiction attracts business of substance and ethical business structures that provide significant benefits to both domestic markets and the global economy,” said Minister Inniss.
BIBA partners with 12th Annual Canadian Captives & Corporate Insurance Strategies Summit
The Barbados International Business Association (BIBA) is now an official partner of the 12th Annual Canadian Captives & Corporate Insurance Strategies Summit taking place May 25-26, 2016 in Toronto, ON. The annual summit brings together over 100 risk management professionals including: current and prospective captive owners, captive managers, corporate insurance leaders and more. BIBA has partnered with the summit since its creation. “We have watched this forum grow from strength to strength over the years and it has asserted itself as the authoritative forum on captive insurance business in Canada,” says Henderson Holmes, Executive Director, BIBA. “Given the fact that Barbados is a major domicile for Canadian captive insurance companies we have supported this conference over many years now and will continue to do so into the foreseeable future.” This is the only event of its kind in Canada. The summit focuses on assisting those just starting out in captives or looking to fine-tune their captives strategy. Attendees hear first hand what drives captives and how to optimize their potential and ROI. “It makes great sense for us to support the efforts of the Canadian Captives Summit,” says Holmes. “Given, the long history of business and diplomatic relations between Barbados and Canada and our reputation for being able to facilitate the business interest of Canadian firms seeking alternative risk management solutions.” The event offers 18 interactive sessions, eight scheduled networking opportunities, three exclusive panels and over twelve hours of learning. Featured speakers on the program include: Patrick Walker, Senior Manager, Group Risk Financing, Rio Tinto Graham Sanderson, Regional Director, Risk Management, Vancouver Island Health Authority Lynn Tenerowicz, Director, Risk Management, Baystate Health Frank Naus, Vice President, Research, Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation David S. Platt, Director, Insurance Risk, Encana Services Company Ltd. Todd Henderson, Senior Director, Risk Engineering & Insurance, SNC Lavalin Visit the website to learn more. About the Annual Canadian Captives & Corporate Insurance Strategies Summit The Canadian Captives & Corporate Insurance Strategies Summit takes place every spring in Toronto and is currently in its 12th year. The summit gathers risk management & corporate insurance professionals from across Canada to discuss current challenges facing the risk sector. The purpose of the summit is to increase risk managers’ awareness of captive strategy, regulatory changes, tax updates and other investment opportunities. This year’s summit takes place May 25-26, 2016 in Toronto at the Sheraton Centre. For more information visit: www.captivesinsurance.com About Barbados International Business Association The Barbados International Business Association (BIBA) is a private sector organization comprising companies engaged in international business in Barbados and companies which are otherwise strategically associated with this sector. For more information visit: www.biba.bb For more information: Melanie Raffa | Marketing Manager Canadian Captives & Corporate Insurance Strategies Summit 2016 E: email@example.com P: 1-866-298-9343 x 209