‘Make business facilitation a priority’
Mon, 07/25/2016 - 12:00am
“Business facilitation is in our view the most pressing issue to be addressed,” says Gregory McConnie, President of the Barbados International Business Association (BIBA), speaking at the recent BIBA luncheon at the Hilton.
McConnie said that they in BIBA see two main elements to business facilitation, those being, “certainty of process” and “agility”. He made the point that 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,” the BIBA Official said.
“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 (IB) investors and practitioners, and that it can do so consistently – if it is to continue to be perceived as a high quality jurisdiction,” he noted; Adding that, “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 putting into effect the relevant business process changes in relatively short timeframes after new legislation is passed.”
The President stated, “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 utilised and the implementation of Incorporated Cell Company legislation has not been smooth.”
He maintained that their 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,” said the BIBA official. He added, “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.” (NB)