Message froM THe HoN. CHrIsToPHer P. sINCKLer, M.P. MINIsTer of fINaNCe aND eCoNoMIC affaIrsWelcome to the fourth edition of Barbados' International finance & Business magazine - 2012 is shaping up to be a promising year for international business! The dynamics of the global economic landscape present unique and interesting opportunities for firms and governments worldwide. Those who are agile, flexible and responsive enough will be best positioned to take advantage of the rewards that such opportunities present. Your focus, I am sure, continues to be the exploration of opportunities to maximise global competitiveness and, ultimately, improve return on investment ­ investment in innovative ideas, new facilities and processes. for our government, it is to enhance national competitiveness by ensuring that Barbados' investment climate supports sustained economic growth and development, both at the micro and macro levels. for us, the attraction of foreign direct investment is pivotal to the achievement of this goal, and so, in my view, and a very real sense, there is a mutually rewarding symbiotic relationship to be developed from the shared objectives of private and public enterprise.It is probably true that, without exception, governments, investors and other stakeholders worldwide have welcomed the forecasts in the most recent World Investment report that global investment flows will continue to recover from the throes of the recent recession. In fact, the outlook is very encouraging, as investment flows are now set to reach pre-crisis levels of Us$1.9 trillion by 2013. similarly, policy makers have embraced with keen interest the continued strengthening of the global economy.In our case, the Barbados economy is set to hold its own, although marginal growth has been forecasted 2011. Much of our fuller recovery will rely heavily on the performance of our key foreign exchange earning sectors ­ international business and tourism. In the case of our international business sector, while competition for new investment is increasing, we are confident that our efforts to further improve our business climate will not only attract new players to our jurisdiction, but also encourage existing investors to expand and consolidate operations. Last year, for example, while most competing domiciles recorded declines in the attraction of new business, we registered growth in international insurance and international business companies of 5% and 7% respectively. as at the half-year in 2011, new international business registrations are up over 40% on the previous year.our government is keen to augment the Barbados value proposition. It is well known that the careful and effective supervision and sound regulation of the international business sector are critical components of our government's policy. Poised to boost Barbados' competitiveness, the financial services Commission was established in april 2011 and its mandate is the efficient regulation of the non-banking financial services sector. Through the effective discharge of its functions, public confidence both in the regulation of the non-banking financial services sector, as well as in the operations of these institutions, will increase. our government's efforts to expand our product offerings go further. Plans are under way for the establishment of an International securities Market. The business case and relevant memorandum of understanding have already been prepared. These initiatives, coupled with the ongoing expansion of our treaty network, creation of an alternate treaty negotiating team, commitment to transparency, implementation of legislative upgrades and decisive action on organisation for economic Co-operation and Development issues, will strengthen Barbados' recognition as a proactive and progressive international financial services centre. Barbados is committed to being the preferred place to live, invest and do business in the Caribbean. We are also focussed on becoming the greenest economy in the Caribbean and Latin america. We will purposefully ensure that Barbados continues to offer an investor friendly location that facilitates both international and domestic business, while sustaining national prosperity.are you aiming to increase your global competitiveness in 2012 and beyond? If so, I encourage you to explore the opportunities that Barbados offers, confident that you will find Barbados to be a quality jurisdiction that works to your advantage!The Hon. Christopher P. Sinckler, M.P.Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs2012 BARBADOS INTERNATIONAL FINANCE & BUSINESS 5
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