MESSAGE FROM SENATOR THE HON. DARCY BOYCE MINISTER IN THE PRIME MINISTER'S OFFICEIt is my pleasure to introduce the fifth edition of Barbados International Finance & Business magazine!Since the 2008 crisis, even though countries and companies have been especially focused on achieving sustainable growth and zealous about improving competitive advantage, the persistent uncertain climate has triggered cautious investment decisions worldwide.According to recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts, the world economy is expected to grow at 3.6% in 2013, with growth in Barbados' traditional markets, namely Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States, projected to be moderate at 2.0%, 1.1% and 2.1% respectively. The IMF outlook for emerging markets and developing countries is average growth of 5.6% in 2013. The past five years, though challenging, have been characterised by steady consolidation for Barbados, and the international business sector has continued to be one of the top performing sectors with a number of entities being added to the expanding roster of investors choosing Barbados. In line with this, Government has been implementing policies and programmes designed to enhance Barbados' attractiveness as a location for foreign direct investment for investors from our traditional markets, as well as those from the emerging markets and developing countries, and generally to inspire confidence. In this regard, preparations are well advanced for the Phase 2 Review by the Global Forum, scheduled for the first half of 2013, as well as for the IMF's Financial Sector Assessment Programme, scheduled for the latter half of the year. Both of these reviews will assess Barbados' observance and implementation of agreed international best practices. Barbados will also enter an intergovernmental agreement with the USA in 2013, relating to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.Efforts to expand our treaty network are continuing to gather momentum. Currently, treaties with five countries are awaiting signature (namely Belgium, Italy, Singapore, Slovak Republic and Vietnam) and three (Bahrain, Qatar and San Marino) have very recently been signed. Accession to these agreements, as well as the successful completion of our Phase 2 Review and Financial Sector Assessment Programme, will provide increased certainty for current and prospective investors, while reinforcing the credibility of our commitment to being a transparent, responsive and well regulated jurisdiction.In addition, Barbados is also updating and expanding the range of solutions offered to international businesses. New products coming on stream during the year include provisions for Private Trust Companies, Foundations, High Net Worth Individuals, Limited Partnerships and Incorporated Cell Companies. Efforts to broaden the sources of inflows are also increasing, with newer market opportunities in Brazil, Colombia, Panama, Mexico and Venezuela being explored.These initiatives, together with our exceptional record of social, political and economic stability, an available and intelligent workforce, excellent service providers and professional services, world class infrastructure, direct accessibility from advanced world economies, idyllic climate, and enviable quality of life, combine to make Barbados a compelling choice for international investors.Our continued success as a jurisdiction demands consistency, creativity, innovation, responsiveness, flexibility and excellent client service. The Government of Barbados is committed to providing a globally competitive and transparent business environment.If you are exploring legitimate ways of achieving sustainable growth while maximising your global competitive advantage, I invite you to experience the Barbados business brand in 2013 and beyond!Senator the Hon. Darcy BoyceMinister in the Prime Minister's Office2013 BARBADOS INTERNATIONAL FINANCE & BUSINESS 5
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