As we welcome 2017, and as with each new year, there is a sense of hope and expectation, a renewed drive to succeed, coupled with recharged energies. The Invest Barbados team has a positive outlook for our international business and financial services (IB&FS) sector. During the past year the IB&FS sector has seen a number of developments at the domestic level, and more so, on the global front, including the restoration of diplomatic relations between the USA and Cuba, BREXIT and the US Presidential election. These geo-political changes will undoubtedly impact the IB&FS landscape and will present new opportunities for Barbados. In view of the prevailing fragile global economy, the role of the Investment Promotion Agency (IPA) is even more pivotal. Traditionally, IPAs have been established by governments to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and spur growth in specific sectors. Notably, the priorities of IPAs have evolved in response to economic imperatives and market conditions.From inception, Invest Barbados (IB) has embraced these key roles. IB has responsibility for attracting FDI and international business that create jobs, generate taxes and earn foreign exchange revenue, and ensuring that prospective investors have the information required to make informed business decisions. Together with stakeholders, IB has been carefully building and managing the country’s international business brand, while positioning Barbados as the wealth management jurisdiction of choice in the Western Hemisphere. IB also continues to be a policy advocate, channelling concerns and new ideas to the appropriate authorities, while supporting initiatives to improve the domestic investment climate.Similar to other small open economies, Barbados’ economic development is inextricably linked to the country’s ability to attract and sustain international business. While significant progress in this regard has been achieved over the years, increasing competition from onshore IPAs compounded by a more volatile, global business environment, now requires greater vigilance and adaptability on the part of offshore IPAs in order to enable their economies to expand and flourish. The 2016 World Investment Report observed that “promoting and facilitating investment is crucial for the post-2015 development agenda.”IB, now in its 10th year of operation, has consistently collaborated with industry stakeholders to facilitate both established and new investors doing international business in Barbados. This productive partnership will become increasingly critical in an environment that is progressively challenging and competitive. Both public and private sector entities will need a closer working relationship that prioritises business facilitation and an attractive, supportive business environment.As IB embarks on its second decade of operation, we will maintain the ethos and values of good governance and efficiency which have characterised our success. A thriving Barbados is our aim. Our focus will be on facilitating mutually beneficial projects that will contribute to sustainable human, social, environmental and economic progress. We will also purposefully continue our advocacy for excellence in business facilitation and customer care, while ensuring that strategic investment promotion remains our top priority. As our mandate requires, we will seek to win additional international business in areas including niche manufacturing, ICT, wealth management, financial services, medical tourism and offshore universities. Marketing efforts will continue in Latin and North America as well as in Europe. We will engage traditional and newer communication channels, including the use of social media platforms. Together with our stakeholders we will nurture a more prosperous Barbados. We trust that you will find the articles in this ninth edition of the Barbados International Finance & Business magazine both meaningful and stimulating. They are intended to showcase aspects of the Barbados value proposition and demonstrate why Barbados continues to be a leading jurisdiction of choice for investors. Do contact us, and let’s explore how choosing Barbados can enhance your global competitiveness. Sandra PayneChief Executive Officer (Ag) IPAs Play a Pivotal RoleBarbados’ economic development is inextricably linked to the country’s ability to attract and sustain international business2017 BARBADOS INTERNATIONAL FINANCE & BUSINESS 7 6 BARBADOS INTERNATIONAL FINANCE & BUSINESS 2017
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