Director: Lieve Luyten
INTRODUCTION • Stable Economy with International Reach • Barbados’s Fact File
BUSINESS & INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES • Top Quality Services Make Barbados Ideal Business Base 6 • Favourable Tax Regime Meets International Regulations 7
Ofﬁce Manager: Samira Darghal Regional Manager: Adam Bozsoki Project Coordinators: Aukje Oostendorp Khayla Banks Editorial: Emily Emerson-Le Moing Production Coordinator: Katrien Delamotte
FINANCE & BANKING • Financial Sector Set to Weather Global Crisis 9 • A Country Where Financial and Macroeconomic Stability Are the Watchwords 10 • Concorde Bank 11
Design: Martine Vandervoort Carine Thaens Johny Verstegen Walter Vranken Dirk Van Bun
ENERGY & TELECOM • Key Ministry Ready to Partner with Foreign Investors 13 • High Potential Telecom and IT Markets 14 • TeleBarbados 14 • Energy Sector Getting Greener 15 • The Barbados Light & Power Company 15
TRADE & INDUSTRY • New Economic Partnership to Boost Trade and Investment Flows • New Ministry Focuses on Innovative Industrial Development • Gildan
17 18 19
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• Come to Barbados for Youth Health 21 • Well-Developed Healthcare Sector Offers Excellent Investment Potential 22 • Biovail 23
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Stable Economy with International Reach Barbados – an independent English-speaking Commonwealth country with a dynamic economy – is strategically located within easy reach of the US and only an eight hour ﬂight from London. Known for its exceptional natural beauty, welcoming population and rich cultural heritage, the island nation has developed significant attractions for international investors, tourism visitors and foreign companies. Barbados is thought to have been originally inhabited by Arawak Indians. Later explored by the Portuguese, Barbados was colonised by the British in 1627. The ﬁrst colonists cultivated tobacco and cotton, but by the 1640s the local economy was based on the production of cane sugar, which was enormously proﬁtable. Slaves were brought in from Africa to work sugar plantations, and eventually the population was about 90% black. A slave revolt took place in 1816; slavery was abolished in Barbados and throughout the British Empire in 1834. Barbados gained its independence from Britain in 1966.
Stable parliamentary democracy Since independence, Barbados has developed a remarkably stable government based on a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy modelled on the British system. The country has also successfully diversiﬁed its economy into light industry, services and tourism. Today, 75% of the country’s GDP and 80% of its exports derive from the services sector. Barbados enjoys one of the highest average per capita income rates in the region. Tourism is the principal foreign exchange earning sector of the economy. Along with its pristine beaches and cultural attractions, Barbados offers a wide choice of luxury accommodations and state-of-the-art services for business travellers. Offshore ﬁnance and information services are also important foreign-exchange earners and beneﬁt from the fact that Barbados is in the same time zone as the US
The Hon. David Thompson, Prime Minister
East Coast. Many of the world’s leading ﬁnancial services enterprises have ofﬁces in Barbados, and companies operating on the island can count on exceptional business services. The government welcomes European ﬁnancial services ﬁrms to set up operations in Barbados. Having joined the United Nations in 1966, Barbados fully participates in the organs and specialized agencies of the U.N. system and is a member of many other multilateral institutions and groupings including the World Trade Organization, the Commonwealth, the African, Caribbean and Paciﬁc Group of States, and the Non-Aligned Movement. As an ardent supporter of regional integration, Barbados is a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME), the Caribbean Court of justice, the Association of Caribbean States and the Organization of American States. To keep economic growth on track and ensure top quality local human resources, the government of Barbados has made signiﬁcant investments in infrastructure and education and continues to create incentives for foreign investors.
Barbados’s Fact File Geography:
An island in the Atlantic about 300 miles (483 km) north of Venezuela, Barbados is only 21 miles long (34 km) and 14 miles across (23 km) at its widest point. It is circled by ﬁne beaches and narrow coastal plains. The highest point is Mount Hillaby (1,105 ft; 337 m) in the north-central area.
Barbados Dollar - US$1 = BDS$2 approx.
African (90%), English, Scottish & East Indians
Anglican (50%), Methodist, Catholic, Pentecostal and others
International Dialling Code: +1(246) Per capita income: 6,900 Capital:
Eight to nine hours of sunshine most days. It is generally warm and sunny all year round with an average daytime high of 75 - 85 F (23.5 - 29.5°C). The nights are usually slightly cooler. The prevailing northeast tradewinds blow steadily so that although it is bright and sunny, it is not unbearably hot. The rain usually comes in quick showers. The dry season lasts from January to June. The hurricane season runs from June until December.
Official Language: English with a broad dialect.
Major trading partners: Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the UK, US Economy:
The four main sectors contributing to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the island during 2008 were ﬁnance and business 19.0%, government services 17.1%, wholesale and retail 16.9% and tourism 13.4%. The other sectors contributing to GDP include general services 6.4%, construction 6.4%, manufacturing 6.8%, transportation, storage and communications 6.3%, electricity, gas and water 3.8%, non-sugar agriculture 2.2%, mining and quarrying 1.0%, and sugar 0.6%.
A 21 mile x 14 mile Caribbean island. West and South Coast have calm Caribbean sea and endless beaches. Rugged cliffs and Atlantic Ocean on East Coast.
â€˘ Top Quality Services Make Barbados Ideal Business Base â€˘ Favourable Tax Regime Meets International Regulations
Business & Investment Opportunities
© Barbados Tourism Authority
Top Quality Services Make Barbados Ideal Business Base The government of Barbados has placed a high priority on making the island an ideal base for business. The regulatory environment is responsive and competitive, and companies operating in Barbados can count on a diverse choice of very high quality professional services. For international meetings, Barbados has it all. Conference facilities range from large meeting halls for trade shows and conventions to smaller rooms for workshops and group meetings. Business centres are also available and offer all basic ofﬁce facilities in a central location. The island’s many luxury resorts are a perfect choice for international business events which combine business and pleasure, and all top hotels contain world class business facilities and meeting rooms.
Diverse range of services High quality services provided in Barbados by local and international firms include function and event planning, destination management, legal services, real estate services, communications, educational facilities, car hire and leasing, business accommodations, high quality telecommunications, and superior facilities and services for expatriate professionals.
Barbados has both onshore and offshore ﬁnancial services sectors. The thriving onshore ﬁnancial sector includes commercial banks, non-bank ﬁnancial institutions, credit unions, life insurers and general insurance companies. The offshore sector is the home of international insurance companies, international banks, mutual funds, global asset management, information and communication technology, knowledge based contact centre services, medical transcription, software development, niche manufacturing, ships registration and shipping activities, alternative and renewable energy and headquarter and holding companies.
Strong yet ﬂexible regulatory environment All international trading companies operating in Barbados must meet the criteria of the International Business Companies Act and be licensed by the Ministry of International Business and International Transport. Onshore insurance companies are regulated by the Insurance Act while offshore insurers are regulated by the Exempt Insurance Act; both must be licensed by the Ofﬁce of the Supervisor of Insurance. Barbados has taken a tough stand on money laundering through its Money Laundering (Prevention and Control) Act as amended in 2002, the Anti-Terrorism Act, and the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act.
The Anti-Money Laundering Control Authority is responsible for ensuring compliance with local legislation. In Barbados, international insurance companies can take two forms: Exempt Insurance Companies (EICs) – These entities are registered under the Exempt Insurance Act 1983 and can be used to insure risks originating outside of Barbados. They are taxed at a rate of 0% of proﬁts and gains for the ﬁrst 15 ﬁnancial years. After the ﬁrst 15 years an EIC is taxed at a rate of 2% on the ﬁrst $250 000 of taxable income and at a rate of 0% in respect of all other taxable income in excess of $250,000. Qualiﬁed Insurance Companies (QICs) – This type of insurance company is registered under the Insurance Act and may also insure a certain amount of local risk. A QIC is taxed at the same rate of corporate taxation as a local company. However, the rate of tax may be effectively reduced to 1.75%. A rebate of up to 93% of income tax can be claimed, depending on the percentage of total premium income that is earned from foreign insurance business. Under the Companies Act, insurance companies can operate as segregated cell companies. Under this corporate structure, the risks and rewards of one cell are kept separate from those of other cells. The government continues to encourage the development of high quality business services in Barbados.
Business & Investment Opportunities
Favourable Tax Regime Meets International Regulations Barbados’s tax-efficient vehicles provide excellent avenues through which to conduct international business while ensuring adherence to the highest levels of transparency and information disclosure. The government of Barbados has carefully developed a system which meets international standards while avoiding positioning itself as a secrecy destination.
Barbados began establishing a series of bilateral income tax treaties years ago and now has more favourable prospects for growth and investment than many of its counterparts in the Caribbean. In contrast to Barbados, other small eastern Caribbean countries have signed few (if any) income tax treaties or tax information exchange agreements, and the OECD recently included those countries on its April 2 gray list of tax havens. Barbados is the only small Caribbean country on the OECD’s latest white list of countries which comply with OECD tax information exchange standards. In addition to being party to a Caribbean Community Double Taxation Agreement, the island nation has several DTAs with OECD countries and an impressive network of 18 treaties in total. These include treaties with Austria, Botswana, Canada, China, Cuba, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Finland, Ghana, Malta, Mexico, Mauritius, Seychelles, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Venezuela. Barbados has recently concluded new agreements with Spain, Italy and Luxembourg and these are presently awaiting signature and ratification. Negotiations with India and Iceland are at an advanced stage and technical discussions have been held with Belgium, France, Chile, Brazil, Ireland, Malaysia, and Turkey.
Tax agreements reflect Barbados’s high standards The agreements Barbados has established with the world’s best regulated jurisdictions are another indication that Barbados does not encourage tax evasion or money laundering. In fact, it continues to strengthen its anti money laundering regulations. The government of Barbados has established a number of tax incentives for investors. Capital gains are not subject to tax, and international companies are taxed on income on a sliding scale. There are no withholding taxes on dividends, royalties, management fees, interest payments and other fees paid by an international business to non-residents of Barbados or to another international company. Offshore entities are exempt from exchange control restrictions and may keep records and financial statements in a foreign currency. Expatriate staff can be exempted from income tax and exchange control on up to 35% of their remuneration from an international company, and an international company may import equipment, machinery or materials for use in its business without paying customs duties.
© Stock Exchange
Such incentives are just the beginning for businesses wishing to set up operations in Barbados, a well-run jurisdiction that is business friendly while meeting high international standards.
• Financial Sector Set to Weather Global Crisis • A Country Where Financial and Macroeconomic Stability Are the Watchwords
Finance & Banking
“We believe that the EU market has growth potential for Barbados. We are encouraging local businesses to target the EU and we welcome EU investors.” Dr. Marion Williams, Governor Central Bank
Finance & Banking
Financial Sector Set to Weather Global Crisis
Barbados’s ﬁnancial sector is overseen by the Central Bank, the Ofﬁce of the Supervisor of Insurance, the Securities Commission of Barbados, the International Business Division and the Barbados Ships’ Registry. As of the end of 2008, the sector included 54 licensed international banks, and Barbados’s stock exchange reported capitalisation of €4.7 billion. Twenty-six local companies and many international companies, including seven banks, are listed. Barbados has been building up its ﬁnancial sector for more than 30 years and today its offshore ﬁnancial sector includes companies in the banking, insurance, and shipping sectors, as well as funds managers and other companies. In the insurance sector alone, Barbados counts more than 400 captive companies. All types of insurance – life, general and commercial – are provided by Barbados insurance ﬁrms to both local and international markets.
Attractive base for business International investors continue to target Barbados as a base for business. According to the Central Bank, 470 new business licences were issued in 2007. Of these, 126 companies with restricted liability, six exempt insurance companies, one exempt insurance management company and three new offshore banks were approved for operation. The current ﬁnancial crisis is creating signiﬁcant challenges for Barbados’s ﬁnancial sector as for other ﬁnancial services centres worldwide, but the Central Bank remains hopeful. In a speech given in March this year, Dr. Marion Williams, Governor of the Central Bank, commented, “Although the
Barbados has developed a strong, well-regulated financial services sector which is named on the latest “White List” of jurisdictions largely compliant with the OECD’s standard for tax information exchange agreements, making Barbados the only small country in the Caribbean to make the cut. The many bilateral tax agreements which Barbados has signed – including with EU countries – add to its appeal for investors. Barbados has built the foundations to help it withstand the current global financial crisis.
challenges that lay ahead seem a bit daunting, Barbados’s ﬁnancial system is currently well positioned to cope with them. Furthermore, the Central Bank continues to stand ready to do all within its power to ensure that we ride this global crisis out with as minimal damage as possible. With the continued solid cooperation of the other regulators and the wider ﬁnancial community, we expect that, despite a couple hiccups, the Barbadian ﬁnancial system will continue to be recognised for its soundness and stability and the insurance sector will continue to thrive.”
A Country Where Financial and Macroeconomic Stability Are the Watchwords Barbados is one of the world’s oldest democracies, with a bi-cameral parliament and a thriving two-party system. Elections are held every five years and in January 2008 Mr. David Thompson, an Attorney-atLaw, became the country’s sixth Prime Minister. Barbados has had a ﬂourishing banking system – including the presence of British and Canadian banks – for almost 200 years. In May 1972, the government established the Central Bank of Barbados, which plays a key role in the national economy.
Dr. Marion Williams, Central Bank Governor since 1999, explains that in addition to issuing Barbados’ national currency beginning in 1973, “the Central Bank is charged with the oversight and supervision of Barbados’ ﬁnancial system, principally the commercial banking system, and we are also responsible for developing and enforcing a monetary policy that will ensure the ﬁnancial stability of our banking system and for promoting macroeconomic policies that will maintain ﬁnancial stability.” Barbados’ ﬁnancial system continues to evolve. The government has decided to establish a ﬁnancial services commission that will serve as the regulatory authority for all ﬁnancial entities in Barbados other than banks. This commission would be a regulator for insurance companies, pension funds, international business companies and others. Currently, each of these groups has a separate supervisor, and it is felt that it is time to place them under a single regulator.
EU ﬁnancial services ﬁrms particularly welcome A current goal for the government is to attract more European ﬁnancial sector enterprises to Barbados. While Barbados has trade agreements with the EU, no EU commercial bank has established a presence on the island, although some EU ﬁrms are active in the offshore sector. “We believe that
Dr. Marion Williams, Governor Central Bank
the EU market has growth potential for Barbados. We are encouraging local businesses to target the EU and we welcome EU investors,” Dr. Williams points out. Like all countries throughout the world, Barbados has to cope with the global economic downturn, but the authorities are conﬁdent that given the fact that Barbados has a history of stable ﬁnancial management, they have every reason to believe that the country will continue to prosper despite the difﬁculties posed by the global recession. The World Economic Forum ranked Barbados number three in the western world for the best regulated jurisdiction. Barbados is number one among developing countries in the Human Development Index of the United Nations. The authorities are of the view that Barbados can hold its own in any environment in the ﬁnancial ﬁeld. Barbados encourages EU ﬁnancial services ﬁrms to investigate Barbados’ attractions as a base for business
Finance & Banking
Independent Private Bank Provides Truly Personalised Services Concorde Bank has earned a strong reputation for its high-quality, personalised services. The independent, Barbados-based private bank created in 1987 specialises in private banking, wealth management, trust and custody services for high net worth individuals and corporate clients, as well as in administrative services for fund managers. It is this unique combination of a variety of ﬁnancial services that set Concorde Bank apart from its domestic and international competitors. Gerard Lussan, Chairman and CEO, explains, “Concorde Bank focuses on tailoring its services to the individual’s needs as opposed to a broader mass market service which today is often offered by many big name institutions.” He adds, “Many of our clients are expatriated individuals from a variety of countries, backgrounds and professions, including many who have been disappointed by the supposedly ‘high net worth’ services provided worldwide by large institutions. As expatriates ourselves, the founders of the bank know the type of service most clients require and expect. At Concorde, they ﬁnd the support and services they are looking for.” Concorde Bank’s services are enhanced by its collaboration with other major ﬁnancial institutions around the world. In particular
Concorde Bank cooperates with the Laven Partners ﬁnancial services group, whose European ofﬁces are located in London, Luxembourg and Geneva. Laven Partners are investment management consultants offering fund structuring, compliance, tax, legal and risk management services. Laven Partners also offers the potential to carry valuable due diligence assessments of all types of funds.
Barbados leading the way–a well–regulated jurisdiction Concorde Bank is a leading institution in Barbados’s varied banking sector, which includes major commercial banks and 54 international private banks. All banking activities in Barbados are licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Barbados. Lussan points out that the Barbados government has put in place a regulatory framework for the ﬁnancial sector that meets the best international standards, it is currently Basel I compliant and is aiming at being Basel II compliant by 2010. In this respect, Barbados is ahead of other Caribbean jurisdictions and some OECD countries. He adds, “Barbados has a positive image. It was ‘white-listed’ this year by the OECD as it has proven to be compliant with their international standards. Barbados has a very good track record when it comes to the prevention of ﬁnancial crime. It is also the Caribbean jurisdiction with
Gerard and Philippe Lussan
the greater number of tax treaties with major countries, such as the US, Canada, China, the UK, Switzerland, and others. It is a stable, reliable jurisdiction and a great alternative in a global economy.”
CONCORDE BANK LIMITED The Corporate Centre Bush Hill & Bay Street St. Michael BB14038, Barbados P.O. Box 1161, Bridgetown BB11000, Barbados Tel.: +1 246 430 5320 Fax: +1 246 437 1227 firstname.lastname@example.org
• Key Ministry Ready to Partner with Foreign Investors • High Potential Telecom and IT Markets • Energy Sector Getting Greener
Energy & Telecom
“The government of Barbados continues to respond to the threat posed by this crisis to our social and economic development by supporting external sectors while safeguarding jobs to the extent feasible and ensuring that the most vulnerable members of our society are protected. Despite the crisis, we remain optimistic, given the traditional resilience and resourcefulness of Barbadians.” Senator the Hon. Darcy Boyce, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Investment, Telecommunication and Energy
Energy & Telecom
Key Ministry Ready to Partner with Foreign Investors The Ministry of Finance, Investment, Telecommunication and Energy plays a vital role in enhancing Barbados’s investment appeal. Darcy Boyce, Minister of State, explains, “We are creating an attractive environment for business.” As the Minister points out, Barbados offers a stable, well organised business environment which includes high quality business services. The regulatory system is world class, and Barbados has developed a reliable telecommunications infrastructure. Barbados also offers attractive tax breaks. As Darcy Boyce points out, “Barbados is a very well run jurisdiction. Our corporate tax is 25%, which is lower than many other jurisdictions, and we also offer the opportunity to earn tax credits. Companies conducting their international business through Barbados can utilise tax-efﬁcient business structures such as the International Business Companies (IBC) and the International Society with Restricted Liability (ISRL) which allows non-resident companies a reduced corporation rate between 2.5% and 1%. Other Incentives associated with these structures include exemption from withholding taxes on dividends, interest and management fees, royalties’ paid to non-residents, and from taxes on transfers of shares and other assets.”
Transparency, freedom from corruption, efﬁciency Transparency, freedom from corruption, and efﬁciency are guiding principles for the Ministry, which is also dedicated to ensuring that social services in Barbados meet local residents’ needs. At a recent Special Summit of the United Nations, Darcy Boyce expressed his commitment to maintaining high standards during the current global ﬁnancial downturn. He said, “International ﬁnancial institutions must be responsive to the interests of all members, especially the smallest, poorest and most vulnerable, and must conduct their business in transparency and with accountability to the entire membership.”
Optimism in a time of crisis Even in a time of global ﬁnancial crisis, Barbados remains committed to its on going economic and social development. As Darcy Boyce explains, “The government of Barbados continues to respond to the threat posed by this crisis to our social and economic development by supporting external sectors while safeguarding jobs to the extent feasible and ensuring that the most vulnerable members of our society are protected. Despite the crisis, we remain optimistic, given the traditional resilience and resourcefulness of Barbadians.” The Ministry welcomes the chance to work with foreign investors. Darcy
Senator the Hon. Darcy Boyce, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Investment, Telecommunication and Energy
Boyce points out that Barbados particularly needs projects involving alternative energies and the construction of tourism facilities, and that the Ministry is open to getting involved in joint ventures. The Energy Division within the Ministry focuses on projects involving oil and gas, alternative energy, and energy conservation, as well as providing geological and earth science services to other government departments and the private sector. The Minister of State concludes, “I would like to welcome investors to come to Barbados, where they will ﬁnd lots of high potential investment and business opportunities.”
High Potential Telecom and IT Markets
© Dkandrew | Dreamstime.com
Although it is an island nation with a population of only around 250,000, Barbados has one of the world’s most advanced telecom and information technology infrastructures. According to the International Telecommunications Union, 55 out of 1,000 people in Barbados used the Internet in 2007, putting Barbados ahead of both Japan and Italy; only 13 countries had higher ratings. In 2004, according to the ITU, Barbados had 124 telephones for every 100 people, beating Canada (111), Japan (118), and all other Caribbean countries. Around 237,000 cellular telephones were in use in Barbados in 2006. High speed Internet access is available throughout the island via wireless and ADSL connections; with transmission speeds up to 4Mbps. Barbados is equipped with the latest in digital technology and fibre-optic systems, including international direct dialling and satellite telecommunications. Companies operating in Barbados can count on cutting edge telecom and IT. The island’s telecom market began to be liberalised in 2001, and soon new call centre operators, mobile operators, private long distance services providers, Internet access providers and other service providers entered the market, although former monopoly provider Cable & Wireless retains its monopoly on fixed line services. In 2006, fiber-optic and wireless broadband WIMAX networks were launched in Barbados by TeleBarbados.
World-class regulatory environment Along with advanced infrastructure, Barbados has established a world-class regulatory environment for the IT and telecom sector, including the Electronic Transactions Act (2000), making Barbados the third Caribbean country to implement digital signature legislation. Now the government is moving ahead in its programme to promote Barbados as an e-commerce base. The Information Society of Barbados has identified three opportunities for e-commerce on the island: local to local, local to international, and international to international through local facilities. Barbados’s major objective is to become a leading base for managing e-commerce activities for corporations around the world. E-government is another priority. The government has established the Central Information Management Agency, which will incorporate the Data Processing Department and will be responsible for the development of ICT strategies, policies and programmes geared at delivering governmental services through the use of information and communications technology.
Energy & Telecom
Energy Sector Getting Greener
According to the Draft Barbados National Energy Policy, the government will introduce gasohol (based on a 10% ethanol to gasoline mix) to the local market, and it aims for the local sugar industry to produce around 14.7 million litres of ethanol per year. The percentage of ethanol in gasoline will be increased over time.
Barbados is a trend-setter in adopting renewable energies. The government has committed to having renewable energy account for 30% of the island’s primary electricity by 2012, but it is trying to achieve this target earlier to cope with the rising price of fuel imports. Bagasse (made from sugarcane fibre) and solar water heaters already contribute 15% of the island’s primary energy supply, and the government aims to expand the number of sources of renewable energy.
Barbados Light and Power has completed a feasibility study for a wind farm.
Incentives for biodiesel projects The government has announced it will offer incentives for biodiesel projects, and it is considering requiring a 2% biodiesel content in all diesel fuelled vehicles. The island consumes around 100 million litres of biodiesel per year. The government estimates that around 4.5 million litres of used cooking oil can be converted to biodiesel. Barbados has estimated natural gas reserves of 4.99 billion cubic feet, with an annual consumption of 1.03 billion cubic feet. With national supplies expected to run out in the next ﬁve to ﬁfteen years, the government is looking to import gas from Trinidad and Tobago via a pipeline under construction. This project should bring in around 30 million to 40 million cubic feet per day more than current supplies, allowing for expansion of the national gas grid and guaranteeing security of supply to the Barbados Light & Power, which is constructing an 80-megawatt generation plant capable of using natural gas. Barbados Light and Power has also completed a feasibility study for a wind farm, as well as for a fuel cane power generation plant.
Palm oil seeds
number of “green” measures, and it is implementing incentives for energy conservation, energy efﬁciency and use of renewable energy. It is also introducing standards for efﬁcient energy use and promoting research and development in renewable energies.
The government is also promoting energy efﬁcient technologies and energy conservation through a
• New Economic Partnership to Boost Trade and Investment Flows • New Ministry Focuses on Innovative Industrial Development
Trade & Industry
“Barbados presents an unique opportunity to invest in a broad set of areas that are important not only for national development but which also provide a stable opportunity for returns on investment.” Dr. The Hon. David Estwick, Minister of Economic Affairs
© Barbados Tourism Authority
Six Roads industrial park
New Economic Partnership to Boost Trade and Investment Flows Under the terms of the new Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), the EU has liberalised 90% of its services sectors while the More Developed Caribbean Countries of CARIFORUM have opened up 75% and the Less Developed Countries of CARIFORUM 65%. The EPT removes all quotas and tariffs from Caribbean exports to the EU, with the exception of sugar and rice, both of which will be liberalised over time. The EU has agreed to open up new markets for Caribbean companies and professionals offering services to Europe, and to permit young services professionals to gain work experience in the European market. CARIFORUM countries have agreed to gradually open their markets to European exports over the next 25 years, lowering domestic prices on European products.
– construction, light industry, sugar, tourism and others – along with its highly developed services sector are all expected to beneﬁt from the new agreement. Barbados has positioned itself as an ideal business base in the Americas for EU companies thanks to its value added services.
contracting state, beneﬁt from provisions offering protection, including guarantees of non-discriminatory treatment of their investments, the transfer of investments and returns held in the host state, and recourse to international arbitration to settle disputes.
Thanks to the EPA agreement, more and more EU investors are expected to employ a Barbadian entity to invest in other countries. Barbados has entered into treaties for the promotion and protection of investment with the BelgiumLuxembourg Economic Union, Canada, China, Cuba, Germany, Italy, Mauritius, Ghana, Switzerland, the UK and Venezuela.
CARIFORUM’s agriculture sector will still have signiﬁcant protection under the EPA; around 75% of EU agricultural produce will continue to face some form of tariff on entry into CARIFORUM. In addition, many sensitive CARIFORUM commodities will not face duty-free competition from EU suppliers for some time.
Under these agreements, Barbadian entities, which invest in the other
Nevertheless, trade and investment ﬂows between the EU and Barbados are expected to increase dramatically over the next few years.
Bilateral trade agreements put Barbados ahead Barbados is much better placed than other CARIFORUM members to beneﬁt from the EPA, thanks to its well-established bilateral trade agreements with many EU countries. Barbados’s key industries
© Barbados Tourism Authority
New Ministry Focuses on Innovative Industrial Development The Ministry of Economic Affairs, Empowerment, Innovation, Trade, Industry and Commerce was created in 2008 to centralise the government’s macro-economic planning for Barbados’s industrial activities. The government’s aim is to foster the development of smaller industrial enterprises as well as enhance the industrial sector overall. Encouraging the growth of micro enterprises is essential in the new industry’s plans. As Dr. The Hon. David Estwick, Minister, explains, “We need to establish a policy framework to promote the consistent delivery of services; allow for the evaluation of programmes; assist in the building of an entrepreneurial culture; allow for the development of competitive and innovative small businesses; and to build the capacity for small businesses to grow. It is important that we keep the micro business sector in operation because it provides protection for those big businesses that performed poorly during a recession.”
Public and private sector joining forces To keep industrial growth on track, the public sector will step in through providing ﬁnancing and human resources development in high potential sectors. “We plan state intervention in those areas where we have the best opportunities. We want the public sector to be efﬁcient enough to drive private sector efﬁciency. The public and private sectors need to work together to achieve our mutual goals,” the Minister says.
Pro-active approach The new Ministry is resolutely pro-active. As Dr. David Estwick explains, “We envision an environment for small business development that moves from being conservative to one that is outward looking, change driven and growth oriented.” A top priority for the new Ministry -- as its name indicates -- is to foster innovation in the industrial sector through
Dr. The Hon. David Estwick, Minister of Economic Affairs
new applications of science and technology. Another goal is to upgrade policies and programmes as well as to establish a protocol for the collection and efﬁcient provision of up to date information related to the industrial sector which will assist local entrepreneurs.
Enhanced investment attractions Dr. David Estwick points out that the government is working harder than ever to enhance Barbados’s investment attractions. He explains, “Barbados presents an unique opportunity to invest in a broad set of areas that are important not only for national development but which also provide a stable opportunity for returns on investment. One example of our investment appeal is our well developed and well regulated ﬁnancial sector, which offers a broad set of instruments from which investors can beneﬁt.”
Trade & Industry
Textile Leader Bets on Barbados Gildan, the vertically integrated manufacturer of branded basic apparel, listed on both the Toronto and New York stock exchanges, is one of the world’s largest producers of T-shirts and socks. Gildan has been operating in Barbados for 11 years and is a leading example of the potential of Barbados as a base for business. As Mike Hoffman, President, explains, “We are in Barbados for all the right reasons. The infrastructure is in place, there is a highly educated workforce, the environment is pro-business, and the commitment of the people in Barbados is a key factor in our success. We complement the island and the island complements us.” Mike Hoffman goes on to further explain that Gildan’s activities include everything from buying raw cotton to manufacturing to packaging and distributing its ﬁnished products. During Gildan’s time in Barbados, the company has been able to achieve the leading market share position in North America in all of its core activewear categories; t-shirts, ﬂeece, polo shirts and socks. These ‘blank’ apparel products are marketed through a dedicated network of wholesale distributor partners for use in various decorative applications such as screen-printing and embroidery. Boasting #1 in the industry is no easy feat, and as such Gildan is currently expanding its portfolio to include men’s and boys’ underwear. Gildan employs 145 people in its Barbados ofﬁce which accounts for €895 million (US$1.25 billion) in annual sales. Mike Hoffman points out, “We are not just any offshore company; we manage our entire business from Barbados. We set pricing and conclude contracts here, make our forecast projections, buy our products, and handle all other sales and marketing activities for our company. Everything we need to do business is here in Barbados.” As a result, the company plans to expand its facilities on the island. Focused on setting the standard in Barbados as in all of its markets, Gildan is known for its corporate social responsibility projects and for its adherence to stringent environmental protection standards.
Mike Hoffman, President
Mike Hoffman explains that Europe is a growing market where Gildan has approximately 10% market share, distributes to 25 countries, and is the company’s fastest growing market. “I would be disappointed if we did not double or even triple our presence in Europe over the next ﬁve years, given our aggressive growth plans as a company,” Mike Hoffman says. Gildan is currently looking into expanding it distribution capabilities in Europe and establishing a new distribution centre there. The company already has a warehouse in the UK and Belgium. “The only thing that has limited our growth in Europe is not enough capacity and lack of product availability to meet the demand,” Mike Hoffman says. As for Barbados, Gildan is there to stay.
Gildan House, 34 Warrens, St. Michael, BB 22026 Barbados W.I. Tel.: +246 421 7751 Fax: +246 421 7779 www.gildan.com
• Come to Barbados for Your Health • Well-Developed Healthcare Sector Offers Excellent Investment Potential
“Visitors and investors coming to Barbados should know that we have a very well developed healthcare infrastructure with excellent facilities and services. I welcome investments in health tourism projects, as well as in specialised niche facilities. These offer wonderful opportunities.” The Hon. Donville O. Inniss, Minister of Health
Come to Barbados for Your Health With its bracing sea breezes, sunshine and comfortable accommodations, Barbados has always attracted visitors seeking destinations that promote health, and the island now has a thriving health tourism sector which the government aims to develop still further through its new health and wellness tourism programme. For local residents and visitors alike, Barbados offers advanced healthcare facilities and services accessible to all. In fact, the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI) rated Barbados at number 31 out of 159 countries in human development (including access to healthcare) in 2007. Barbados’s healthcare system, which is overseen by the Ministry of Health, includes excellent public and private facilities, all of which have beneﬁted from signiﬁcant recent investments. There are two main hospitals as well as a network of polyclinics, private medical centres, a psychiatric hospital, gerontology centres, laboratories and research centres, and specialist services centres, including a haemodialysis centre and a fertility clinic. Stem cell research, imaging, ultrasound and MRI testing as well as nuclear imaging are all of very high quality in Barbados. Around 340 physicians practice in the country, around one-third of them in the public sector. In recent years, Barbados has been stepping up its educational services to train healthcare profes-
sionals, ensuring high quality human resources. The government has been steadily opening up opportunities for private healthcare facilities and services.
Range of high-quality health services The 600-bed, state-funded Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) offers the broadest range of services, including a 24-hour accident and emergency service. The QEH doubles as a teaching hospital, part of the Faculty of Medical Sciences of the University of the West Indies (UWI). The smaller, privately owned Bayview Hospital, just outside Bridgetown, offers more personalised attention. The private, upscale Sandy Crest Medical Centre and FMH Emergency Centre also provide excellent care. Osteopathic care and a wide choice of alternative treatments – including reiki, reﬂexology and Ayurvedic medicine – are also available in Barbados. In fact, a growing new trend in the health tourism sector is luxurious medical spas which feature an integrated offering combining conventional medicine, such as plastic surgery, with alternative treatments. The government operates the Barbados Drug Service which controls the importation and distribution of essential drugs in the country, to ensure that Barbadians receive affordable, quality drugs and pharmaceuticals. The government welcomes foreign investment in Barbados’s healthcare sector, for example in providing health tourism offerings or specialised medical services.
Well-Developed Healthcare Sector Offers Excellent Investment Potential Barbados has a well-developed healthcare sector, which provides free care to all Barbadians. According to The Hon. Donville O. Inniss, Minister of Health, the government is currently focusing on preventative medicine through analysing disease patterns and developing new programmes to combat health issues before extensive care is required. “We recently finalised a strategic plan to reduce the number and length of hospital stays by focusing on the preventative side, and we already have an excellent model for HIV/Aids intervention,” he explains. Barbados offers a number of special services for citizens under 16 and over 65, and the government operates eight polyclinics around the island as well as four secondary care facilities, a psychiatric hospital, and the country’s main healthcare institution, Queen Elisabeth Hospital, a teaching hospital with 552 beds.
Investment opportunities in health tourism and niche services The Ministry is open to working with international investors through public-private partnerships, and encourages private investors to develop specialised healthcare services in Barbados, since the government does not have the means to do this. The Minister explains, “Visitors and investors coming to Barbados should know that we have a very well developed healthcare infrastructure with excellent facilities and services. I welcome investments in health tourism projects, as well as in specialised niche facilities. These offer wonderful opportunities.” The main challenge the Ministry of Health faces, according to Donville O. Inniss, is to maintain the ﬁnancial resources the country needs to face the health issues of the future. “The disease proﬁle is changing all the time. We have to make sure that we have the ﬁnancial resources we need to drive the sector forward and the diverse range of human resources to continually develop the sector,” he says. Overall, the Minister is very conﬁdent. He concludes, “Barbados is an island that works. International investors can be sure that their investments are safe here and that the healthcare is excellent.”
Promoting health tourism to Barbados is another priority for the Ministry. Donville O. Inniss says, “Barbados has an excellent, mature tourism sector as well as a mature and diversiﬁed healthcare sector. We believe health tourism, including upscale health tourism, is a natural choice for Barbados.” To enhance Barbados’s attractions as a destination for health tourism as well as to provide even better care, the Ministry aims to continue to improve
the country’s healthcare facilities and to diversify the healthcare sector.
Bottom Bay Beach
Pharmaceuticals Leader, a Good Investment Biovail Corporation demonstrates the potential of Barbados as a business base for an innovative company. Biovail’s predecessor company was founded in 1987, and in 1991, organized its main operating subsidiary (now known as Biovail Laboratories International SRL or BLS) in Barbados. Today, Biovail is ranked Canada’s largest publicly traded pharmaceuticals enterprise and, in 2008, achieved US$757 million (€542.1 million) in annual revenues. BLS owns, manages and controls Biovail’s intellectual property that underlies the Company’s products. It performs all of the activities that are involved with owning and exploiting a substantial intellectual property portfolio; and it performs strategic planning and decisionmaking. “We also manage the supply chain and distribute to our partners in Canada and the US,” says Bill Wells, President of BLS and Chief Executive Ofﬁcer of Biovail. Explaining why a Canadian enterprise chose to establish operations in Barbados, Bill Wells says, “The tax structure and business environment are transparent, the courts work, the government is pro-business, and Barbados has a quality educated work force. There are regular international air connections and Barbados is a very attractive place to live.”
Biovail is involved in the formulation, clinical testing, registration, manufacture and commercialisation of pharmaceutical products for distribution mainly in the US (which accounts for approximately 90% of the corporation’s sales) and Canada. Biovail specialises in drugs used in the treatment of neurological conditions. Bill Wells explains, “The core of our strategy is to operate in an area of the marketplace, specialty neurology, with high opportunity and good growth rates.” Biovail received the 2009 Corporate Award from the National Organisation for Rare Disorders for the development of Xenazine® to treat chorea in association with Huntington’s disease.
Open to new collaborations Biovail recently acquired worldwide rights to tetrabenazine from a UK company, Cambridge Laboratories (Ireland) Ltd., and purchased the US distribution rights for Welbutrin XL from GlaxoSmithKline. Biovail supplies tetrabenazine, the only authorised treatment for Huntington’s chorea, to Lundbeck Inc. for commercialisation in the US under the Xenazine brand name. Xenazine is the only FDA-approved product for the treatment of any symptom of Huntington’s disease – a neurodegenerative disease that affects approximately 25,000 people in the US. In addition, Biovail recently entered into a collaboration and license agreement with ACADIA Pharmaceuticals for pimavanserin – a new chemical entity currently
in Phase III development for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease psychosis, or PDP. “Biovail focuses on conditions for which there are insufﬁcient or no treatments. We are a credible player in specialty neurology and an active player in terms of licensing and acquiring products,” Bill Wells explains. Biovail is always open to new collaborations, including working with marketing partners in Europe in the future. An exemplary corporate citizen, Biovail supports many community service projects in Barbados and has made a long-term commitment to the island. Bill Wells concludes, “Barbados is a great business environment, and Biovail serves as a good example of a company which is contributing to the overall image of the country.”
Biovail Laboratories International SRL Welches Christ Church, Barbados, BB17154 Tel: +1 246 418 6400 Fax: +1 246 420 1532 www.biovail.com
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Published on Feb 27, 2011
Published on Feb 27, 2011
The European Times is an independent media agency that specializes in in-depth promotional reports on different countries and regions worldw...