In this special focus, we look at how Barbados has continued to demonstrate resilience, growth and innovation over the past year despite challenges posed by the global pandemic; and we consider the opportunities ahead for the jurisdiction in 2022.
On behalf of Invest Barbados, Derrick Cummins from Amicorp details how Barbados’ global business offerings position the jurisdiction as a world leader in areas such as captive insurance.
We also talk to Marlon E. Yarde, Managing Director of Barbados Stock Exchange Inc., who discusses how the BSE has weathered the pandemic through the development of the BCSDI Custodian Trust Services Inc., which aims to deliver cost-effective and dependable custodian and trustee services to market actors in the financial services industry. We also hear from Sir Trevor Carmichael QC from Chancery Chambers, who maps out the jurisdiction's road to recovery following the pandemic.
Our sector focus provides an overview of the latest trends and developments in Barbados' key industries. Tara E. Frater from FT Legal looks at how Barbados is earning a reputation as a growing hub for technological entrepreneurial activity, while Tammi Pilgrim from Lex Caribbean argues that in the post-pandemic environment, Caribbean jurisdictions like Barbados must re-assert the value that they bring to the arbitration ecosystem and to parties seeking arbitration.
In addition, Kirk Cyrus from Strategic Risk Solutions considers the role of Barbados in providing investment opportunities and risk management solutions on the global financial stage.
As a small open economy, as with all others, Barbados is easily impacted by the headwinds of the developed world. Exogenous variables are a reality. While we agitate on the global platform for favourable outcomes, we have always continued to determine our destiny through education, innovation, adaptation, and thought leadership.
Since becoming independent in 1966, Barbados has recognised the inherent difficulties in building a thriving economy on the basis of selling commodities on an international market subject to the vagaries of geopolitics and market forces. The global business sector is a vivid example of a cadre of professionals surveying the global landscape and recognising that our sustainability lay in the provision of high value services to a sophisticated and mobile global clientele.
Since becoming independent in 1966, Barbados has recognised the inherent difficulties in building a thriving economy on the basis of selling commodities on an international market subject to the vagaries of geopolitics and market forces.
According to the 2021 Global Wealth Report (1), there was an estimated US$418.3 trillion in global wealth by the end of 2020, representing an increase of 7.4 per cent from the start of that year. This growth occurred despite a contraction in global GDP, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, that was countered by gains in the equity and housing markets.
As the pandemic continues to impact GDP output, there is an ongoing need for national, regional, and international strategies to boost the low and middle-income economies of the small island developing states of the Caribbean. In the case of Barbados, its existence as an International Financial Centre (IFC) since the 1980s has attracted significant foreign direct investment (FDI). The island and the region still require this investment.
Recently, there has been an agreement amongst the finance leaders from the G7 to adopt a global minimum corporation tax rate. This rate, mooted at 15 per cent regardless of where companies locate their headquarters, is in response to the view that large multinationals have been shifting their revenues to “tax havens” to reduce their tax liability.
As an IFC, Barbados has invested heavily in the convergence of its domestic and international taxes to do away with perceived “ring-fencing” and “special regimes.”