New investment creates success in Barbados.
Several new commercial and residential developments are now underway on the island, which is attracting top quality investments and enterprises due to its central location, modern infrastructure, open economy and highly educated and productive workforce.
The projects come to Barbados at a time of growth: During 2004, the economy of the most easterly of the Caribbean islands is expected to grow between 3% and 3.5%, according to Dr. Marion Williams, Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados. She also estimates the economy of Barbados will continue to grow at about 2.5%-3% per year through 2009.
"Several sectors of our economy are growing, including hotels, restaurants, financial services and information technology--particularly in the areas of information processing and call centers," said Dr. Williams. "The Government's incentives for tourism and manufacturing businesses also make investing in these types of enterprises in Barbados profitable."
Public/private sector initiatives are on stream in Barbados, with projects such as the Pier Head Development in Bridgetown underway, Dr. Williams added. The luxury waterfront center will feature restaurants, shops, a water sports complex and a yachting facility.
Also underway is the Apes Hill development, which will include a championship golf course and a resort community.
The Central Bank of Barbados, which has been in operation since 1972, helps to ensure the continued success of business in Barbados by managing foreign exchange reserves; supplying accurate and timely economic and financial reports; advising Government on monetary and fiscal matters; and assuring the continued transparency and reputation of the country's rapidly expanding financial center.
Barbados provides a world-class business environment, which is renowned for its clear, modern and transparent investment laws. There are no restrictions on foreign ownership of business enterprises on the island and bureaucratic requirements are kept to a minimum by a Government that supports productive investment.
The island's banking system is well established with a number of local and international banks available to service commercial, developmental and offshore needs. Commercial banks offer unlimited foreign currency accounts to off-shore investors, provided the foreign exchange comes from abroad.
Tourism businesses abound in Barbados as the numbers of tourists to the island are increasing. Total tourism increased by an estimated 7.3% in 2003, while the number of long-stay visitors rose by 6.7%. Cruise ship arrivals rose by 6.9% over the same period, largely due to the estimated 17.1% surge in the number of passengers in the fourth quarter of 2003 when several major cruise ships made Barbados their homeport.
The building of new tourism infrastructure, the refurbishment of existing properties and a project to expand the airport have also driven growth in the Barbados construction sector, which sew a rise in activity by 2.9% in 2003.
Barbados' Tourism Development Act 2002 significantly expanded incentives for investors in the country's tourism and hospitality sector beyond the traditional accommodation businesses. Incentives are now offered to restaurants, recreational facilities and services, development of attractions that emphasize the island's natural, historic and cultural heritage and for the construction of properties in non-coastal areas.
The Act also allows investors in tourism projects to benefit from a write-off of capital expenditure and 150% of interest. There is an exemption from import duty as well, plus value added tax and environmental levy in respect of furniture, fixtures end equipment, as well as building materials, supplies and equity financing.
"The Government has also been quite active and successful in promoting Barbados abroad and facilitating joint ventures between foreign and local investors," Dr. Williams said. "While we have long-standing trade and investment relationships with countries such as Venezuela, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom several Latin American countries are also beginning to have interests in Barbados. These include Costa Rica, Panama, Chile, and Columbia. Overall, interest in investing in Barbados is evident throughout the country."
For further information regarding investing in Barbados, contact:
Miss Novaline Brewster, Public Affairs Officer Central Bank of Barbados, Tom Adams Financial Centre, Church Village, Bridgetown, Barbados, Tel. No, (246) 436-60-70, Fax No. (246) 427-9559, Website: http://www.centralbank.org.bb, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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|Title Annotation:||Special Advertsing Feauture|
|Date:||May 1, 2004|
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