Prospects and Challenges for Offshore Financial Centres

The Barbados Economics Society hosted a discussion entitled “Prospects and Challenges for Offshore Financial Centres” at the Tom Adams Financial Centre.

During the discussion, attorney-at-law Dr. Trevor Carmichael, Q.C. shared his expert opinion and insight into the international business sector in Barbados.  A specialist in international business law, he has played a key leadership role in shaping the sector for several decades.

Dr. Carmichael addressed the issue of the increase in pressure placed by large industrialized nations on small international centres in recent times.  In his opinion, this development came about as a result of the world’s richest countries trying to prevent “the tax competition introduced by international financial sectors.”  The goal of the world’s major economies is to control internationally mobile capital and maintain control over financial services.  International financial sectors weaken their control and as such, tend to be viewed as unfavourable.

He recommended that Barbados continue to take a pro-active approach to international tax agreements by negotiating a bilateral investment treaty with the U.S.A. in order to increase the amount of investment flowing into Barbados from the world’s largest economy.

He also recommended that Barbados further develop “a series of investment and trade-in-services agreements on which some service sectors like tourism and culture can be underpinned.”  He said that these agreements could serve as additional alternatives to the existing double taxation agreements that have allowed the Barbados offshore brand to build a strong worldwide reputation.

At the end of the day when investors choose an international location they “look to see what the jurisdiction has to offer in the macro sense and how the micro facilitating processes work within that jurisdiction.”  It is these important characteristics that continue to make Barbados a top choice amongst investors as an international offshore centre.

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