The Central Bank of Barbados just released their August IBFS Newsletter, the penultimate issue for 2012.

In this issue, Ben Arrindell, an international tax expert, focuses on the impact of changes to the tax rates on companies operating in Barbados’ international business sector and the new immigration policies aimed at encouraging high-net-worth individuals to relocate to the Island. The initiatives were outlined in the most recent Budgetary Proposals, delivered by the Minister of Finance, The Honourable Christopher Sinckler, on June 26, 2012.

Kaeron Venner, Director of International Business in the Ministry of International Business and International Transport, highlights the G20 concerns about international tax evasion and its impact on members’ tax revenue.

He discusses the role of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes as this organization has responsibility for in-depth monitoring and peer review concerning the implementation of international standards of transparency and exchange of information, relating to the administration and enforcement of domestic tax laws.

The review process is undertaken in two phases, 1 and 2. Phase 1 assesses the quality of a jurisdiction’s legal and regulatory framework, while Phase 2 examines the implementation of that framework. Barbados’ Phase 2 review is scheduled for 2013.

Henderson Holmes, {centre} Executive Director of Barbados International Business Association (BIBA) shares his organization’s views on this year’s budgetary proposals. He expresses some disappointment at the allocation to the financial services compared to the amount of foreign exchange generated by the Sector for Barbados and also looks forward to the promised “international business legislation day,” where several legislative suggestions made by BIBA would be discussed.

In an article titled “International Supervision,” Dr. Trevor Carmichael zeroes in on insurance domiciles in the Caribbean and the mid-Atlantic and the question of Europe’s Solvency II Directive, which is a cause for some concern and debate. Although the discussion is more centered on Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, it should be more than passing interest to us here, the author argues.

Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados, Dr. DeLisle Worrell, deals with the critically important issue of “Maintaining Policy Independence”. He makes the point that the Barbadian economy depends on foreign exchange to finance imports. He explains the necessity to reduce overall spending on imports in the face of the slowdown in tourism and the international business and financial services sector, the country’s main foreign exchange earners.

Fiscal restraint has helped in keeping the external accounts in balance, and the foreign reserves of the Central Bank have been maintained at about the same level as that preceding the crisis in 2008. This means that the exchange rate is secure, the Governor reiterates.

Bruce Zagaris draws to the attention of Bajans how on 25 April 2012, the Office of the United States Trade Representative issued a revised model bilateral investment treaty (BIT). This is the first revision since 2004 and it tries to balance providing strong investor protections and preserving the Government’s ability to regulate in the public interest. BIT’s are important as they sometimes provide rights and remedies to rectify disputes relating to tax issues.

Senior Librarian at the Bank, Laurie Blackman, gives a short review of the “International Enforcement Law Reporter”. The publication is a reliable guide to breaking news in the dynamic field of international enforcement law. Established in 1985, it is published monthly and features articles by Bruce Zagaris, (its founder) and a team of practitioners, academics and law enforcement officials.

This issue ends with the exciting news from Sadie Dixon, Bank Secretary Acting, Central Bank of Barbados, that local lawyers will be honing their skills to better cope with the widespread and rapid changes in the international business sector. To achieve this, The Barbados Bar Association, the Central Bank of Barbados and Messrs George Walton Payne and Associates, are hosting on 17 November 2012, a training seminar for local lawyers. The seminar takes place at the Grande Salle (CBB).

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