Financial services can save struggling Caribbean economies – Barbados minister


Barbados’ Minister of Industry, International Business Commerce and Small Business Development, Donville Innis, challenged his colleagues to help save the struggling economies within the Caribbean by turning their attention to the development of the international business and financial services sector.

Innis, told delegates attending the third Caribbean Conference on the International Financial Services Sector in Nassau that “IFC matters are too important for our regional economical and social development for it to be discussed on the margins of other people’s meetings….for those who think that IFC matters are not relevant to their economies, they must rethink their policies.”

He said in spite of the economic missiles being shot at the region, he believes the Caribbean can emerge as a premier location for international business and financial services within a well regulated system and a safe and secure environment

Innis who also warned that there is no room for complacency said the future lies in the establishment of training facilities catering to IFC’s.

“One area of collaboration and cooperation resides in our desire to develop and sustain regional institutions for international business regulations as well as centres of excellence in financial services. Both the Bahamas and Barbados have publicly committed to the creation of such”

According to Innis, the Caribbean continues to be in great demand for facilitating legitimate international business.

“We will be forever in the spotlight but we cannot be blinded by the light, let us commit to working together with a new level of energy . Our citizens are dependent on us to provide the opportunities, let us not disappoint them,” he said

The 3rd Caribbean Conference on the International Finance Services Sector is jointly hosted by the Caribbean Export Development Agency and the Government of The Bahamas, with the focus of providing a forum for policy makers, regulators and finance practitioners of Caribbean International Financial Centres to interact with the architects of the major global financial policy initiatives.

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  1. ian
    April 7, 2014

    I don’t fully understand the subject but maybe its something we should consider. A little more research or communication with the other islands that seems to be succeeding in that area would be handy for our minister to look upon or lets me say the department which is responsible/ public and private sector,

  2. vi massive
    April 6, 2014

    Stop crying down our country man,I’m truly tired with you’ll never see, come see, come crazy…

  3. Anthony Ismael
    April 5, 2014

    I don’t know how Dominica can benefit from this. How much research has been done in this sector? Who are the major players and what advantage can we offer to those who are interested in moving such ventures to Dominica, as opposed to the more established areas such as the Cayman Islands
    Does Dominica have any interest in entering this area and my list goes on-and-on in earnest.

  4. Francisco Telemaque
    April 5, 2014

    Smith, tourism and the construction of an International Airport in Dominica, is not a hopeless topic!

    If anything the government of Dominica is a hopeless failure at this point for refusing to build an International Airport on the island. Tourism is an revenue generator, however, simply depending on the tourist who visits by season, and spending a matter of eight hours walking the streets of Roseau, and being abused by some thug will not help us very much.

    The kind of tourism that will help us most will come from the overnighter tourist on the island for a matter of days. People do take vacation you know, and the normal vacation for most working class people are usually between five and ten days, some people allow their vacation time to accumulate, sometimes can be for more than a month.

    Assuming that someone decides to vacation in Dominica for a period of three weeks, they must have some place to stay, I would assume a hotel, which they must pay, in addition they will indulge in some form of entertainment, hence they must spend money while on the island, you do not get that sort of thing from a one day visitor.

    You need to understand people who has money to invest shows no interest in our country because of the many facilities we lack. Our number one problem is the lacking an International Airport, good hotel accommodations, no high class Restaurants, and places of entertainment. The government believe if they continue talking rubbish such as Dominica, is the nature island of the world, that is all it will take to attract visitors to the country.

    If they were smart they would have cut that nonsense long and do what it takes to develop the island so that it becomes an attraction, we need something to be the pull, Dominica, and the mentality of our people and government repels visitors!

    Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque

    • agent Smith
      April 7, 2014

      no mr Telemacque people with money won’t invest not because of absence of posh restaurants in Dominica or no Five Season hotel…reasons are quite different: red-tape is enormous – getting approval, licenses or simply scheduling meeting with public officials are painstaking things to deal with, open bank account is nightmare…for example you set up a company and go into local bank and local bank refuses to open bank account with no reason…if you conclude contract in Dominica – it doesn’t mean that you are covered…contracts hard to enforce and you can easily wait for years if you go into the court….nepotism is the life style here….I fully agree with you that Dominica people mentality often repeals tourists and investors better than civil unrest….so all in all its decades long way until Dominica becomes a place (if at all) which is comfortable, hospitable and attractive to live, work and invest. Right now it no, no and no!

  5. Neutral
    April 5, 2014

    The Cayman Islands have more banks than people. At least they have more registered there than they have people. Dominica just have to do so legally. You know we always find some way to turn a legitimate business into some illegal.

  6. Anonymous
    April 4, 2014

    Dominica is left behind because we never recovered from the mess we made of the industry years ago. We got in bed with all kinds of shady characters leading to us being blacklisted.

    Donville is a family friend and we had a similar discussion about very large international companies he help set up in Barbados to reduce their taxes on revenue on their foreign sales. This was well before he became a minister.

    The tax rate in Barbados on those corporate profits are about 2% compared to more than 30% in their home countries.

    That is what we should target rather than the crooked individuals and banks we got in bed with.

  7. agent Smith
    April 4, 2014

    wow! thats breaking news, I can’t believe what I’m reading…financial services is lucrative business and been here for decades but only few islands managed to develop it. Take for example Dominica – nothing changed from 1997 and there are no people in the government who wants to think how to develop it….Belize, Seychelles, Cayman, Panama, Bahamas, Barbados, Dutch Antilles have more or less clear strategy for to develop Financial Services. In Dominica? No, Dominica still lives in 1997 or maybe even in 1979…who is interested in Dominica? maybe other islands really can count on financial services….for Dominica – please continue to discuss your favorite hopeless topics such ‘ tourism’, ‘agriculture’ and ‘how we can build international airport’…

    • Better Government
      April 5, 2014

      “financial services” ie- Tax evation by a sexier name. That is a fools game that only a few rich people play. Tell Costa Rica they can have it. No thanks.. Aren’t we tired of chasing shiny things. It is time to get back to basics. Produce what you consume and import only what you can’t produce yourself. Balance your imports with Tourism, energy and limited agriculture. Mainly get back to focusing on producing what you consume..

      • agent Smith
        April 7, 2014

        you simply don’t understand the nature of financial services being blinded by cliche tax evasion. Don’t be so easily fooled. Majority of wealth money are booked in the world financial centers which are London, New York, Singapore etc…financial services are much broader industry and its not only about creation of tax effective structures. Look closely on the Cayman, they have fantastic spill-over effect…industry attracts foreigners and they pay premium for many services they consume..look on Bermuda..its just a few good example. Want to balance import with agriculture and tourism? go ahead….dont be surprised then another economic crisis wipes out entire economy or some hurricane ends ‘thriving’ tourism industry…Dominica tried its luck in agriculture..bananas, limes etc..and where it ends?

    • Fana Fingal
      April 6, 2014

      Agent Smith, when last have been in the Nature Isle? They’ve buddied up with America and its Tax policeman….stop by sometime! :(

  8. Student
    April 4, 2014

    Really Sir…with your island being the most restrictive in the region…in terms of transferring cash (US and BDS), obtaining and selling US and even in the use of your banks cards outside of BIM – that is not possible…come on…look within first Sir!

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