A news release from the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC) highlights the island’s growing “reputation with investors as a prime business location,” as indicated by its burgeoning captive insurance industry. In addition to being a popular tourist destination [except, one might add during the hurricane season] the idyllic Caribbean island has become a substantial financial center, with captive insurance vehicles playing an increasingly important role.
The bulletin notes: “Nineteen international insurers were formed in 2005, for a total of 232 active companies in Barbados generating annual premiums of approximately $2 billion and assets of $10 billion, making it one of the largest captive insurance jurisdictions in the world. A long history of insurance industry experience, an efficient and cost effective operating environment, and a continuously expanding double tax treaty network make Barbados an attractive domicile for captives owned by multinational companies.”
“Barbados’ international insurance industry, which started 20 years ago with the passage of the Exempt Insurance Act, continues to demonstrate a business-friendly sensibility attractive to large and small captives,” stated Kate Westover, vice president of Alternative Risk Financing Services for Innovative Captive Strategies. “The country’s history of being an innovative, responsive business partner to multinational corporations is evident in its ability to customize the regulatory environment to meet the needs of the owners and users of captives.”
BIDC CEO Anthony Sobers added: “The healthy captive insurance industry is enabling us to develop other equally vibrant financial services sectors. Companies are increasingly viewing Barbados as a practical expansion solution because of its many advantages, including tax incentives and the highly skilled workforce.”
The BIDC also indicated: “Barbados offers several differentiating regulatory advantages to captive insurers. The country uniquely distinguishes between Exempt Insurers that are 100 percent exempt from Barbados income tax, and Qualified Insurers that are permitted to underwrite a limited percentage of Barbados risks, and therefore pay a limited percentage of Barbados income tax.
“Barbados, already home to more than 7,600 transnational companies, currently is working to escalate foreign business development and cultivate additional investment. The well-developed financial services sector is comprised of banking, insurance and trusts businesses. Additionally, Barbados boasts one of the Caribbean’s most technologically advanced infrastructures and highly skilled workforces. While tourism continues to be the primary economic driver, Barbados hopes to become the premier international business center in the region.”
BIDC offices are located in Barbados, New York, Toronto, Miami and London. For more information contact the BIDC toll-free at 800.841.7860 or visit its Website at http://www.bidc.com.
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