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Barbados: Offshore Legal and Tax Regimes


Original Barbados legislation for the financial services sector dates from the Sixties, and the Government has pursued the creation of an international offshore financial centre with increasing vigour in the last 25 years. In 1989 the Government formed an Advisory Committee on International Business bringing the public and private sectors together, and the Committee has been effective in maintaining up-to-date legislation in a number of sectors including banking, insurance, shipping and trusts. At the end of 2005 in Barbados there were about 8,000 International Business Companies and 2,000 Foreign Sales Corporations, although these have largely lost their usefulness since the WTO ruled against US export tax subsidies. In 1997 the Government undertook a review of existing legislation in all offshore sectors, and this has led to a programme of legislative reform in a number of sectors.



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