Invest Barbados

Invest Barbados

October 19, 2010 06:59 ET

74% of Canadian Business Executives Understand That Offshore Financial Centres Provide a Competitive Advantage for Businesses That Operate Internationally

84% of Canadian Business Executives Prefer to Invest in a Low-Tax Jurisdiction That Is OECD White-Listed, Survey Reports

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 19, 2010) -

Editors Note: There are two graphs associated with this Press Release.

A survey released today by Invest Barbados showed that the vast majority of Canadian business managers, owners, professionals, and executives (MOPEs) understand that the use of offshore financial centres provides a competitive advantage for businesses operating internationally. The poll also revealed that MOPEs prefer to invest in white-listed jurisdictions with a low tax rate (84 per cent) over grey-listed jurisdictions with a zero tax rate.

In addition, respondents agreed that foreign investments made in non-white-listed jurisdictions are riskier than those made in white-listed jurisdictions: the breakdown by nationality was Canadian respondents 72 per cent; United Kingdom 75 per cent; and United States 76 per cent.

"The use of international financial jurisdictions (IFJs), such as Barbados, is an important consideration for those people who have a fiduciary responsibility to properly manage businesses and investments," said Minister Darcy Boyce, Minister of State, Finance, Investment, Telecommunications and Energy for Barbados. "However, their use of IFJs is selective, with the overwhelming majority of MOPEs preferring to use IFJs that have a well- established track record as an OECD white-listed jurisdiction."

Canadian, American, and United Kingdom respondents all agreed that they consider the length of time a country has been white-listed an important consideration when selecting a jurisdiction in which to invest. The survey results showed that 80% of MOPEs in Canada, 86% in the US, and 63% in the UK are less confident about investing in jurisdictions that have rushed to meet OECD standards as compared to those countries that have already been white-listed for some time.

"The survey results would seem to indicate that executives and business managers intuitively understand that a gap exists between the signing of Tax Information Exchange Agreements and the ability of the signatory countries to enforce them," said Ben Arrindell, Director and Consultant for Cidel Bank & Trust, who is a member of the United Nations Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters. "It would be reasonable to assume that newly white-listed IFJs could require two to three years to fully build out their domestic capability to deliver against OECD internationally-agreed tax standards, especially in the public sector. This gives established jurisdictions a definite advantage in managing their own reputational risk."

Summary of other key findings:

  • 67 per cent of Canadians agreed it was important that the executives of publicly traded companies explore the use of low-tax jurisdictions to increase share value.
  • 56 per cent of Canadians opposed Canadian foreign investment in-low tax jurisdictions, but that opposition turned into strong support once they learned of the positive effects that those foreign investments had at home.
    • 77 per cent support Canadian investment in low-tax jurisdictions that bring in increased tax revenue to this country.
    • 85 per cent support investment that creates jobs at home. 

About Invest Barbados

Invest Barbados (IB) is an economic development agency of the government of Barbados. IB is responsible for attracting, winning and sustaining international investment in Barbados. The corporation is also responsible for promoting the export of indigenous services and helping to develop and manage the Barbados Business brand.

About the poll

Ipsos Reid Polling conducted the survey for Invest Barbados between April 29th and May 23rd 2010 in Canada, the US and the UK. Interviews were conducted among a national sample of the general population (18+) of 3071 adults. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within +/-1.8% with a 95% confidence level. Interviews were also conducted with a sample of 592 (+/-4.0%) High Net Worth individuals, defined as persons having financial assets equivalent to $500K or more. Interviews were also conducted with a sample of 626 (+/-3.9%) business managers, owners, professionals and executives (MOPEs), with the professional group limited to those having financial or legal responsibilities. 

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Contact Information

  • For more information or to arrange direct contact with a
    spokesperson for Invest Barbados:
    Mansfield Communications Inc., Toronto
    Karen Nussbaum
    416.599.0024 or Cell: 416.301.3193