Barbados is on the FATF List of Countries that have been identified as having strategic AML deficiencies
Latest FATF Statement - 25 February 2021 (unchanged from last Statement - February 21, 2020)
In February 2020, Barbados made a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and CFATF to strengthen the effectiveness of its AML/CFT regime. Since the completion of its MER in November 2017, Barbados has made progress on a number of its MER recommended actions to improve technical compliance and effectiveness, including by updating the National Risk Assessment and developing mitigating measures. Barbados will work to implement its action plan, including by: (1) demonstrating it effectively applies risk-based supervision for FIs and DNFBPs; (2) taking appropriate measures to prevent legal persons and arrangements from being misused for criminal purposes, and ensure that accurate and up to date basic and beneficial ownership information is available on a timely basis; (3) increasing the capacity of the FIU to improve the quality of its financial information to further assist LEAs in investigating ML or TF; (4) demonstrating that money laundering investigations and prosecutions are in line with the country’s risk profile and reducing the backlog to complete prosecutions that result in sanctions when appropriate; (5) further pursuing confiscation in ML, including by seeking assistance from foreign counterparts.
Compliance with FATF Recommendations
The last follow-up Mutual Evaluation Report relating to the implementation of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing standards in Barbados was undertaken in February 2021. According to that Evaluation, Barbados was deemed Compliant for 6 and Largely Compliant for 27 of the FATF 40 Recommendations. It was also deemed Highly Effective for 0 and Substantially Effective for 0 with regard to the 11 areas of Effectiveness of its AML/CFT Regime.
US Department of State Money Laundering assessment (INCSR)
Barbados is categorised by the US State Department as a Country/Jurisdiction of Primary Concern in respect of Money Laundering and Financial Crimes.
Barbados made some progress on its AML system. Barbados has completed an initial risk assessment, which identifies drug trafficking as the main source of money laundering in the country. Barbados continues its work on a more comprehensive national risk assessment (NRA) amid concerns the previous NRA may not have been sufficient in identifying significant national money laundering risks and vulnerabilities. Barbados has an active international financial services sector. It does not have FTZs or an economic citizenship program.
EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes
In February 2021, Barbados was removed from the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes.
There are no international sanctions currently in force against this country.
BRIBERY & CORRUPTION
Rating (100-Good / 0-Bad)
Transparency International Corruption Index 64
World Governance Indicator – Control of Corruption 88
Barbados is the wealthiest and most developed country in the Eastern Caribbean and enjoys one of the highest per capita incomes in the region. Historically, the Barbadian economy was dependent on sugarcane cultivation and related activities. However, in recent years the economy has diversified into light industry and tourism with about four-fifths of GDP and of exports being attributed to services. Offshore finance and information services are important foreign exchange earners and thrive from having the same time zone as eastern US financial centers and a relatively highly educated workforce. Barbados' tourism, financial services, and construction industries have been hard hit since the onset of the global economic crisis in 2008. Barbados' public debt-to-GDP ratio rose from 56% in 2008 to 101% in 2015. Growth prospects are limited because of a weak tourism outlook and planned austerity measures.
Agriculture - products:
sugarcane, vegetables, cotton
tourism, sugar, light manufacturing, component assembly for export
Exports - commodities:
manufactures, sugar, molasses, rum, other foodstuffs and beverages, chemicals, electrical components
Exports - partners:
Trinidad and Tobago 22.5%, US 11.8%, St. Lucia 9.2%, St. Vincent and the Grenadines 5.7%, Antigua and Barbuda 4.7%, St. Kitts and Nevis 4.4%, Guyana 4.2% (2015)
Imports - commodities:
consumer goods, machinery, foodstuffs, construction materials, chemicals, fuel, electrical components
Imports - partners:
Trinidad and Tobago 39%, US 31.1% (2015)
Investment Climate - US State Department
Historically, Barbados’ economy is seen as one of the more resilient in the region, with its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimated at USD $4.35 billion (2014). The economy grew marginally in 2015 with a real growth rate estimated at 0.7%. Barbados’ economy demonstrated some signs of improvement over the last twelve months. According to the Central Bank of Barbados, Barbados’ economy is expected to grow by 1.8% in 2016. The tourism sector gains that were witnessed in 2015 are expected to continue in 2016. While not totally out of the recession that began in 2008, real GDP is expected to grow by an average of 1.7% over the next five years. The services sector remains the largest potential for investment growth, particularly in tourism and renewable energy services. Barbados is ranked 119th in the World Bank’s Doing Business report for 2016; after falling three places from its 2015 position. Concerns were highlighted in the areas of the procedure of starting a business, obtaining credit, and paying taxes.
The government offers special incentive packages for foreign investments in the hotel industry, manufacturing, and offshore business services. Foreign nationals receive the same legal protections as local citizens. Local enterprises generally welcome joint ventures with foreign investors to access technology, expertise, markets, and capital.
Companies can freely repatriate profits and capital from foreign direct investment. The Embassy is not aware of any outstanding expropriation claims or nationalization of foreign enterprises in Barbados. Barbados bases its legal system on the British common law system.
Barbados uses transparent policies and effective laws to foster competition and establish clear rules for foreign and domestic investors in the areas of tax, labor, environment, health, and safety. These rules are in keeping with international standards. The regulatory system can be slow and at times not forthcoming on information regarding the refusal of a license.
Barbados is a member of the Caribbean Basin Initiative, which permits duty free entry of many products manufactured or assembled in Barbados into markets of the United States. Barbados has no bilateral investment treaty with the United States, but has a double taxation treaty and tax information exchange agreement.
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