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ABIC: Island needs to grow international business sector

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The international business community commended Government for keeping payroll tax levels unchanged but cautioned that the country needed to grow the sector and pay down its debt.

“We believe there is an urgent need to formulate and execute substantive strategies which maintain and grow international business, tourism and additional revenue sources,” said the Association of Bermuda International Companies in a statement. “We commend the Government on the formation of the Business Development unit of the Ministry of Development and Tourism, with the objective of retaining existing business, and attracting new business to the Island.”

According to the Budget, the Government reported a revised estimate of $57.8 million from international company “fees, permits and licences” in 2011-12, short of their estimate of $68.5 million. The Government has estimated they will bring in $57.7 million in fees from the international business sector in 2012-13.

It also received around 50 percent less revenue from immigration receipts than it had expected, pulling in $8.6 million compared to an estimate of $16.6 million. The Government set its estimate at $16.6 million for 2012-13.

ABIC, which represents more than 130 international companies incorporated in Bermuda, said that new revenue streams needed to be found to help pay down the Island’s debt.

“ABIC supports the Government’s commitment to targeting a reduction in deficit and debt levels over the medium to long term,” said ABIC. “Acknowledging the difficulties in framing a budget in the current economic climate, George Hutchings, chairman of ABIC, did however caution that meaningful deficit and debt reductions can only be achieved with tangible improvements in new revenue sources as well as providing increased certainty to our existing business partners.

“Given Bermuda’s unique business model and highly mobile customer base, the cost of doing business plays an important role in the ability to generate additional revenue streams and to maintain existing revenue sources from the international business sector.”

Mr Hutchings confirmed his organisation’s commitment to Bermuda and to work closely with the Government.

“ABIC is committed to a transparent dialogue with the Government to consult on key international business policies as well as sharing information and data that will help to further develop Bermuda as the welcoming domicile of choice for those companies that are here and those that may be created here in the future,” he said.

ABIC chairman George Hutchings: International business is key sector for growth
International business: Bermuda's main economic pillar

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Published February 25, 2012 at 7:20 am (Updated February 25, 2012 at 7:20 am)

ABIC: Island needs to grow international business sector

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