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International business contributes $1.47b a year to economy

Bermuda's international business pumped an estimated $1.47 billion into the island's economy last year, a survey released today said.

The largest single contribution was salaries, with exempt companies paying staff a total of $433 million last year — pouring $47 million into Government coffers through payroll tax.

Another $10 million was paid in other taxes, while rents and services amounted to more than $50 million and charities got $8 million in donations and sponsorships.

A further $7.4 million was spent on entertainment in Bermuda by international business.

But Association of Bermuda International Companies (ABIC) president George Hutchings said that overall spending by international business had dropped in recent years, with only training expenditure increasing.

He said: “The good news is that on a per company basis the financial contribution of international business to the Bermuda economy is holding, but with some changes.

“Overall, payroll tax, fees, rents, etc, are all down, only training expenditure is up.”

He added: “Bermudians are progressing in managerial positions with a significantly greater proportion of senior management and middle management positions being held by non-work permit holders.”

The survey also showed there were more women than men in the international business workforce — but that men outnumbered women in managerial positions.

Mr Hutchings added that the survey, compared to a previous one in 2004, showed that there had been a steady increase in the number of black people in working in the international sector — up from 31 per cent to 35 per cent.

The survey also showed that more than 50 percent of black non-work permit employees who were promoted moved into management positions.

The findings report said: “This increase continues a trend that was noticeable in previous surveys.”

There was also evidence of an increase in the number of black work permit holders.

The report added, however, that a “consistent reduction in work permit recruitment” had “had an impact on the wider economy”.

Mr Hutchings said the profile of international business had continued to change, with firms once exclusively based or headquartered on the Island now having offices in other jurisdictions and able to choose where to place different operations.

Mr Hutchings said: “There has been significant expansion of company operations elsewhere, with US, UK/Ireland and Europe the most favoured.”

He added that the survey confirmed that more work permit holders had left international business than had joined in the last five years, with a total of 64 percent of employees in the sector now being Bermudian, spouses of Bermudians or Permanent Resident Certificate holders.

A total of 40 (35 percent) of the 115 ABIC members responded to the survey, while 51 (48 percent) of ABIC CEOs responded to a separate questionnaire on their opinions and outlook.

International business: Bermuda's economic engine

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Published November 26, 2013 at 1:33 pm (Updated November 26, 2013 at 6:47 pm)

International business contributes $1.47b a year to economy

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