Central Bank Statistics Questioned

Information released by the Central Bank of Barbados about the country’s international business sector appears to be at odds with data collated by other sources which suggests that the sector is doing better than the Central Bank has indicated.

In its Economic Review published in June 2010, the Central Bank stated that “new registrations of international business and financial companies in the first quarter were only about half the number registered in the same quarter a year ago”.

But data available at the Ministry of International Business shows that new registrations of international business companies (IBCs) and societies with restricted liability (SRLs) for the first quarter of this year were 101, the same as new registrations for the first quarter of 2009.

Additionally, for the first quarter of 2010 the total new registrations of IBCs and SRLs reached 208, slightly more than the same period a year ago when it stood at 204.

Total renewals so far this year have also increased. They stand at 3,015 compared with 2,865 last year, indicating that there are more active IBCs and SRLs than at this same time last year.

Earlier this year it was reported (see story) that there were concerns as to the accuracy of a statement made in the Central Bank’s 2009 Balance of Payment Survey Report, that the international business sector only contributed 5.5 percent of the $5.8 billion in foreign exchange that flowed into Barbados for 2008.  The Barbados International Business Association had commented at that time that the international business sector made a much more substantial contribution to foreign exchange, since it does not generate any of its income within Barbados and all the funds required to finance the sector’s operations therefore had to be brought into the country.


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