Barbados launches online one-stop shop for entrepreneurs

Expects full integration by end March.

The Barbados Government has launched an online one-stop shop to promote ease-of-doing business among entrepreneurs, in efforts to boost its business and trade. The one-stop shop will serve as a central platform so firms and the Government can exchange trade-related documents online. It will facilitate “new and cancelled declarations by traders”, and “new license applications, approvals, updates and revocations”, said Chris Sinckler, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs at its launch event. “Such conveniences should go a long way towards promoting inter-agency collaborations involving Customs and government regulatory agencies,” he added. The Government expects full deployment of the one stop shop - the Barbados Electronic Single Window (BESW) - by end March. Currently BESW is at 90 percent completion, Sinckler added, according to the Daily Observer, an online publication. The project started in 2010, as part of the Barbados Competitive Programme - a US$11.8 mn project - where the Inter-American Development Bank provided a US$10 mn loan. The Government hopes that the BESW can help improve its collection of taxes, duties and penalties; boost efficiency; and cut corruption, said Sinckler. The private sector would be able to enjoy faster clearance of goods, improved transparency among agencies, and shorter time to fulfil regulatory filings and other trade-related obligations, he continued. Barbados attained 117th place out of 190 countries in the 2017 World Bank’s Doing Business ranking, two places behind its ranking for 2016. In 2015, 84 percent of the country’s GDP relied on trade, according to the World Bank. Image by Roger W, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0