Budget 2020: Improving the business environment for the benefit of all

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The country’s leader, while delivering the budget projections in the 2020 Budget statement, took a focus on how his government is committed to improving the business environment.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne said, “our government recognizes the importance of a vibrant and expanded business community to strengthen our economy, create full employment and enlarge tax revenues needed by the State to provide for the well-being of our society.”

In April 2019, a Business Forum was convened as the first in a series of interactions between the Government and the business community.

More than 200 business people attended, representing a diverse range of sectors.

The objectives of the forum were to encourage business creation and expansion; for policymakers to hear directly from business owners about their experiences; and more importantly to elicit recommendations for improving the business environment.

Browne said a Business Forum Working Group has been reviewing the recommendations and developing a Work Plan with input from the relevant agencies for implementation of the recommendations.

“The Work Plan and report of the Working Group will be delivered at the next Business Forum to be held in April 2020,” Browne announced.

Prime Minister Browne continued his statement by indicating that in anticipation of the report, “our Government has already begun to take action to improve the business environment, making it easier to do business. The interventions include: reviewing and simplifying the tax code, publishing relevant taxpayer information, and introducing systems for the automation of tax collection at Inland Revenue and Customs. Also, a Maritime Single Window System will soon be operational, to help improve trade facilitation and an Authorized Economic Operators Programme will be implemented shortly.”

Browne also stated that these arrangements will allow pre-approved businesses and importers to expedite clearance of their goods.

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