Scotland’s ties to Barbados - Kaye-Anne Brathwaite
Scotland enjoys long-held links with the island. The Barbados Coat of Arms features a saltire formed of two sugar cane stalks, which appears on the Bajan dollar coins. Meanwhile, the "Order of Saint Andrew" is Barbados' highest national award and both countries share Saint Andrew as their patron saint.
We have held two information events in Scotland, our most recent in Glasgow. This followed a highly successful trade mission by Scottish businesses to Barbados last November, with another due this year.
Located in the Eastern Caribbean, Barbados is the highest-ranked developing country on the UN's human development index.
Beyond our pristine beaches, there's political, social and economic stability. Literacy is high, while crime and poverty rates are low. Here you will find an exceptional quality of life where corporate and personal well-being can flourish.
Recently ranked second for competitiveness among the Latin American and Caribbean countries by the Global Financial Centres Index, Barbados remains a resilient finance centre.
Out of 114 countries, including a range of vast regions, Barbados ranked 64th overall. The ranking was based on the business environment, human capital, infrastructure, financial sector development and reputation.
As an innovative response to the pandemic, Barbados was the first to invite visitors, especially digital nomads, to live and work in paradise for up to a year.
Aptly dubbed 'The Barbados Welcome Stamp', the novel 12-month visa has proven to be very popular with the international business community and is a clear signal that Barbados is so much more than a tourist destination.
Barbados has a long history in financial services with over 4,000 financial service companies, 40 double taxation agreements and nine bilateral investment treaties.
We are well-regulated, and while we appreciate the value of our tourism sector, global business is the business of Barbados. Barbados features a competitive corporate tax of 1% to 5.5% based on a sliding scale. There are also tax allowances for manufacturing and research and development. Currently, these are some of the lowest corporation tax rates anywhere in the world. Our income tax rates are also competitive.
Committed to the diversification of our economy, we have been promoting our productive sectors globally. These include areas such as insurance, wealth management, financial services, information communication technology, renewable energy and niche manufacturing, to name a few.
Concerning renewable energy, by 2030, Barbados intends to be generating 100 per cent of its energy from alternative sources.
Agriculture is also a sector that has experienced substantive growth recently. Investment opportunities in this sector are ripe for the picking, including high-tech food production, agro-processing, and farming geared towards local and regional food security, among others.
We also have ample scope for knowledge-based and high-value niche sectors such as medical tourism, global education, and FinTech.
As the pandemic restrictions subside, it is an exciting time to consider new business opportunities - Barbados deserves to be high on the list of compelling new partnerships for the years ahead.
Kaye-Ann Brathwaite, CEO of Invest Barbados
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