With the release of this 2023 edition of Business Barbados, we have attained the noteworthy benchmark of 25 consecutive years of publication in both print and digital formats. Although that noteworthy achievement might naturally prompt some degree of satisfaction, we prefer to see it as an opportune moment to re-evaluate and improve our position.
Having constantly aspired to make each new edition better than its predecessor, we are acutely aware that there is no room for complacency at any level – especially in today’s rapidly evolving and unpredictable world, when unexpected change seems to be the norm. To survive and thrive in that challenging environment, we have to reinvigorate Business Barbados to better fulfil its primary purpose of promoting Barbados as an attractive investment jurisdiction to as wide an international audience as possible, while also stimulating interest and growth within the domestic business sector.
And we have to do it now. So, as we move forward with a more dynamic Business Barbados, while retaining the print edition as a core component of the brand, we will now be placing even greater emphasis on our existing digital platforms. Our intention is to provide regular content designed to stimulate ongoing conversations, while facilitating informed insights and analysis from the top minds in business and development. And we are already making that happen.
In 2022, I was delighted to welcome Danielle Miller onto our team as the new Business Barbados Publication Manager. Having previous international experience in digital and print marketing with two major national brands in London, as well as successfully working as a freelance editor and copywriter in Peru and Barbados for a broad range of business-related clients, Danielle is eminently qualified for her new role. Since joining the team, Danielle has worked productively with colleague Erin Brewster, our web designer /developer, to create a new, more user-friendly website, as well as map out an e ective content strategy for our digital o erings including web content, newsletters and targeted social media campaigns.
In short, we are re-building today for better results tomorrow.
At a radically higher level, Barbados also finds itself at a crossroads in a modern world replete with immense change, unprecedented challenges and exciting opportunities.
Confronted by a daunting list of inter-connected global issues including but not limited to the climate crisis and its many implications, renewable energy sources, food and water scarcity, biodiversity and species loss, pandemics and other health issues, wellbeing and education of children, gender and social equality – Barbados has initiated a series of bold initiatives designed to combat these challenges while also stimulating economic development.
In September 2022, under the astute leadership of Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, Barbados became one of the first countries in the world to issue Blue Bonds with a pandemic clause included. In a rousing vote of confidence by the international community, the bonds were oversubscribed with better pricing than anticipated. A few months later, on the occasion of the 56th Independence Day Celebrations, the Prime Minister reiterated the Government’s five main goals to help Barbados achieve world-class nation status by 2030:
• A ‘Green Barbados’ to ensure the protection of biodiversity and food supply.
• A healthy and safe Barbados for everyone on the island.
• Utilising the platform of education to create a knowledge and innovation hub.
• Leveraging geographical advantages for Barbados to become an entrepot for the western and southern hemispheres.
• Economic enfranchisement of all Barbadians.
Over the course of the last two years, investors have launched a significant number of new projects with the potential to help Barbados attain its sustainable development goals. Most notably in the sectors of sustainable water supplies, renewable energy solutions, green building and property development, sustainable rum production, and life sciences – many of which we have featured in this edition.
Other major investments include the complete rebuild and refurbishment of Apes Hill by its new owners; the construction of several new hotels, condominiums and other tourism related facilities; and large-scale building of affordable homes for Barbadians.
Meanwhile, the Government has announced a substantial capital works programme, including a billion dollar, 10-year transformation of the Bridgetown Port, as well as an ambitious tourism development plan for a 9-acre beachfront property at Needham’s Point on the south coast.
In keeping with its longstanding reputation as a reputable investment jurisdiction offering financial and social stability with well-regulated legislation, Barbados continues to be highly attractive to companies from a governance perspective. By complying with the stringent anti-money laundering and economic substance regulations demanded by organisations such as the OECD and the EU, Barbados can rightfully claim to have one of the best and tightest tax regimes in the world. Businesses that establish here have access to a steady supply of educated, trainable employees with a good work ethic, including each year approximately 1,500 graduates from the University of the West Indies in biology, chemistry and other sciencebased subjects. It is worthy of note that by recruiting Barbadian graduates, international companies can often fulfil their diversity requirements in one go.
Other Barbados advantages include excellent airlift and communications, well-established strategic partnerships around the world, and opportunities to engage in newly developing sectors. Furthermore, Barbados has matured into a cosmopolitan location with a welcoming environment for international businesses and investors, as well as individuals or families seeking a new place to live amongst like-minded people, with a happy, healthy outdoors lifestyle. Barbados has a real opportunity to implement a transformational phase of economic development that could potentially realize the nation’s aspiration to be world-class. But we cannot become a global success on our own. We need to establish mutually-beneficial alliances with people and businesses of substance who have already attained proven worldclass status, then facilitate them with the appropriate infrastructure to prosper.
And we have to do it now.
Barbados is open for business and ready to work. Bona fide investors welcome!