SCOTTISH firms are currently partaking in one of the first major trade and investment missions to Barbados since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
The Investment and Trade Mission to Barbados was organised by the island’s investment promotion agency – Invest Barbados, and included involvement by the British High Commission, the Renfrewshire Business Network, the Department for International Trade, and Export Barbados. The mission took place between November 22 to 27.
It follows two successful information events in Edinburgh and London in September headed by Kaye-Anne Brathwaite, Chief Executive Officer of Invest Barbados and supported by Barbados’ High Commission to the UK, H.E Milton Inniss. These were the first in a series of outreaches showcasing the economic benefits of investing in Barbados for businesses in Scotland.
Famed as a popular tourism destination, Barbados also offers a warm and welcoming investment climate. It also has the lowest income tax rates and some of the most competitive personal income taxes. Barbados is a gateway to investment in the wider Caribbean and Latin America.
Investment opportunities for exploration include niche manufacturing, global banking, information and computer technology (ICT), global education, food and drink, wealth management, insurance, renewable energy, and medical tourism.
British High Commissioner to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, HE Scott Durssedonn-Wood, endorsed the trade mission. The delegation also included Darren Henry, the UK Trade Envoy to the Caribbean.
Comprising more than 14 UK-based companies across various sectors, including education, food and beverage, and clean energy, this trade mission supported investors seeking opportunities and partnerships with local public and private sector entities in Barbados.
A series of key meetings were held with the Barbados-headquartered Caribbean Development Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. These included meetings and engagements with international aid agencies, Barbados-based regional organisations, Government Ministries, and private sector companies.
Highlighting the Barbadian diaspora’s role in this inward trade and investment mission, Invest Barbados and the British High Commission revealed it originated from a concept developed by Barbadian-Scot, Shane Thomas of Glasgow (a representative of Invest Barbados) – and Scottish business leader, Jo Smith of Renfrewshire.
Commenting on the event, CEO of Invest Barbados, Kaye Brathwaite, said: “Invest Barbados is thrilled at the success of its first in-person mission from Scotland since the start of the pandemic. We promised a tailored and curated experience to assist with decision making and are delighted this was achieved.
We look forward to ongoing discussions about opportunities for businesses across Scotland and the UK. The hope of all parties is that the mission is the first step in opening Barbados to potential Scottish and UK investors.
Barbados remains an incredibly desirable place to do business and is a stable political and economic jurisdiction. It is an attractive investment environment. Our welcoming investment climate compliments the enviable quality of life that we offer.”