Scottish trade mission gets its teeth into deals in Barbados


A NUMBER of deals have been struck and discussions progressed following a successful Scottish Investment and Trade Mission to the Caribbean island of Barbados.

Involving 26 delegates from a range of sectors, agreements have been struck across a range of areas, including manufacturing, education, training and hospitality.

The mission was organised by the island’s investment promotion agency, Invest Barbados, and included involvement by the British High Commission, the Renfrewshire Business Network of Scotland, the Department for International Trade (DIT), and Export Barbados, the agency that supports the nation’s exporters. 

Now in its third year, the trade and investment mission has been reaping success with three companies already incorporated and working towards commencing operations in Barbados, while others are nearing the final stages of the incorporation process.

Deals made include those struck by Abergower Ltd, which offers a range of professional document scanning, document digitisation services and digital filing services in the UK and globally and has offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

A partnership has now been signed between the company and a Barbados-based oral health care provider, supplying dental 3D printers, scanners and software and supported by Invest Barbados. This success builds on last year’s mission, when the potential opportunities available were highlighted.

Other agreements made include:

  • City of Glasgow College had positive discussions regarding setting up maritime training courses with the University of the West Indies, Barbados Community College and Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology Barbados, to service the Caribbean.
  • Isocon Engineering has delivered a commitment from the CEO of Export Barbados to produce butanol, used as a solvent and a component of hydraulic and brake fluids, from waste produced in the rum industry.

It is also committed to a partnership with Export Barbados to construct the country’s first intermodal tank container service in the country’s Bridgetown Port. This will service tanks for large global tank operators, cleaning and maintaining them and allowing them to be used to export the likes of rum, whisky and fruit juice.

Previously tank operators were required to ship empty clean tanks into Barbados to export. With an accredited ISO (International Standard Organisation) tank cleaning and maintenance service on the ground, the tank operators can move full tanks into the country to be discharged, growing the imports to the country.

This is conducive to the growth and expansion of the port to become a major hub for distribution of bulk fluids. It adds to the company’s existing service in Jamaica, and assist in in growing a Caribbean network.  

  • an Enterprise Software Provider, is implementing its Herbo ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution within the Medical Cannabis Industry in Barbados.  Herbo will also pitch its Seed to Sale ERP solution via a formal proposal to the Licensing Authority to satisfy their current need for a track and trace solution.   Finally, Herbo is launching its Monetary Exchange Platform, giving the Barbados Medical Cannabis industry access to banking, which it previously lacked.
  • A1 Training International which delivers health and safety training, is in the process of arranging courses with Barbados Community College and the National Transformation Initiative.
  • The British High Commissioner committed to supporting the local students that worked with Gary Maclean to travel to Glasgow to get future training at the City of Glasgow College. Gary, a former Masterchef winner and Scotland’s first National Chef, is currently Executive Chef at the college.

Kaye-Anne Greenidge, CEO of Invest Barbados, said:

“We are delighted to have co-hosted and been the main sponsors for this highly-successful trade mission.

“It is fantastic to see so many deals being struck, including in niche manufacturing and dental tourism, highlighting the many opportunities that exist on the island.

“As our nation seeks to further diversity its economy, Invest Barbados and by extension the government of Barbados stands committed to providing the supportive environment that will enable businesses to establish, expand and thrive. 

“In addition to a fabulous climate, which supports an enviable quality of life, the island boasts a welcoming investment climate, with one of the lowest corporation tax rates in the world, and provides a stable political and economic environment.”

Jo Smith of the Renfrewshire Business Network added that:

“Scotland boasts many links with Barbados, and I am pleased to see these being strengthened between our two nations through this mission, with deals being struck and agreements made to progress discussions further.

“The support of Invest Barbados and the DIT has proven invaluable in progressing these relationships.”

Robin Prior, Managing Director of Abergower, said:

“The partnership agreement we have signed builds on last year’s mission, where we were able to see that Barbados could take full advantage of considerable expertise we have in converting paper-based documents to searchable digital content. 

“We are supporting digital dentistry in Barbados through providing 3D printers and scanners, and promote the idea of dental tourism and also exploring the potential to use this as a base to expand further into the rest of the Caribbean.” 

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