OPPORTUNITIES for Scottish businesses in Barbados is the focus of an event taking place in Edinburgh today.
The organisers say the event “signals another return to normalcy” as Scotland emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Invest Barbados is hosting the reception at the Norton House Hotel, Ingliston, along with the government of the island and Business Friends of Barbados (Scotland).
Speakers include the Barbados High Commissioner to the UK, Milton Innis, the CEO of Invest Barbados, Kaye-Anne Brathwaite, and Chairman of Business Friends of Barbados, Ian Gittens.
The organisers claim the investment climate in Barbados is just as warm and welcoming as its famed weather.
The island boasts ambitions to become a “digitally enabled nation” and is well on track to achieving the goal of 100% renewable energy generation by 2030.
Investment opportunities include niche manufacturing, global banking, information, and computer technology (ICT), global education, food and drink, wealth management, insurance, renewable energy, and medical tourism.
The investment event comes hot on the heels of the recent announcement of Scotland’s only direct route to the Caribbean, with Virgin Atlantic launching a connection from Edinburgh to Bridgetown, Barbados, set to launch on December 5.
It also comes as a precursor to a trade mission to the island from Scotland, which will take place from November 22-27.
The trip is the first in-person mission to Barbados since the start of Covid in early 2020.
Barbados, say the organisers, has the lowest structure of income tax rates and some of the most competitive personal income taxes.
They say a ‘Welcome Stamp’, introduced at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, enables individuals to stay and work remotely on the island without changing their tax residency.
The island has historic links with Scotland. As well as Scottish immigration, Barbados has a district on the east coast called the Saint Andrew Parish.
Barbados also hosts an annual Celtic Festival which takes place each spring, including pipers, dancers, choirs, a haggis night, and a rugby tournament.
The island even boasts its own tartan – the first Caribbean tartan to be registered in Scotland.
Commenting on the event, CEO of Invest Barbados, Kaye-Anne Brathwaite, said: “We are delighted to be hosting this event. Scotland has long and well-established links with Barbados and will become even more connected with the commencement of direct flights from Edinburgh in December.
“Barbados remains an incredibly desirable place to do business and is a stable political and economic jurisdiction. Our welcoming investment climate compliments the enviable quality of life that we offer.”
She added: “Barbados is a long-established hub for global business and you’re invited to grow your business here. We urge all those interested in exploring the opportunities that we offer, to attend our event in Edinburgh, and discover more.”
The Investment and Trade Mission from Scotland to Barbados is hosted by Renfrewshire Business Network, Invest Barbados, the Department for International Trade and Export Barbados/Barbados Investment and Development Corporation.