Business Barbados 2019

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Publisher & Editor - Keith Miller.

Design - Neil Barnard at 809 Design Associates.

Advertising Sales - Nia Vlahakis Juman.

Content Manager, - Natasha Vlahakis.

Business Barbados images: Jaryd Niles-Morris, Coordinator: Sherika Rice, Technical/Photo Assistants: Anika Millington and Nahj Seale.

Illustrations: Nicola Barnard for Business Barbados.

Now available as an E-Book and Online at

Business Barbados is published annually by Caribbean Business Publications Inc. An initiative of: Miller Publishing Company Limited, Edgehill, St. Thomas, Barbados, West Indies. Tel: (246) 421 6700, Fax: (246) 421 6707.


All information in this publication has been carefully collected and prepared, but it still remains subject to change and correction. Use these contents for general guidance only and seek extra assistance from a professional adviser with regard to any specific matters. Copyright reserved. None of the contents in this publication can be reproduced or copied in any form without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Left - Natasha Vlahakis - Content Manager, Right - Nia Vlahakis Juman - Advertising Sales Photographed at Clifton Hall, Barbados


Left to Right: Chris De Caires – Chairman, Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation ; Connie Smith – Managing Director, Tricor Caribbean; Julia Hope – President Barbados International Business Association; Kenneth Campbell – Director, Investment Promotion & Facilitation, Invest Barbados; Lisa Taylor – Partner, Deal Advisory, KPMG ; Peter Boos – Chairman Emeritus EY Caribbean; Keith Miller – Publisher, Business Barbados; Michael Bynoe – Senior Partner, PwC; Maria Robinson – Country Managing Partner, EY; Edward Clarke – Chairman, Barbados Private Sector Association. Missing from photo: Betty Brathwaite – Office Managing Partner, Deloitte; Martin Ince – Chairman, Tourism Development Corporation.
Photographed at Clifton Hall, Barbados
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Business Barbados 2019 Calendar



Jan 29-Feb 1 - Caribbean Travel Marketplace in Jamaica

Jan 30-Feb 1 – 2019 World Captive Forum in South Florida


Jan 23-Feb 22 – 2019 Cricket West Indies VS England

Horse Racing

First Season Races (Dates TBA)

Music Festival

Jan 19-28 - Honey Jazz Barbados Festival

Jan 19–21 - Naniki Barbados Music Festival Film Festival

Jan 11-20 - Barbados Independent Film Festival


Jan 13 - Barbados Cancer Society Charity Day at Holders (Barbados Polo Club)

Jan 20 – Mount Gay Regatta Exhibition at Holders (Barbados Polo Club)

Jan 29 – The Villages/Ladies Tour at Holders (Barbados Polo Club)

Jan 31 – The Villages/Ladies Tour at Apes Hill Polo Club

Schedules can be found at


Jan 16-24 – Barbados Sailing Week

National Holidays

Jan 1 - New Year's Day

Jan 21 – Errol Barrow Day



Feb 17-20 - Outsourcing World Summit, Orlando, FL

Barbados International Business Association (BIBA) Networking Mingle (Date TBA).


Feb 9 – Because of Jenna Trust Valentines Ball


Feb 10-17 – Holetown Festival: An annual festival that commemorates the events that led to Barbados becoming a British Colony in 1627. For further details visit:

Horse Racing

First Season Races (Dates TBA)


Feb 3 – The Villages/Ladies Tour at Holders (Barbados Polo Club)

Feb 5 & 10 – Canada Tour at Holders (Barbados Polo Club)

Feb 7 – Canada Tour at Apes Hill Polo Club

Feb 12 & 17 – Apes Hill Mixed Ladies Tournament at Apes Hill Polo Club

Feb 14 – Apes Hill Mixed Ladies Tournament at Holders (Barbados Polo Club)

Feb 24 & 28 – Cheshire Tour at Holders (Barbados Polo Club)

Feb 26 – Cheshire Tour at Apes Hill Polo Club

Schedules can be found at


Feb 10 – Tiki Bar J/24 Regatta



Mar 1-3 – Agrofest - The National Agricultural Exhibition


Mar 3-6 – PDAC 2019 International Convention, Trade Show & Investors Exchange in Toronto, Canada.

Mar 8-16 – South by Southwest Music Conference and Festival (SXSW) in Austin, Texas, USA.

Mar 10-12 – Captive Insurance Companies Association (CICA) 2019 International Conference in Tucson, Arizona.


Barbados Golf Association National Trials (Date TBA)

Horse Racing

Mar 2 – Sandy Lane Gold Cup


Mar 2-3 – Cheshire Tour at Holders (Barbados Polo Club)

Mar 7 & 12 – Buttals / Barbados Open at Apes Hill Polo Club

Mar 10 & 18 – Buttals / Barbados Open at Holders (Barbados Polo Club)

Mar 14 – Buttals / Barbados Open location


Mar 24, 28 & 31 – Hickstead Tournament at Apes Hill Polo Club

Mar 26 – Hickstead Tournament at Holders (Barbados Polo Club)

Schedules can be found at


Mar 15 -17 – Barbados Old Brigand Rum Regatta

April Business

Apr 28-May 1 – RIMS 2019 Annual Conference & Exhibition in Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Barbados International Business Association (BIBA) Networking Mingle (Date TBA)


Apr 6 - Annual Barbados Chocolate & Pastry Festival


Apr 22-28 – Barbados Reggae Festival

Apr 3–7 Vujaday Music Festival

Apr 20-22 – Oistins Fish Festival

Game Fishing

Apr 2-6 – Barbados International Fishing Tournament at Port St. Charles, St. Peter


Apr 25-28 – Sir Garry Sobers Festival of Golf Championships at Barbados Golf Club, Sandy Lane Country Club, Royal Westmoreland and Apes Hill Club

Horse Racing First Season Races (Dates TBA)


Apr 2 – Hickstead/DJ Cats at Holders (Barbados Polo Club)

Apr 4 & 7 – Hickstead/DJ Cats at Apes Hill Club

Apr 14, 16 & 20 – Easter Tour at Apes Hill Polo Club

Apr 18 – Easter Tour at Holders (Barbados Polo Club)

Apr 30 – New Zealand Tour at Holders (Barbados Polo Club)

Schedules can be found at


Apr 21 - CAMTRI Sprint Triathlon

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Business Barbados 2019 Calendar

American Cup & Central American & Caribbean Championship Water Polo

Apr 4-8 – Carifta Games Water Polo

National Holidays

Apr 19 - Good Friday

Apr 22 - Easter Monday

Apr 28 - National Heroes Day



May 22-26 – Celtic Festival Barbados

Horse Racing

Second Season Races (Dates TBA)


May 25-26 - The Rally Show & FLOW King of the Hill organised by the Barbados Rally Club

May 31 - Jun 2 – Sol Rally Barbados 2019 organised by the Barbados Rally Club


May 1 – New Zealand Tour at Apes Hill Polo Club

May 5 – New Zealand Tour at Holders (Barbados Polo Club)

May 12 – Presidents/Kearns Trophy at Holders (Barbados Polo Club)

Schedules can be found at


May 18–19 – Barbados J/24 Open


May 16 – Sail for Sight

National Holidays

1 – May Day



Jun 4-7 – MIDEM, The International B2B Music Market in Cannes, France

Jun 26-27 - BMEX Trade Show (Barbados Manufacturers Exhibition)

Barbados International Business Association (BIBA) Networking Mingle (Date TBA)


Jun 23 - Annual Row For Charity organized by Variety, The Children’s Charity


Jun 1-Aug 5 – Crop Over Festival


Jun 7-10 – Barbados International Masters Football Festival

Horse Racing

Second Season Races (Dates TBA),


Jun 8-9 – Harris Paints Regatta

Jun 29-30 – Lucky Horseshoe Regatta


Jun 30 - Barbados Sprint Triathlon

Water Polo

Jun 26-30 - CCCAN (Central American & Caribbean) Water Polo

National Holidays

Jun 10 – Whit Monday


Horse Racing

Second Season Races (Dates TBA),



Barbados Open (Date TBA)


18-24 – Barbados International Hockey Festival

Horse Racing

Second Season Races (Dates TBA)

Water Polo

Aug 15-19 - Annual Barbados Open Invitational Water Polo Tournament For more information email

National Holidays

Aug 1 – Emancipation Day

Aug 5 – Kadooment Day



Sep 8-11 – RIMS Canada Conference in Canada

Sep 23-26 - International Luxury Travel Market Americas (ILTM) Americas in Riviera Maya, Mexico


Barbados Festival of Cycling (Date TBA)

Horse Racing

Second Season Races (Dates TBA)



Oct 20-26 - Barbados International Business Association (BIBA): International Business Week 2019

Oct 10-18 – IMEX America, Las Vegas, USA.


Oct 13 - 29th Annual Barbados National Triathlon



Nov 30-Dec 2 – CTF 71st Annual Tax Conference in Montreal, Canada

Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados (ICAB) Annual Conference (Date TBA)

Barbados International Business Association (BIBA) Networking Mingle (Date TBA)


Nov 1 – Independence Lighting Ceremony at Heroes Square in Bridgetown

Nov 30 – 53rd Anniversary Independence Day Parade at the Garrison Savannah

Golf RBC Classic (Date TBA)

Horse Racing

Third Season Races (Dates TBA)


Nov 6-10 – Barbados Open Water Festival

National Holidays

30 – Independence Day


Horse Racing

26 – Boxing Day At The Races - Annual Diamonds International Challenge Series for 2 yr. olds and the Victor Chandler Stakes & Trophy


Dec 6-8 – 37th Edition of the Run

Barbados Series


Dec 7-8 - The Rugby Barbados World 7s Tournament

National Holidays

25 – Christmas Day

26 – Boxing Day

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Transforming the Nation


rior to erecting any durable structure that can withstand the rigours of time and external forces, it is essential to first prepare a foundation that can provide sufficient strength and stability to support the full weight of the load it will eventually be required to underpin. Builders have to dig down before they can go up, which is why a construction site in its earliest stage looks more like a hole in the ground than the future location of an impressive edifice. In that context, hitting rock bottom is not only a positive achievement, it is a fundamental prerequisite.

That same principle can be applied to the concept of reconstructing a national economy.

And while it might be an exaggeration to suggest that Barbados hit economic rock bottom, statistics for 2013-2018 indicate that the country did slip perilously close to sinking into an unsurmountable financial hole. However, the upside of that near disaster is that Barbados did not actually sink, thereby providing the nation with a timely wake-up call and a compelling incentive to fix what needs fixing and embark upon a reenergized journey of self-discovery and self-determination within the new global economic order.

As such, after being swept into power on the back of an unprecedented thirty seats to zero landslide victory in May 2018, the current Government led by Prime Minister the Hon. Mia Amor Mottley, QC, now has a golden opportunity to convert the many challenges confronting Barbados into a collective catalyst to implement much needed and long-awaited change. There has arguably never been a more opportune time for the Government, the Labour Movement and the Private Sector to come together under the auspices of the Barbados Social Partnership and work hand in hand to reboot the economy, retool the workforce and transform the nation for the greater benefit of all.

Each individual citizen within Barbadian society will also have his or her role to play. In the first instance, we must stoically embrace the inescapable austerity measures that will come our way as the Government implements its Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation Plan. As any gardener can attest, selective pruning is a good first step towards simulating growth. But accepting the inevitability of a negative situation does not equate to surrender. On the contrary, having less usually provokes a desire to want more and a scarcity of resources often inspires creativity. That dynamic combination can motivate Barbadians to become more innovative in every sphere of our life: the way we think and live, what we grow and eat, how we teach and learn, how we generate income, who and where are our clients, who in society should we be helping.

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Keith Miller - Publisher

That radical change in the fundamental ‘way we do things’ at both the national and personal level could prove to be the greatest challenge of all, but it is an absolute necessity. And while the doubters might label it an unobtainable seismic shift, the positive thinkers will recognize that - specifically because we are hanging over the edge of an economic precipice and at a critical juncture in our history – this is an ideal situation for Barbados to reinvent itself as a nation capable of navigating the turbulent waters of the 21st Century.

The comprehensive range of articles in this edition, written by highly respected experts in their fields, ably led by our distinguished Prime Minister, present a qualified insight into what Barbados has to offer the world and why we can look forward to the future with optimism and confidence, albeit tempered with a healthy dose of reality.

Transforming the Nation

The country needs bold innovators to champion positive disruption. We must facilitate the ‘imagineers’, those enterprising powerhouses with the vision to imagine the future and the capacity to engineer successful outcomes. Barbados already has those people, but we need to unshackle them so they can thrive and multiply.

Without minimising the complex infrastructural and economic challenges that need to be addressed, it is worth considering some of the potentially easy-to-achieve positives that already exist.

My home has benefitted from solar heated water for 25-years, saving us thousands of dollars. Today it is fully solar-powered, reducing our energy bills even more dramatically. Imagine if every building in Barbados was fuelled by the sun.

Four years ago, Miller Publishing became early pioneers of clean fuel by transitioning from petrol-driven vehicles to three fully-electric cars and a delivery van, which we charge at our solar-powered home or at our office located in a solar-powered building. That switchover saved our small company thousands of dollars each month. Imagine how much Barbados could save if all vehicles were electric. Imagine the environmental and health benefits. Imagine how it would elevate the Barbados brand as a tourism destination.

My wife Sally buys our fruit and vegetables from Cheapside or farmers markets. Fresh, locally or regionally grown, wholesome and cheaper than imported produce. The same applies to our fish and meat. That practice saves us a significant amount of money and improves our health. Imagine how the whole of Barbados could reap similar benefits. Imagine how that would boost the local agricultural industry.

For each of the past 8-years I have enjoyed interacting with the teenage participants in the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation’s $20 Challenge, an annual entrepreneurial competition open to all secondary schools. That involvement with budding entrepreneurs has convinced me that this country is blessed with an abundance of creative, enterprising, industrious and ambitious natural talent. Imagine what could be achieved if every student was given the appropriate education and allowed to develop in a technology-driven environment where innovation, risk-taking and trailblazing are encouraged and rewarded. Imagine how much that could transform Barbados.

Further imagine what Barbados could achieve in areas such as Financial Services, Communications, Digital Economy, Fintech, Education, Health and Wellbeing, Renewable Energy, Green and Blue Economies, Tourism, Social Investment, and perhaps other sectors yet to be conceived.

We have the vision, we have the people, we have the resources and we have the opportunity. With the right leadership in the Government, the Labour Movement and the Private Sector, supported by committed individuals, we can now make the right decisions, do what needs to be done and re-launch Barbados into a prosperous future.

Prospective international investors please take note. Barbados is about to press the reset button. You are welcome to join us for the ride.

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A Renewed and Transformed Barbados

Hon. Mia Amor Mottley, Q.C. M.P.

Prime Minister of Barbados

The Critical Role of a Revived Social Partnership Professor Avinash Persaud

Young Barbadian Entrepreneurs - Creative Industries

Jaye Applewaite of Custom-Designed Wedding Dresses

Barbados On Track With BEPS Action 5

Maria Robinson, Managing Partner, EY

La-Tanya Edwards, Caribbean Tax Desk, EY New York

Barbados Welcomes UK Businesses

Julia Hope, President Barbados International Business Association

The Argentina - Barbados Connection

Ambassador Gustavo Martinez Pandiani, Ambassador of Argentina

Young Barbadian Entrepreneurs – High Tech Agriculture

Rishi Panjwani and Warren Kellman of Ino-Gro Inc.

Reigniting the Barbados China Connection

Connie Smith, Managing Director, Tricor


Towards a Smart Barbados

Dr. Annalee Babb, ACB Knowledge Consultants Inc.

Barbados Can be the Blockchain / Fintech Hub of the Region

Deirdre Craigwell, Senior Associate, Deloitte

Young Barbadian Entrepreneurs – Fintech

Gabriel Abed and Oliver Gale of Bitt

Transforming Barbados Through Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

Meshia Clarke, Executive Director, Barbados Renewable Energy Association

The Barbados Blue Economy

Nicola Simpson, Caribbean Blue Consulting

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Investment Opportunities in the Tourism Sector

Christopher Brome, Partner, KPMG

Young Barbadian Entrepreneurs – Sports Tourism and Events

Kodi Lewis and Alex Weetch of Dakota Ross

Barbados is an Attractive Location for Medical Tourism and Education

Jean-Paul Cumberbatch, Manager, Research and Development, Invest Barbados

Barbados – Forward: Real Estate Activity is Ready to Take Off

Sir Paul Altman, Altman Real Estate

Entrepreneur Extraordinaire

Sir Charles ‘Cow’ Williams

Future Thinking - A Launch Pad for Caribbean Leadership

David Prestwich, Tax Partner, PwC

Young Barbadian Entrepreneurs – Technology Solutions

Khalil Bryan and Veronica Millington of Caribbean Transit Solutions

The University of the West Indies - Investing in Transformation

Senator Lisa Cummins, Executive Director UWI Consulting Company, Prof. Stephan Gift, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Research, UWI

Expanding Social Investment in Barbados

Peter Boos, Chairman Emeritus, EY Caribbean

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A Renewed and Transformed Barbados

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Hon. Mia Amor Mottley, Q.C. M.P. Prime Minister of Barbados

A Renewed and Transformed Barbados

Eby the international community in the country’s new direction has led to the first credit upgrade of what I believe will be of many to come. It is the end of a ten-year slide and a return to the fiscal discipline and sound management on which investors both foreign and domestic once relied, and on which they can rely once again. These developments, together with the completion of our Domestic Debt Exchange, sounder revenue and lower spending measures have now put our debt and economic sustainability on an affordable footing, and allow us to start to focus on the transformation of our economy.

Marketing Inc. and the Barbados Tourism Product Authority to create a single public/private partnership as a focused, business-driven entity with a clear mandate for reinforcing and expanding the awareness of the Barbados brand in international markets.

ven as a small island nation, Barbados has never shrunk from the challenge of showing leadership in how as a country and a people, we reinvent and transform ourselves to meet global challenges and opportunities.

It is an honour to share my vision for the Barbados of the next fifty years and beyond, where the grit and ingenuity of our people will drive a new, knowledgebased economy, and create the best environment for people to visit, work, invest, and live their best lives.

Barbados is currently facing the most difficult period in its economic history. My Government has spent the last six months securing the value of our dollar, restoring our credit worthiness and returning the country to normal service in the functioning of institutions and the delivery of services. Our Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) Plan has been carefully designed to ensure that Barbados will emerge stronger and more resilient, more efficient and effective in our operations, and re-engineered for growth in new sectors, and for greater integration with regional and global markets.

The BERT Plan is the basis for an Extended Fund Facility programme with the International Monetary Fund, whose support has unlocked not just their own concessionary resources, but those of the Caribbean Development Bank, the InterAmerican Development Bank and others. These resources will push our reserves up to over $1billion. This show of confidence

The core of this transformation is the RE-RE programme the process of retooling, empowering, retraining and enfranchising Barbadians not just as workers but as active participants in a new, high-skilled economy. Our aim is to transform the public sector and modernise its operations, strengthen partnerships and new ways of doing business with the private sector, and ensure that the country has the necessary platform for growth and expansion in the coming years. Government will therefore spend approximately BDS$30M per annum over the next four years on the comprehensive retraining of Barbadians to make our nation globally fit for purpose. We have also begun the process of modernizing Town Planning and other legislation critical to driving investment, establishing a digital platform for licensing and other key government services, and addressing one by one every aspect of the doing business environment.

To be successful, we must continue not only to deliver globally competitive prices for our goods and services, but also to ensure their quality and diversity. We are developing a new, high-skilled, knowledgebased, technology-empowered and more diversified economy that encompasses renewable energy; creative and artistic industries; educational and health services; high-tech, agro-industries and research. Equally, we are renewing our commitment to the international business and tourism sectors as the mainstays of our economy. Tourism continues to be the leading contributor to GDP and we have introduced several initiatives to enhance and reposition this sector. We have started the consolidation of the Barbados Tourism

The global business and financial services industry is being reshaped. Barbados has a strong record of mutually beneficial partnerships with several nations. We value these relationships and will defend these strategic interests, even as we initiate new partnerships with emerging economies. My Government has had, in a short six months, to confront many fundamental changes in the economic and business landscape. Perhaps the most transformational of these has been the decision taken in 2017 to revise our suite of legislation to ensure compliance with the requirements of the OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting Action 5 Initiative. The government, with significant input from the Barbados International Business Association, has completed a comprehensive review of Barbados’ legislative framework, and has announced that all companies will become regular Barbadian companies.

Consequently, before December 31, 2018, we will abolish the International Business Companies Act and amend the Societies with Restricted Liability Act, and not issue any new IBC or ISRL licences, as well as make other legislative changes as required. Further, Barbados is now one of the first countries to converge its local and international tax rates, and rather than converging our tax rates up to the local level, and risk losing our international business sector and its tax revenues, we have converged down to the international level. Our rates now start at 5.5% for corporate entities that are not grandfathered, and go down to 1% for taxable income in excess of BDS$30 million. Insurance companies are treated separately and their rates start at 2% depending on what class they are. This allows us to embrace the challenge of global competitiveness. We take a stand as a country fearless in the face of embracing the world in the Barbadian tradition of excellence, as have the Right Excellent Sir Garfield Sobers, Rihanna, George Lamming, Kamau Brathwaite, and many others.

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We are developing a new, highskilled, knowledge-based, technology-empowered and more diversified economy that encompasses renewable energy; creative and artistic industries; educational and health services; high-tech, agro-industries and research.

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Barbados remains an attractive place to live and work with an excellent quality of life. It is historically an environment sought after for wellness, regeneration for those who wish to reconnect to their purpose in the world, and to thrive.

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The attraction of foreign direct investment and global business continues to offer significant potential, in particular, the traditional sub-sectors such as niche manufacturing, insurance, wealth management, as well as in information and communication technology (ICT), to name a few. The number of licensed captive insurance companies has been rising steadily in recent years, while some ICT entities have embarked on expansion programmes, which have led not only to increased jobs locally but enhanced technological know-how and skills transfer. These will continue to be growth areas.

Still, there are several untapped business opportunities that have the potential to take Barbados to another altitude nationally and internationally. FinTech is one such niche that is rapidly developing and which can help to redefine and position Barbados as a centre of excellence. Bitt, the first Fintech start-up in the Caribbean, was founded by two enterprising and talented young Barbadians, who represent the quality of talent that can be found in the country. Based on a partnership among Bitt, the Central Bank of Barbados and the Financial Services Commission, Barbados has launched one of the first regulatory sandboxes, to test a new digital payments system. When the sandbox is over in about eight weeks, we expect to have a new licensing regime for digital payments. Further, following positive discussions with regulators in our region, we are likely to become the first to launch a multijurisdictional sandbox, so that a product approved in Barbados could be sold elsewhere in the region. Government will also lead by example in harnessing blockchain technology to ensure better delivery of certain services within the public sector, while positioning Barbados as a forerunner in this technology so that “Smart Bridgetown” becomes the tech city of the Americas.

Similarly, we are excited about the future of work and the emerging opportunities we can explore by fostering research and development in the areas of artificial intelligence, renewable energy technologies, high-value agro-industries, and medical and educational solutions.

We will harness the creativity of our people and support their ability not only to dream, but to make those dreams a reality.

A Renewed and Transformed Barbados

We will be innovative and globally attuned, encouraging entrepreneurship, especially among our youth, as we continue this process of national transformation. We have in place a number of initiatives to drive this process, including the First Jobs Initiative for young people leaving school, training in the emerging technologies, the provision of Trust Loans for start-ups and expansions, as well as strengthening of business accelerators and incubators.

We are particularly focused on effective investor facilitation given the critical nature of this function for the establishment and growth of both local and foreign businesses. While we are seeing a resurgence of confidence, we want investors to envisage Barbados not just as a place for doing business but also as a choice location to effect transformation; a location from which they can unlock and unleash their global competitive advantage. Our government has therefore made business facilitation a priority and will improve the quality and speed of delivery of high-demand customer services. This is with the sole aim of making the investor’s experience of doing business with and in Barbados a smooth and hassle-free journey; from idea to establishment and to expansion.

It is well known that the Barbados treaty network is central to its value proposition. It provides the certainty that investors need. Therefore, government will continue to negotiate Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs) as we expand our treaty network, which currently stands at forty DTAs, nine Bilateral Investment Treaties and five Tax Information Exchange Agreements in force. Additionally, Invest Barbados, our investment promotion agency, together with private sector stakeholders, will reengage with China and continue to explore the potential of Africa as alternative sources of business, while continuing with programmes in traditional markets such as Canada, the USA and UK, as well as emerging markets within Latin America.

We will also refocus our attention on feasible opportunities in maritime affairs and the blue economy. Locally, Government is seeking to partner with entities which have their own maritime training facilities, to equip Barbadians for several opportunities within this industry including jobs such as ships’ captains, officers and engineers, among others.

Internationally, our Barbados Maritime Ships’ Registry (BMSR) is considered to be amongst the world’s best “white-listed” ship registries. Headquartered in London, the BMSR has been making great strides, with a wide range of foreign owned vessels flying the Barbados flag. However, we cannot afford to rest on our laurels, and so, one of our goals within this particular area is to further transform the BMSR into a more viable economic asset. Benefits of an enhanced BMSR will also spill over to the international trade sector. In this regard, we are also working closely with China to finalise a Memorandum of Understanding, which will see Barbados becoming part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. This initiative was introduced to expand maritime routes and land infrastructure networks, connecting over 65 countries across the globe.

Barbados remains an attractive place to live and work with an excellent quality of life. It is historically an environment sought after for wellness, regeneration for those who wish to reconnect to their purpose in the world, and to thrive. The time is now for us to develop Barbados as a global hub for business while staying true to the principles of integrity, fairness, environmental responsibility and social justice for which our country is known.

My government is conscious of the extraordinary mandate it received from the people of Barbados to stabilize our nation’s conditions and to work together to transform it for better. The transformative journey towards excellence, growth and prosperity must embrace and inspire everyone, every Barbadian who is willing to engage and enhance our country: from to citizens and residents of Barbados to visitors to our shores to the wider Barbadian Diaspora and local and foreign investors alike.

The world is our business and our business is the world. With the help of the Barbadian people and all who call Barbados home, we shall succeed!

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Partnership Avinash D. Persaud Special Envoy to the Prime Minister for Investment and Finance 25 /
The Critical Role of a Revived Social

The Critical Role of a Revived Social Partnership

This is the Age of Insecurity for many people around the world - which explains Trumpism and Brexit. People have microwave ovens, refrigerators and colour TVs; but worry about uncertain futures at work. They fear not being able to afford decent health care for their loved ones; or retirement for themselves.

In the United States the consensus is that this is largely the result of the advent of the “gig” economy of the likes of Uber and Deliveroo, on-line shopping, and robots. In short, it is the inevitable result of the march of time and technology. Robotpessimism, fatalism and conferences on the future of work abound. Because the US dominates global culture, it is assumed that the global spread of technology will deliver this same fate to all of us, Barbados included.

But the data says something else. There are wide differences in the way countries have managed the challenge of new technologies. Those with national consultation and dispute resolution,

collective bargaining, and minimum wages fare better. Their people are less angst, more secure, and inequality and its social ills are less rampant. Tripartism works. And collaboration between workers, employers and Government seems so Barbadian that it is tempting to forget that our social partnership is not yet 30-years old.

The Barbados Social Partnership, delivered in the 1991 crisis, enabled the country to get through without a devaluation of the 2 to 1 exchange rate peg with the US dollar that had held since 1975 and remains today. In 1991 workers accepted a pay cut, while employers held strain. And the social partnership is delivering again today. The traditional response around the world to a decade of deficits that caused Barbados’ debt-toGDP ratio to become the third highest in the world, far above that of Venezuela and Zimbabwe, would be eviscerating job cuts. Job cuts of a size that would break our

communities and society. Instead of 5,000 public sector workers going home, less than half of that will. In place of strife, all Barbadians will pay more taxes, more at the fuel pump and pensioners will take a cut. Ninety percent of pensioners voted in favour of a difficult, painful cut. That is the Barbadian bargain. Our way.

Social partnership works for two reasons. First, problems shared are problems halved. And problems halved become surmountable. Second, the effectiveness of policy depends on it being believed, and when it comes out of agreements between organized labour and capital, it is believed. Unions and Employers take their national responsibility more seriously than I have found anywhere else in the world. Because of this deep social partnership it would be folly indeed for anyone to bet against Barbados. Yes, we are in the shadow of the valley today, but Barbadians will build a New Economy in this land and we will arrive at those sunlit uplands because we have set out on our arduous journey together, handin-hand, in strong and resolute partnership.

As Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations, I am confident that our strong Social Partnership will constitute the bedrock of Barbados’ economic recovery and transformation.

Recognising that Government cannot address all of the pressing social issues, and further recognising that civil society is not specifically included in the tri-partite arrangement, we have broadened the social partnership framework to include a wider range of interest groups — the Third Sector, made up of non-governmental organizations, faith-based organizations and community-based organizations, through the creation of a Social Justice Committee.

This more representative Committee, recently approved by

Cabinet, will use the same principles of genuine and meaningful dialogue employed by the Social Partnership, to make recommendations on issues of social justice covering a wide range of matters including, but not limited to, poverty alleviation, the role of the family in fostering cultural and societal norms and values, access to employment, safety and security, discrimination, and the environment.

The Social Partnership will continue to grow from strength to strength. The love for nation and a deep sense of pride, industry and national duty are evident. The Partnership once again represents tripartism at its best, where Government, workers and employers come together for the cause of national development, fully committed to building a better and stronger nation for all.

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The Social Partnership will continue to grow from strength to strength.

The Critical Role of a Revived Social Partnership

In 1991 Prime Minister (Sir) Erskine Sandiford announced that Barbados was facing an awesome financial crisis. The Labour leaders, who heard him, immediately dropped their individual agendas and started working as a focused united body whose central aim was to safeguard the nation’s well being.

What we soon learnt was that the business community had embarked on a parallel course.

Out of this the Tripartite Social partnership was born, structured along the principles adopted by the International Labour Organisation.

The undisputable truth is that the Social Partnership has led to a level of commitment to country which may otherwise have escaped us. There have been several occasions when at meetings chaired by Government

officials, but also at meetings where labour and capital have wrestled over issues, that compromise in the national interest has won out.

This commitment to country has in many instances changed traditional mind sets and provided for more meaningful dialogue between and among the social partners, a greater willingness to share critical information and a readiness to try the position tabled by another party.

What makes the Barbados Social partnership so valuable is that it is a relationship which calls for mutual trust and respect. It is only as meaningful and honourable as the people are who sit at the table and give their word.

The BPSA believes that our capacity to resolve key economic and social issues is best facilitated and influenced by the quality of collaboration, negotiation and joint problem solving. The tripartite model of the Social Partnership is therefore recognised as a model of greater benefit for the national good than industrial and social conflict and adversarial dialogue. Given the review of its activities over the years, the BPSA believes that the Social Partnership model can continue to offer unique opportunities for communication and dialogue at the highest level which can strengthen rather than weaken national decision making, recognising that it is not a body to usurp the authority of the Government of Barbados.

The Government has recently established a Monitoring Committee

for the oversight of the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation Plan (BERT), which has been used to secure the much-needed multilateral funding for Barbados, and its success will determine the future economic recovery of Barbados. The Chairman of the BPSA will be one of the Co-Chairs of the BERT monitoring committee.

The BPSA also recognises the recent efforts to widen the model of the Social Partnership and believes that the establishment of a Social Justice Committee is another positive development.

For the future, the BPSA expects a continuation of its role as the strong, unified private sector body within a vibrant Social Partnership of Barbados.

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Barbados Workers Union Ed Chairman, Barbados Private Sector Association

Jaye Applewaite Transforming Traditional into Top-Tier Trendy

Jaye Applewaite is a gifted young Barbadian designer whose bespoke wedding dresses are creating a buzz of excitement within the competitive world of bridal fashion. After just a single appearance at one of the top New York wedding shows, where she was invited to display her one-of-a-kind handmade creations alongside some of the industry’s leading brands, Jaye has found herself high on the wish list of international photographers for high-end wedding fashion shoots. What makes Jaye’s rapid rise all the more remarkable is that she is completely self-taught, having boldly transitioned from her qualified profession.

“After graduating with Honours as a Civil Engineer, I worked with Stantec in Canada and Barbados. It was a good experience but my heart wasn’t there. My real passion was for creativity, so I started making beautiful jewellery and headbands. It was only a hobby, but I took it seriously and made sure everything was top quality. That gave me a taste for entrepreneurship and an insight into what was required to succeed in business. When brides started buying my products, I became fascinated by the huge potential of the creative aspects of the bridal sector. It didn’t make sense that girls were flying to the USA to buy wedding dresses. By then my mind was open to the idea of switching from a secure job to the unpredictable life of selfemployment, so I decided to give it a go. My inspiration was Vera Wang, but we don’t have any Vera Wangs in Barbados so I had nobody to follow. That was actually good because I set off on my own path, determined to build a unique brand with my own signature style. My dresses are classic but with a more dramatic, modern edge. Trendy, sexy, clean-cut dresses that follow the body lines. Each dress is individually fitted and meticulously hand made to match the client’s personality. My business is still at a very early stage but I have a 5-year plan to get where I want to be. For now, I’ll continue with the one-onone brides, then get into international boutiques, then launch my own bridal and lifestyle lines. My ultimate vision is to run a luxury wedding and lifestyle empire.”

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Barbados on track with BEPS Action 5

La-Tanya Edwards Caribbean Tax Desk, EY, New York
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Maria Robinson Country Managing Partner, EY, Barbados

Barbados is one of 102 countries that signed on to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD’s) Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS). As a result, in 2017 it committed to implementing Action 5, one of the four minimum standards of the OECD’s plan to curtail BEPS worldwide.

As a member of this framework, Barbados was subject to a review process, after which the OECD’s Forum on Harmful Tax Practices (FHTP) determined that a number of the island’s incentive regimes were “potentially harmful”, making it noncompliant with Action 5.

There are several characteristics the FHTP looks at in determining if a regime is “potentially harmful”, however three influenced its review of Barbados: our low tax rate; our wide treaty network; and “ring-fencing” of international entities from domestic ones.

To avoid this classification, the island would have to abolish or amend several pieces of legislation. These included: the International Business Company (IBC) Act; the International Financial Services (IFS) Act; the Exempt Insurance (EI) Act; the Society for Restricted Liability (SRL) Act.

The new government, elected in May 2018, was keenly aware of the need for a timely response, and as of June 30 2018 it closed the Intellectual Property (IP) regimes available to IBCs and International Societies with Restricted Liability (ISRLs).

Then, on November 20, 2018, the island’s Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Mia A. Mottley announced sweeping changes to the legislation governing the “harmful” regimes. The major changes are discussed below.

IBCs and ISRLs

Effective December 31, 2018 the IBC Act will be abolished and the SRL Act will be amended to remove references to ISRLs.

IBCs and ISRLs established before June 30, 2018, which hold IP assets, would be grandfathered until June 30, 2021. However, this would only apply to IP assets acquired before October 17, 2017.

Assets obtained after that date could qualify for grandfathering only where certain criteria are met. Non-IP entities are grandfathered where they were licensed by October 17, 2017.

Grandfathered entities will be taxed as before, except for taxable income over US$ 15 million. This will be taxed at 1.0%.

Effective January 1, 2019, all corporate entities, except those grandfathered and insurance companies, will be taxed on a sliding scale as shown below:

Barbados will continue to seek a balance between complying

OECD and EU requirements, and strengthening its own economic development

•Commercial Banks;

•Trust Companies, Finance Companies, Merchant Banks and money or value transmission service providers;

•Financial Holding Companies; and

•Financial institutions with the FCP.

New IBCs and ISRLs will become regular Barbados entities and, together with all other corporate entities, will be able to conduct business globally.

Foreign Currency Permit

A new Foreign Currency Permit (FCP) will be issued to entities that earn 100% of their income in foreign currency. This permit will allow them to benefit from concessions which currently apply to IBCs and ISRLs.

Other changes

Effective January 1, 2019, tax losses may only be offset against 50% of assessable income.

Also, the only allowances permitted under the Income Tax Act (ITA) will be annual capital allowances, the renewable energy allowance, and the research and development allowance. The foreign currency tax credit currently available under the ITA will be abolished. However, Barbados entities can continue to claim a foreign tax credit provided they do not reduce tax payable to less than 1% of assessable income.

Financial Institutions

The International Financial Services Act (IFSA) will be repealed, and the Financial Institutions Act (FIA) will be amended to provide for all entities conducting banking business. Four classes of licences will be created. These are:

IFSA companies licensed before October 17, 2017 will be grandfathered. Those not grandfathered will pay tax at the new rates.

Insurance Companies

All insurance companies will now be governed under the Insurance Act (IA). The IA will be amended to remove provisions for the entities known as Qualified Insurance Companies and to provide for three classes of insurance companies:

•Class 1 – those doing related party business. Such companies will be taxed at 0%.

•Class 2 – those which can conduct third party business. Such companies will be taxed at a rate of 2%.

•Class 3 - includes brokers, intermediaries, insurance management companies and insurance holding companies. These will be also be taxed at a rate of 2%.

Insurance entities will be grandfathered similarly to non-IP entities until June 30, 2021. Entities in Classes 1 and 2 can obtain the FCP on satisfying the necessary requirements.

There is still work to be done before Government meets with the OECD again in January 2019. In completing it, Barbados will continue to seek a balance between complying with the OECD and EU requirements, and strengthening its own economic development, while recognizing the responsibility owed to its investors.

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with the
Taxable Income (BBD) Rate% Up to <= $1 million 5.50 >$1 million to <= $20 million 3.00 >$20 million to <= $30 million 2.50 >$30 million 1.00

Barbados Welcomes UK Businesses & Offers a Gateway to the Americas

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Julia Hope President, Barbados International Business Association

Barbados Welcomes UK Businesses

hile the UK continues to grapple with trade deals with its European partners, the shores of Barbados have started to attract UK businesses that have been looking further afield to cement new opportunities.

Unnerved by the Brexit negotiations, UK firms were steeling themselves for any negative impacts, reviewing technological advances to ward off any loss in the labour pool and making determinations about reheadquartering businesses on mainland Europe. However, this shifting landscape also had companies making new enquiries in alternative jurisdictions, not just to turn to overseas labour markets but to expand into new countries, breaking away from the dominance of the European markets.

Barbados, an independent nation since 1966, does not have the concerns that the British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean may have regarding their ties to Europe. Barbados, with a strong government led by our first female Prime Minister, the Hon. Mia Amor Mottley, is chomping at the bit to welcome more foreign direct investment.

Looking for pioneering ways to encourage UK companies to engage in new ventures in Barbados, Innovate LSO (legal and outsourcing specialists based in Barbados) introduced Berwick Devoil Healthcare Limited (BDHL), a United Kingdom registered international healthcare broker, to David A Deane Consultancy Inc., a Barbadian owned and registered company whose principal has been involved in the insurance industry for decades.

BDHL and David A Deane Consultancy have seen an opportunity to market global health insurance products to clients in Barbados, and Barbados in turn will act as their hub and gateway to the rest of the Caribbean. This cross-border joint venture initiative provides affiliation with, and access to, institutions which provide the world's best medical advice, doctors and treatments.

David Deane commented that, “BDHL brings a specialist health and risk

Wknowledge to Barbados and, working alongside my company, our combined efforts deliver an efficient, unique and diverse service. Our working partnership rolls out a focused ability and a shared ethical core of how we both do business”.

BDHL’s Caroline Weiss-Jones said that their aim to trade internationally, “Opens a universe of potential clients, suppliers and trades, but most importantly being able to offer our unique service and capabilities in health insurance, with David and his team by our side, to the communities and businesses in Barbados makes for an exciting future”.

Guy and Caroline Jones are not newcomers to Barbados, they have been here on holiday every year for the past ten years. They are typical of many UK visitors with their own businesses, they see the value of Barbados as a tourist destination and have been contemplating how to expand their business internationally, eyeing up the opportunities further afield from Europe. This is where organisations like The Barbados International Business Association (BIBA) and Invest Barbados can assist, making introductions to local companies or to Regulators, so that foreign companies can understand the dynamics and benefits of expanding operations to the island.

The expansion of UK businesses to Barbados is also something Alex Morris of Financial Relationships LLP based in London has also noted. Alex has been working with Invest Barbados to promote opportunities through his network to law firms, investment houses, Lloyds of London and accountancy firms.

Alex commented, “We have seen a marked increase of interest in doing business globally, not just focussing on Europe over the last few years. I see this as a positive move as the US policy becomes more entrenched in its domestic agenda. UK businesses are taking a different approach and see this as a golden opportunity to discover new environments in which to do business”.

Alex also noted that, “Barbados’ close historic ties to the UK bring a sense of comfort to UK businesses, as the legal system and business practices are familiar, so there are endless opportunities to expand business here”. Alex has been in discussion with a number of UK firms about doing business in Barbados and

providing training opportunities to Barbadian employees. He commented that, “There is everything to gain in a situation where everyone wins, which has to be good for our clients and our businesses. I don't see a downside. It's just ours to lose if we don't take it”.

UK businesses have the advantage of using Barbados as a gateway to the Americas and the rest of the Caribbean. Global operations based here grant employees easy access to those regions in a similar time zone.

There is a new dawn of inspiration and confidence in Barbados. The recently elected Barbados government has stated its aims to not only meet international standards but to exceed them in order to be globally competitive. This gives the business community something new to work with – a reinvigorated ‘Brand Barbados’, representing our culture, identity and new value proposition. All aspects of the business environment are being re-engineered to welcome foreign investment and find ways of working with our international counterparts.

If this prospect excites you, and you are a regular visitor to Barbados, why not arrange a meeting with Invest Barbados or BIBA. Or if you are currently overseas and want to find out more, have a look at their websites or contact the writer for more information.

We look forward to doing business with you.

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There is a new dawn of inspiration and confidence in Barbados. The recently elected Barbados government has stated its aims to not only meet international standards but to exceed them in order to be globally competitive.

Could the UK Taxman Still Come Knocking?

There must be some UK connection with either the property being transferred or the person making the transfer (or both) for Inheritance Tax to apply.

Inheritance Tax applies to all transfers of UK situated property. For example, any transfer of a London apartment (even one owned by a foreign company, following recent changes), or shares in an English company, falls within the scope of Inheritance Tax on the basis that the property is legally situated in the UK.

Inheritance Tax also applies to all transfers of assets, regardless of where they are legally situated, where the person making that transfer is UK domiciled at the time of the transfer.

If a person dies with a UK domicile – regardless of where they are living when they die (and regardless of where their assets are located) - the entire value of their worldwide estate is subject to UK Inheritance Tax at 40%.

The way that these complex rules apply to people who have not lived in the UK for years, or even decades, is often misunderstood. This leads to people taking steps that trigger large Inheritance Tax charges, which they then fail to report for many years, because they were not aware of the liability. Interest and penalties get added to the unpaid tax, making matters worse.

Long-term Barbados residents who started their lives in the UK may think they have waved goodbye to the UK taxman. In many cases they will be wrong. Shedding one’s tax residence is a simple matter of packing up and leaving, but changing one’s domicile is a much trickier affair. And it is domicile that is the relevant “connecting factor” for UK Inheritance Tax. UK Inheritance Tax applies to estates when someone dies and to certain lifetime transfers, including gifts, particularly gifts into trusts.

For the past decade, UK tax rules have treated gifts into most lifetime trusts as “chargeable transfers” for Inheritance Tax purposes, resulting in an immediate 20% tax charge on the value transferred (after the transferor’s “nil rate band” - currently £325,000 - is exhausted). A 40% rate applies on death.

The UK Inheritance Tax rules do not apply to all transfers taking place throughout the world and they do not apply to all deaths around the world; that’s where “connecting factors” come in.

The problem all comes down to this concept of “domicile”. In order for long-term Barbados residents, who started out in the UK, to properly plan their affairs it is important to fully understand what a “domicile of origin” is and how one can displace that domicile of origin with a “domicile of choice” somewhere else. The implications of doing this effectively can be the difference between paying 40% Inheritance Tax on everything you own, and not paying it, so it’s not an analysis that should be carried out without a detailed understanding of the rules.

For an expanded version of this article please visit:

For further information please contact:

David Cooney Partner, Charles Russell Speechlys
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The Argentina - Barbados Connection Much More than 50-years of Friendship

Ambassador Gustavo Martinez Pandiani Ambassador of Argentina to Barbados

Barbados is a paradise. It is a paradise not only for its beautiful beaches and crystalline waters, but also for the hospitality of its citizens and the smile of its people.

I have been here for only nine months, yet this already feels like my ‘home away from home’. And the reason for my presence in my new home is to be on the ground, creating closer ties, gaining first-hand knowledge of Barbadian culture, idiosyncrasies, interests and concerns. In these times, when austerity is the norm in the sphere of international affairs, our permanent presence on the island is the most comprehensive proof of our willingness and interest in strengthening our friendship and contributing our resources towards the sustainable development of Barbados. With that in mind, during 2018 and coinciding with the celebration of 50-years of diplomatic relations between Argentina and Barbados, we launched a package of initiatives and actions aimed at achieving these objectives.

In April we hosted a 2-day Regional Cooperation Workshop in Bridgetown, with two representatives from each of the nine countries of the region, specially invited by the Government of Argentina. During the opening ceremony, the signing of the first Agreement of Technical Cooperation between Barbados and Argentina took place. This instrument serves as an umbrella to implement the concrete cooperation projects arising from the workshop in areas such as Agroindustry (sustainable soil and water management, and strengthening of the phytosanitary systems); teaching of Spanish as a second language (exchange of Language Assistants in order to improve academic and pedagogical training for teachers, and the implementation of a set of standards for Spanish as a Second Language in Barbados, linked to an International Performance Exam); and SME’s (creation of successful business incubators in strategic priority sectors).

Additionally, I would also like to highlight the signing of the first Memorandum of Understanding between CDEMA and COMCAWhite Helmets (the unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina in charge of designing and implementing humanitarian assistance), which marks the beginning of a new stage in the relationship of cooperation between two such renowned agencies. We are aware of the challenges which Barbados and the region face due to the constant threat of more aggressive weather systems, and we want to be prepared to bring our experience to the creation of more conscious and resilient communities.

We are also very passionate about sports, mainly football, and

we are world famous for equestrian sports, especially polo, as Barbados is for cricket. In that regard, Argentina and Barbados signed the Sports Cooperation Agreement in September 2018, which provides a framework for both countries to develop various means of cooperation for the purpose of fostering, promoting and strengthening technical cooperation and sports exchanges, as well as attaining a higher level of development in the field of sports in both countries.

Under this umbrella, an educational and training trip to Argentina by the Barbados Under-17 National Football Team took place in December 2018, with additional participation by Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc and National Sports Council authorities.

In the field of cricket, a bilateral cooperation project has been implemented. The first stage involved the Barbadian cricket legend, Mr. Roland Butcher, travelling to Buenos Aires in September 2018 to direct a training programme for young Argentine players, held at the facilities of the Argentine Cricket association (ACA). A training trip by Argentine players to Barbados is planned for 2019.

Regarding polo, a tournament involving some of our most renowned players will take place in Barbados during 2019.

Furthermore, in the frame of the Caribbean Week of Agriculture 2018 (CWA), I personally presented a package of new cooperation projects to be implemented in the near future: soil recovery, water harvesting, phytosanitary control systems and fish waste treatment, the latter in collaboration with FAO. In this sense, Argentine Government hosted a Regional Cooperation Agribusiness Workshop in November 2018, specially designed for Caribbean countries. Two representatives from Barbados´ Ministry of Agriculture were invited to travel to Buenos Aires for the seminar.

In addition, the Argentine Undersecretary of Livestock, Rodrigo Troncoso, travelled to Barbados specially to participate in the CWA and held meetings with the authorities who attended the meeting of the council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED), with the goal of introducing high quality Argentine meat to the local markets. I am very glad that Barbados already has the chance to enjoy a wide range of fantastic Argentine wines, next, I would love the country to be able to enjoy delicious Argentine beef.

In summary, in my role as Ambassador of Argentina to Barbados, I believe that the development of the commercial relationship between our two countries certainly has great potential. And I look forward to witnessing further success.

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Rishi Panjwani, Warren Kellman and Mark Kinch: Ino-Gro Inc.

Say Hello to the Future of Agriculture

While still teenagers, Rishi Panjwani, Warren Kellman and Mark Kinch started dreaming big about their future. All budding entrepreneurs, they shared a passion for the environment, technology and innovation, plus a desire to somehow make a difference for Barbados. Unlike many youthful idealists whose ambitions are crushed by reality, these enterprising Barbadians persisted until they found a project that ticked all the right boxes. They decided to launch a revolutionary method of farming that could carry Barbados through the 21st Century and beyond.

Rishi: ‘After years of research we found the right fit for our plans and established Ino-Gro, even before we all left university. Mark is still studying in Canada now. It is a vertical hydroponic farming system housed in a 40 ft shipping container that we figured would work well for Barbados. By maximising the latest agricultural technology, we can sustainably grow an equivalent amount of leafy greens that would ordinarily occupy about 1.5 acres of land. Furthermore, the climate controlled, enclosed environment eliminates any disruption by adverse weather, giving us a 24/7/365 growing period. And, thanks to the automated drip-irrigation that supplies each plant with the optimum amount of water and nutrients, the produce ends up being just about perfect: non-GMO,

pesticide and herbicide free, healthy, nutritious and delicious.’

Warren: ‘Because of the top quality and diverse variety of leaves, our produce is particularly popular with the leading restaurants. Each plant is delivered in a peat moss plug, still containing its roots and nutrients, so the leaves stay fresh for two weeks. Plus there is minimal wastage compared to regular greens. People also value the fact that we are so environmentally friendly. We occupy a very small footprint with a high-density growing capacity, we need 85% less water than traditional farming, we use energy efficient LED lighting, and we are helping to reduce the country’s enormous food import bill and shipping. Our goal is to educate young people about agricultural innovation and launch a new generation of modern farmers. We have lots of ideas for expanding this model in a much wider scope. But we can’t share them yet, not if we want to stay ahead of the pack. We are still dreaming big.’

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Reigniting the Barbados China Connection

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Connie Smith
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Managing Director, Tricor Caribbean Limited

Reigniting the Barbados China Connection

Due to its geographic location and network of tax and investment treaties with key markets such as Mexico, Colombia, Cuba and Panama, Barbados has promoted itself as a natural gateway into Latin America for multinational companies, mostly from Canada, who are looking for a springboard into that region. However, with shifting global dynamics, Barbados has a prime opportunity to position itself as a strategic partner for Chinese companies looking for a conduit into Latin America. As that Asian giant looks to embrace more of its role as a global economic power, bringing financial and infrastructure investment to more nations through its “One Belt, One Road” initiative launched in 2013, Barbados now has a prime opportunity to pick back up the ball after a more than five-year hiatus

in on-the-ground engagement with Chinese service providers and business leaders.

One of the first indicators that the new Barbados government administration gave that it was interested in furthering its strategic relationship with China was the early announcement by Prime Minister Mottley that she had given the directive to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to pursue an agreement with Chinese officials for the island to become part of what has become called the “Belt and Road Initiative”. As China pushes further into Africa, Caribbean and Latin America, Barbados has tax and investment treaties with over 30 nations across these regions that can be used to facilitate cross-border transactions in the areas of financial services, manufacturing and infrastructure investments, among others. Barbados continues to have some obvious advantages over other international financial services jurisdictions in the region in that the size and qualifications of our

skilled professionals ensures that there is enough depth of talent to have Barbadian managed and staffed Chinese subsidiaries that can operate within this hemisphere with greater cultural familiarity. The Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies in Barbados hosts a Confucius Institute which provides Chinese language and cultural training resources to Barbadians as well as facilitates cultural and educational exchanges. Historical linkages and cultural rapport between Barbados and the African nations with which we have treaties could also ease Chinese business expansion across that continent.

Barbados is also sitting on another significant financial services advantage as highlighted recently by Nancy Carroll, National Head of Insurance and Reinsurance Group of McCarthy Tetrault in Toronto, and that is in captive insurance. Carroll, who is also a Partner in the Financial Services Group of McCarthy Tetrault, pointed out at the 2018

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Hong Kong

Reigniting the Barbados China Connection

US$10 trillion in the next five years, the Barbados China Bilateral Investment Treaty and the Barbados China Double Taxation Agreement could be advantageous for multinational entities who want to sell on their products to China using Barbados as a conduit.

International Business Week Conference in Barbados that, having been established as a captive insurance domicile since 1983, the island has the right level of expertise, risk-based regulatory environment, and skilled workforce to build on its tax treaty and strong diplomatic relations with China to promote Barbados’ significant advantages as a captive insurance jurisdiction for Chinese companies. There may also be a market to set up Barbados captive insurers for Chinese companies with subsidiaries in Canada and the US who may wish to reinsure the risks of their North American subsidiaries with Barbados captives and have the Barbados captives retrocede the risks to Chinese insurance companies. However, despite consistently ranking within the top 10 domiciles for captive insurance in the world, Carroll pointed out that Barbados is relatively unknown to Chinese investors. The Barbados government will hopefully take on board her suggestion to open dialogues between our financial regulators and the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission leading to agreements that could pave the way for mutual assistance and the exchange of information that would facilitate such new business.

On the flip side, strengthening our international business relations with China could also increase Barbados’ attractiveness to multinational companies who are re-assessing the growth potential in Asia. One avenue previously explored by Barbados, but ultimately capitalised on by other regional jurisdictions, has been cross-border listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (“HKXE”). This is an initiative that needs to be once again rekindled as the HKXE is one of the 6th largest stock exchanges in the world and, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, has accelerated over the past five years as a key international capital market for emerging countries and leading global destination for Initial Public Offerings (“IPOs”). Tricor, headquartered in Hong Kong, is a leading share registrar in Hong Kong servicing over half of the total number of listed issuers on the HKXE. Barbados could have a role to play in this arena once the island fulfils the legal and regulatory requirements covering shareholder protection and articles of incorporation to ensure that they meet Hong Kong benchmarking standards. Also, China is the world’s second largest importer of goods and services and with the value of these imports set to exceed

However, all of these opportunities can only be capitalised on if Barbados stops being the best kept secret for Chinese investors and citizens. Carroll noted that the Barbados government and service providers must re-engage with their counterparts in key Chinese cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. She suggested more must be done to promote the mutual visa waiver policy between the two nations and our tax and investment treaties. As Barbados embarks on digital payments, Barbados could gain some insight from China, the global leader in mobile payments. Carroll noted that popular Chinese mobile payments apps, Alipay and WeChat Pay have enabled customers to go straight from cash to smartphone for payments. She also noted that in the US, almost as many merchants accept Alipay as accept Apple Pay. However, the primary target for Alipay in the US is not Americans; rather it is Chinese tourists and students in the US. Making it more attractive for Chinese tourists and students to travel to Barbados and to use Chinese mobile payment apps to pay for their experiences here could win Barbados a portion of the US$429 billion that Hong Kong-based market research firm CLSA projects that Chinese travellers will spend in 2021. It is also to be expected that an increase in travellers will increase the familiarisation of Chinese with Barbados and likely lead to further business opportunities.

At 1.38 billion people the population of China exceeds the combined population of the United States, Canada and Europe. Chinese tourists spend annually twice as much as travellers from the United States according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization. China is devoting approximately US$150 billion a year to infrastructure and investment expansions under the Belt and Road Initiative. As Barbados seeks new and creative solutions to pull itself out of its current economic quagmire, re-engagement with China must be one of our top priorities.

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The Business of Medical Cannabis


he Barbados International Business Association in reviewing global business trends has identified that the business of medical cannabis is an industry that could be beneficial to Barbados. The current legal framework in Barbados would need to be amended to permit business opportunities from this area and this is currently receiving the attention of the Government of Barbados.

We interviewed two leading experts on medicinal cannabis, Steve Naraine and Dr. Damian Cohall, in order to understand the drug, its medicinal uses and business opportunities.

Introduction to the Cannabis plant

1.What is the Cannabis plant?

The Cannabis plant refers to a single species, Cannabis sativa, along with any of three subspecies of the flowering plant, ssp. indica, ssp. sativa, and ssp. ruderalis.

2.What makes cannabis plant such a topical plant?

The Cannabis plant has bioactive compounds with health-based properties. The medicinally relevant compounds within the Cannabis plant are known as phytocannabinoids. There are approximately 120 phytocannabinoids identified in the plant and the two most popular bioactive compounds are delta-9tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).


3.Where did its use originate?

The use of Cannabis sativa dates to 3000 BC on the continents of Asia and Europe.

4.What is medical cannabis?

Medical cannabis refers to the use of the whole, unprocessed Cannabis plant or its basic extracts or derivatives of phytocannabinoids to treat symptoms of illness and other conditions.

5.How do the phytocannabinoids produce their health-based effects?

The phytocannabinoids bind to cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, in the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the central nervous system. These receptors can also be found at peripheral sites in the body. The ECS is activated naturally by endocannabinoids such as anandamide. The ECS is involved in a variety of physiological processes including appetite stimulation, analgesia and pleasure sensation, and the modulation of the immune system, mood and memory.

Medical properties of THC/CBD

6.What medical uses have been associated with the use of cannabinoids?

The USFDA has approved four cannabinoid compounds for their

medicinal properties.

•Epidiolex (CBD) for the treatment of epileptic seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome in patients 2 years of age and older

•Marinol and Syndros (Dronabinol [synthetic THC]) for therapeutic uses in the United States, including for the treatment of anorexia associated with weight loss in AIDS patients

•Cesamet (Nabilione [synthetic THC]) for nausea and emesis associated with cancer chemotherapy

There has been culpable evidence, which shows the usefulness of cannabinoid therapy in chronic, neuropathic and cancer related pain, spasticity related to Multiple Sclerosis or Paraplegia and appetite stimulation in cancer patients.

7.How is medical cannabis administered?

Medical cannabis can be administered by a variety of formulations which may include vapours, tinctures, oromucosal sprays, oral forms, transdermal patches, ointments and suppositories.

Medical Cannabis Industry

8.What are the most important guiding principles for the development of local medical cannabis industry?

•A local cannabis industry must be people-centered to ensure protection of patient and public safety;

•It should be guided by differentiating between medical cannabis and recreational cannabis use;

•Research and evidence-based approaches are important to ensure the best care to patients while reducing risks associated with therapy;

•The supply chain must be secured to maintain the integrity of the product, enable traceability and limit diversion to black markets.

9.What opportunities are present in a local medical cannabis industry?

A local medical cannabis industry must prioritise patient and public safety. It should be regulated to confirm efficacy and safety for consumption by authorised patients. These are some of the opportunities of a local cannabis industry:

•Efficacious and safe drugs will be accessible by patients who need the medicine;

•There will be opportunities for businesses to manage the supply chain from licensed suppliers to licensed dispensaries and retailers;

•Barbados is known as a global services hub in the Eastern Caribbean and will benefit by providing intellectual property, banking and other business solutions to help build the sector;

•The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, will benefit through research to optimize the development of local cultivars and efficacious and safe products. The university could also benefit from the delivery of educational programmes to industry players, from growers to quality assurance specialists;

•Potential tax and other income generation for the Government


from its regulatory and licensure policies and procedures for the industry;

•A potential source for developing alternative energy by the use of the biomass of cannabis after extraction; and

•A textile and garment industry from the post extracted raw material

10.What are the potential niche markets in the global value chain that can be capitalised?

Potential niche markets in the global medicinal cannabis value chain may include intellectual property on improvements or innovations of various aspects of the current value chain and treatment modalities. These can be further categorised as follows:

•Propagation of Barbadian medicinal cannabis cultivars;

•Standardization and amelioration of registered Barbadian cultivars;

•Synthesis of value added medicinal products through novel techniques such as biosynthesis;

•Using innovation to improve extraction of cannabinoids;

•Development of products with new treatment modalities; and

•Medical tourism which is supported by the local tourism product and cannabis based treatments

11. How can the Barbadian public benefit from the medicinal cannabis industry?

•Through access to other therapeutics classes of drugs for illnesses;

•By direct employment in businesses derived from the supply and value chain enterprises;

•Small farmers could cultivate through cooperatives and community-based enterprises to compete with other established suppliers of raw material to meet product demand; and

•Indirect benefits may be derived from net inflows into the Barbados’ economy and an improved quality of life

Steve Naraine is the Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Colombian Company, CannaVida SAS. He is also the Founder of AEther Research Corp.

Dr. Damian Cohall is a Senior Lecturer in Pharmacology and Deputy Dean (Preclinical) in the Faculty of Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus.


Careen Byfield-Leyshon

Managing Director


Amicorp Bank and Trust Limited

Carleton Court, 2nd floor

High Street, Bridgetown

Barbados BB11128

Telephone +1 246 228 5363


+1 246 228 5981


Scott Stollmeyer

Managing Director

CGM Gallagher Insurance Brokers (Barbados) Limited

Stanley Centre, Haggatt Hall, St. Michael, BB11059, Barbados

PBX: (246) 434-2200, Direct: (246) 434-2234

Mobile: (246) 233-7698, Fax: (246) 426-7336


Concorde Bank Limited

The Corporate Centre, Bush Hill & Bay Street, St. Michael BB14038, Barbados

Tel: 246 430 5320 Fax: 246 429 7996


“Global Experience, Wealth Management, Custodian, Administration of Corporations & Mutual Funds”

Heather Tull - Attorney-at-Law

Suite 101, Lauriston Building, Lower Collymore Rock, St Michael, Barbados

Tel: (246) 427-3174

Fax: (246) 436-9541


Anthony G. Ellis - President

Great Pacific Insurance Management Ltd.

4th Floor, Williams Tower

Warrens, St. Michael, BB22026

Barbados, W.I.

Tel: 1 (246) 417 3405

Fax: 1 (246) 425 1133


A Jim Pattison Group Company

Anthony G. Ellis - President

Great Pacific Management Limited

4th Floor, Williams Tower

Warrens, St. Michael, BB22026

Barbados, W.I.

Tel: 1 (246) 417 3405

Fax: 1 (246) 425 1133


A Jim Pattison Group Company

Liza Harridyal-Sodha, LL.B. (Hons.), LL.M., TEP


The Grove, 21 Pine Road Belleville, St. Michael BB11113, Barbados

Tel 246.228.9888 • Fax 246.228.9382

Cell 246.231.9609

E-mail •

We specialize in international financial services, establishment of companies (IBC, SRL, Banks, Insurance Companies), Estate Planning & Taxation, Conveyancing, Commercial/Corporate matters, Employment



Braemar Court, Suite 200 Deighton Road, St. Michael BB 14017 Barbados, W.I.

Tel: (246) 437 6092 • Fax: (246) 436-2120


Value added services, accounting and directorship

Stephen L. Greaves, President International Business Solutions, Inc.

Glenna Smith, CAMS

Managing Director

(246) 236-8392

Christ Church, Barbados

Whether you are creating a new compliance program from scratch, making upgrades, seeking an independent third party review of your AML compliance program or looking to have in-person training delivered to your staff or Board – we are here to help you achieve better compliance



Strategies for Building and Governing a Digital Society

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Annalee C. Babb, Ph.D. Chief Executive Officer, ACB Knowledge Consultants Inc. Special Envoy | Special Advisor | Government of Barbados Innovation, Science & Smart Technology 59 /

Towards a Smart Barbados

or most of its 52 years as an independent nation, the tiny island-state of Barbados distinguished itself from larger betterendowed countries by the high quality of its leadership and a singleminded focus on improving the lives of its people. During much of that time, economic growth and social development were built on discipline, effort, efficiency and a commitment to democratic principles like freedom and fair play.

Today, at the close of the second decade of the 21st century, Barbados is at a crossroads.

In a world where digital technologies, artificial intelligence, social media, and the Internet of Things are driving rapid economic, social, political, and cultural change, and where growth from traditional sectors of the economy has stagnated, Barbados faces tough choices as it grapples with how best to position itself for the future.

Yet, Albert Einstein once famously observed that in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.

It is perhaps for this reason that a relatively new Government, swept to power in a decisive May 2018 general election, is introducing digital thinking and ‘smart’ solutions in order to right size and reinvent the public sector to make it fit for the next stage of national development. The objective is not only to return Barbados to efficiency but also to propel it beyond efficiency to innovation, where new solutions, products and services move from the realm of mere ideas to sustainable social and economic value, making a measurable difference in the lives of people.

The ultimate vision is for Barbados to be universally recognised as a ‘smart’ successful small-island state that sets a global standard for simple, secure, innovative digital services that are useful, fun and accessible to everyone all the time.

The new Barbados is designed to empower people by investing in continuous life-long learning. It is designed to attract and enable innovative thinkers who develop ‘smart’ technologies and solutions that address existing gaps in

the delivery of human services, and that support transparency, collaboration, and value creation at all levels, and in secure ways.

The new Barbados is designed to leverage technologies, systems and structures that are climate-smart, environmentally conscious, and resilient in the face of increasingly unpredictable global weather patterns and events.

The major driver of this national transformation is the new Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Smart Technology (MIST). It is actively initiating and supporting a number of projects as it leads the internal revolution to push public sector performance through intelligent use of technology.

One such project is the Smart Bridgetown Wi-Fi corridor, which is being developed as an early-stage collaboration with global technology powerhouse Cisco and its local partner Productive Business Solutions (PBS). Cisco is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. It creates solutions that give individuals, companies, and countries easy access to information, anywhere, any time.

According to its website, “Cisco is now ranked globally as the top technology leader in smart cities and community digital transformation.” Together, Cisco and PBS are nurturing partnerships with other innovators to improve Government efficiency and citizen satisfaction by using technology in public administration, public service delivery, and infrastructure services. In this regard, they are designing Stage 1 of the Bridgetown ‘smart’ Wi-Fi corridor to include City Wi-Fi, tourism experiences, e-participation, smart parking, and location-based mobile transportation solutions that provide realtime information on the status of public service vehicles (PSVs) as they travel on the road.

Another project being guided by MIST is the creation of a ‘digital dashboard’ to provide at-a-glance snapshots of the status of major public investment projects being managed by the Ministry of Finance, including activities, trends, bottlenecks, and overall execution. The dashboard is expected to increase transparency, potentially mitigating opportunities to engage in corrupt practices, all of which can facilitate seamless operations and decision making for Government.

MIST is also introducing Scotland’s CivTech model to Barbados. It is a public sector accelerator that issues challenges to the private sector, innovators, and entrepreneurs to develop and deliver digital solutions to Government. It is unique in that it actively seeks the input of citizens in shaping those solutions to meet real existing needs.

In addition, as part of Barbados’ internal transformation, Prime Minister the Hon. Mia Mottley, Q.C., M.P., announced in September that Barbados will develop a national digital payment network in collaboration with Barbados-based FinTech start-up Bitt, the Central Bank, and the Financial Services Commission (FSC). This mMoney pilot programme will enable electronic payments using digital money. It will adhere to the highest standards of financial regulation while ensuring such regulation is fit for purpose in an evolving global digital environment. It will protect and facilitate fairness and transparency while also encouraging out of the box thinking in an area central to the continued development of Barbados’ international business and financial services sector.

In the final analysis, as English designer Sir Terence Conran once noted, “The designer's job is to imagine the world not how it is, but how it should be.”

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The new Barbados is designed to leverage technologies, systems and structures that are climate-smart, environmentally conscious, and resilient in the face of increasingly unpredictable global weather patterns and events.

Insurance Corporation of Barbados Limited (ICBL)

In our globally connected world, business sustainability is directly related to business evolution. The divergent growth path across industries and sectors is further complicated by the ebbs and flow of the global economic environment and resulting organizational metamorphosis is evident. For those businesses who recognize the need for change, this period of transformation can be rewarding, contributing richly to the solidification of marketplace longevity.

Within the last decade, business has been revolutionized under the pressure of a volatile economic environment, where in order to realize growth, solutions needed to be found. The results have been riveting with significant changes to internal processes and procedures, innovation of goods and service delivery, as well as legislation and regulation. Hence the disruptions in business touted by many, were borne out of the necessity to adapt - making changes to ‘traditional’ business methods which could no longer withstand the vagaries of the global financial economy.

Today business continues to shift. Entrepreneurs have launched commercial space flights to the moon, we enjoy the luxury of selfdriving vehicles and smart devices alert us when our fitness levels aren’t quite where they need to be. Leading companies now utilize new and innovative concepts such as mobile and digital payments, artificial intelligence and blockchain. Who would have ever thought that cryptocurrency would have been the next major development since the creation of paper money?

The future of business is exciting and the Insurance Corporation

of Barbados Limited (ICBL) is intent on being at the forefront in Barbados of changes seen globally.

Being resilient in an ever-changing global business environment calls for a level of operational excellence that looks beyond profits. In maintaining its ‘Competitive Greatness’ ICBL understands the requirement of continuous business adaptation through the strategic management and application of technology and its most valuable resource, its people. It is with this understanding that through our ‘One Team’ concept, ICBL continues to invest in our communities, customers and knowledgeable staff.

The future for ICBL, Barbados’ only composite insurance company and leading provider of general and life insurance solutions, is exciting. We have learnt from our best assets and have made the necessary process improvements, enhanced the skillsets of our reliable staff and added value to our service delivery ensuring that we adequately meet the needs of our loyal customers.

Retaining our financial strength rating of A-(Excellent) by the international rating agency A.M. Best is no mean feat in the world of business. As we transition and propel the company into the future, the leadership team is committed to employing strategies and techniques that solidify our position in the market place as a leading insurance provider. Optimizing the strength of brand ICBL will be centred on consistent stakeholder engagement. Our commitment is to excellence whatever the climate.

ICBL – Meeting you where you are and always there when you need us most!

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Barbados Can be the Blockchain /Fintech Hub of the Region

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Barbados Can be the Blockchain / Fintech Hub of the Region

In the face of rapid changes to the global business landscape, Barbados is well-positioned to remain an important player in the international business space. The country has a reputation for stability and integrity, a well-established and regulated commercial banking sector, a high standard of living and modern technology. In addition, Barbados is taking steps to enhance its potential as a hub for new technology in the financial services area (“fintech”).

The new buzzword in the world of technology is “blockchain,” although many people remain unclear what the term actually means and how blockchain operates. In simplified terms, blockchain is a digital, decentralized, distributed ledger that provides a way for information to be recorded, shared and maintained by a community. Blockchain is characterized as being near real-time, reliable and available, transparent, irreversible and immutable. It is the technology that supports cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, and the financial services industry has been an early adopter with significant current investment and activity in blockchain.

Blockchain technology has the potential to change the way that individuals go about their daily lives, the way businesses interact with each other, the transparency of processes and data and, ultimately, the methods and productivity of doing business in Barbados.

This article explains why Barbados is likely to remain relevant and could become the blockchain hub of the region in the near future. To contextualize this, it is useful to consider what is happening in other countries.

Switzerland is regarded as one of the largest fintech hubs in the world, and the government and key stakeholders strive to facilitate doing business in the country. For example, a major challenge facing cryptocurrency companies was the ability to open or maintain Swiss bank accounts. In response, the Swiss Bankers Association compiled a list of reasonable checks and conditions that, once met, would allow banks to open accounts for those companies. Malta also seeks to be a blockchain hub; it has reacted to the evolving trends in the financial landscape and developed a framework for cryptocurrency and distributed ledger

technologies. The government has enabled blockchain entities to operate in Malta via the establishment of supporting legislation.

Barbados already is a player in the blockchain space, being home to Bitt Inc., a financial technology company that utilizes blockchain and distributed ledger technology to facilitate secure peer-topeer transactions with mobile currency across a suite of its software and mobile applications. Bitt is recognized as a success story, and its founder has provided consulting for many companies and governments in the Caribbean region. In 2016, the Barbadian-based company grew after attracting a substantial investment from the US to assist with building a financial ecosystem in the region.

Barbados’s reputation and tax treaty network have attracted a wave of new blockchain companies over the last two years, especially from Canada. One such entity is Polymath, a resident and domiciled Barbados company, which is involved in securities platform activities and issues its own tokens known as POLY. In 2018, Polymath and the Barbados Stock Exchange (BSE) entered into a partnership regarding the listing of security tokens on the BSE, which could propel the BSE to new levels of trading activity. Blockchain companies have made a foray in becoming listing sponsors on the BSE: in August 2018, Coin Start Ltd (Coin Start) became the first technology company to become a listing sponsor on the International Securities Market (ISM). Coin Start joined the BSE to promote token listings on the ISM.

To capitalize on these developments, Barbados could consider introducing a technology zone (T-Zone) to attract information technology companies and provide them with tax incentives and a special legal regime. Encouraged T-Zone activities could include the development of artificial intelligence platforms, medical technologies, blockchain software/hardware, cryptocurrency platforms and other distributed decentralized information systems, in addition to the mining of cryptocurrencies.

The new government formed after the May 2018 elections has indicated that it intends to establish a legal framework to enable the legalization of blockchain-

based business activities and promote the use of cryptocurrencies and other tokens. These pronouncements have generated excitement, and potential investors and service providers are eagerly awaiting this progressive regulatory environment.

Moreover, education and communication on blockchain are beginning to take root in Barbados. Seminars, workshops and committees are continuing the conversation. The limited availability of qualified coders with experience in blockchain is being addressed through training at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, facilitated by IOHK, a blockchain research and development company. This program is expected to help provide much needed blockchain specialists in Barbados.

The value proposition of doing business in Barbados is strong. The country’s efforts to fully embrace new technology and to create a compelling mix of business/blockchain community attributes, regulatory attractiveness and tax efficiency should increase its potential to remain relevant in the international sphere.

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The value proposition of doing business in Barbados is strong. The country’s efforts to fully embrace new technology and to create a compelling mix of business/blockchain community attributes, regulatory attractiveness and tax efficiency should increase its potential to remain relevant in the international sphere.

Gabriel Abed and Oliver Gale Positively Disruptive

Just five years after co-founding Bitt Inc., young Barbadian entrepreneurs Gabriel Abed and Oliver Gale are already seasoned warriors in the fintech arena, having battled their way through swathes of red tape and dogged resistance from the traditional banking sector to firmly establish themselves as leading pioneers in the world’s financial technological revolution.

Like most young start-ups, Gabriel and Oliver struggled to remain financially viable, especially when cryptocurrency went through two years of recession. Literally on the brink of collapse, their saviour turned out to be a Trinidadian investor, Peter George of Avatar Capital, who boldly invested his first US$400,000 into the company on the strength of a single presentation. Refinanced and reinforced, Bitt expanded rapidly and, step by step, started to overcome the many regulatory roadblocks that continuously obstructed their path.

In February 2016, Gabriel and Oliver made history when Bitt launched the Barbados digital dollar, the first fiat currency ever pinned to a blockchain. That unprecedented transformational achievement compelled the superstars in the cryptocurrency world to sit up and take notice, including Dr Patrick Byrne, the renowned American entrepreneur, CEO and founder of, who invested an initial US$4 million into Bitt, followed by another US$3 million in March 2018.

Significantly, Overstock was the first publicly traded company and the first billion-dollar company to accept Bitcoin as payment.

Having successfully launched mMoney in Barbados, a mobile money app that operates similarly to a debit card but through the user’s smartphone, and with the capacity to also receive money, Bitt has engaged Central Banks throughout the Caribbean to provide the same service. Ultimately, mMoney will enable users to complete transactions on their mobile devices that have traditionally only been done through banks. That kind of positive disruption is a key goal for a business that was conceived as a blockchain company that could make a difference, rather than just a means to make money.

According to Gabriel and Oliver, ‘Bitt is now a beautifully run company with an incredible management team led by CEO Rawdon Adams’. That stability within the company has enabled the two visionaries to take a lateral step, retaining their places on the Board and working in an advisory capacity, but with the renewed freedom to independently pursue their latest new ventures.

Watch this space!

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Solar Watt Systems Inc. Powering the Future

Highly regarded and respected as one of the leading installers of Photovoltaic Systems in Barbados and the Caribbean, Solar Watt Systems is a cutting-edge company within the Platinum Systems Group. They offer commercial and residential electrical contracting services along with their sister company LED Illuminations which sells/distributes LED bulbs throughout the region. Established over 25-years ago, Platinum Systems helped pioneer the renewable energy movement with the installation of their first system in 2008. Since then the group has grown from strength to strength, with Solar Watt Systems now carrying the PV mantle and leading from the forefront. The company has enjoyed many success stories to date, including several large-scale commercial projects within both the Private and Public Sectors.

Solar Watt Systems’ recent installation of 1,349 megawatts of solar photovoltaic systems at five Goddard Enterprises Limited (GEL) locations in Barbados is expected to generate approximately 2,672,325 kilowatt hours of electricity per year, which is the estimated equivalent to the electricity use in 215 homes over the same period. In addition to the very significant financial savings this will initiate, it is also well worth noting the

enormous benefits this will create for the environment.

When the Barbados Public Sector Smart Energy Programme was launched as an integral part of the country’s green economy push to save energy and reduce toxic emissions, Solar Watt Systems was humbly proud to be awarded the contract to retrofit government offices and buildings with solar. Collectively, these PV systems are estimated to generate approximately 4.5 megawatt hours of electricity annually, thereby saving about 2,664 barrels of oil per year.

Whether working on a huge commercial project or a modest residential installation, Solar Watt is always committed to delivering the best solutions for every customer, as well as providing them with a valuable education about the ever-changing technology of their systems and the optimum way to maximise their benefits.

Ultimately, Solar Watt Systems would like to see the entire Caribbean region move to 45% or 50% renewable energy. One of the company’s major goals is to help harmonise renewable energy policy across the region, so that there is a common platform for protecting and preserving the environment, instead of each individual island having its own policy and working in isolation.

By achieving a successful balance between decades of experience and state-of-the-art technological expertise, reinforced by a customer-focused philosophy and strong corporate.

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Transforming Barbados Through Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency 73 /
Meshia Clarke Executive Director, Barbados Renewable Energy Association

Transforming Barbados Through Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

Barbados is on the verge of a transformational change, a change being largely driven by its natural energy sources. With the advancements taking place in technology, the possibility now exists to harness the potential of the country’s God-given natural resources, including sun, wind and biomass, into new forms of energy sources that are more sustainable.

In essence, the small island developing state of Barbados is on the cusp of a renewable energy and energy efficiency transformation.

Since 2010, the country has made great progress and worked strategically to put in place the appropriate policy and regulatory frameworks which are necessary to support the growth of these sectors. The Renewable Energy Rider (RER) programme was launched on a pilot basis in 2010 and later expanded and approved in 2013 by the Fair-Trading Commission. This programme demonstrated the high customer demand for renewable energy generation. During the pilot phase, according to the Light and Power Holdings Annual Report 2013, the amount of solar photovoltaic (pv) penetration totalled 271 subscriptions, representing a capacity of 1.7 megawatts

(MW). At the end of 2013, and within the first three months of 2014, these figures had risen dramatically to a combined capacity of more than 3.5 MW, more than half of the 7 MW eligible capacity available under the RER Programme.

These developments led to the passing of the Electric Light & Power Act in 2013 and the subsequent Amendment to that Act in 2015, which was an important milestone in the country’s transition to a renewable energy and energy efficiency future. Of important note is the provision for independent power producers (IPP) outside of the current utility to generate and sell power to the grid. Under the current framework, such IPPs are now able to do so at a temporary fixed rate of $0.416 cents per kilo watt. With a temporary fixed rate in place, the Government, through the Division of Energy, has already commissioned a study to look at the application of permanent feed-in-tariff rates to support the growth of various renewable energy technologies onto the grid. These legislative changes have opened up the country’s energy market and set the stage for new investment opportunities.

In addition to having the appropriate legislative framework in place, there are other factors that make Barbados a suitable and attractive location for renewable energy and energy efficiency investments. At the end of November 2017, the Barbados National Energy Policy was

formally adopted and approved by the Cabinet of Barbados. Although currently under review, the new administration in its support of the sector has accelerated the renewable energy target to align with the administration’s 100% renewable energy policy objective by 2030. Plans are therefore underway to amend the National Energy Policy in line with the 2030 target of Barbados becoming one of the first 100% green and carbon neutral island states.

Another important and supporting factor driving growth across the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors is the incentive framework which has been put in place. Under this programme, locally established firms are able to import renewable energy and energy efficiency products completely quota and duty free. There are currently approximately ten local solar pv firms operating in the market, including dominant companies such as Williams Solar, Solar Watt and Innogen, along with a cadre of micro, small and medium sized companies providing solar pv installation and energy related services.

Energy Efficiency is also poised to play a critical role in the country’s transition to a 100% renewable energy and carbon neutral island state. Companies such as Caribbean LED Lighting, Contractors Trading Associates and Ensmart Inc have been integral in helping to shape and facilitate this change.

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Electric vans supplied by Megapower

Transforming Barbados Through Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

Furthermore, Barbados has already established itself as a leading pioneer over and above the other CARICOM Members states in the area of electric vehicle penetration. Independent of any policy changes, Barbados is home to the highest level of electric vehicle penetration in the Caribbean and has developed a wellestablished and extensive charging infrastructure network in collaboration with the sole electricity distribution utility company. Barbados based Megapower Limited has played a central role in driving this transformational change to the point where, based on the company’s actual figures, there are now more than 390 electric vehicles on the roads of Barbados, with a forecast increase of 10 to 14 cars per month thereafter, thereby signalling a transformational change in the country’s transportation sector. In an interview with the Reuters news agency in 2018, one of the company’s executives predicted that in another 5-years, 10% of the island’s population, or close to 30,000 individuals, will be driving electric vehicles. This transformational change is also growing across the country’s agricultural and tourism sectors. Through programmes such as the Caribbean Hotel and Energy Efficiency Programme (CHENACT), local hotels have been supported in their efforts to become more energy efficient and transition to becoming green. With an agricultural sector deeply embedded in a history of growing sugar-cane, efforts are currently in place to explore and expand the transformation of energy from renewable energy sources such as biomass. Farmers are also being supported in their efforts to integrate such technologies within their business models.

In summary, it is evident that Barbados is a country ripe with potential to move beyond the traditional tourism and international business sectors to new economic frontiers in the areas of renewable energy and energy efficiency. Supported by a vibrant private sector led body, known as the Barbados Renewable Energy Association, (BREA), there is a commitment to facilitating the country’s transformational change towards 100% Renewable Energy, whereby adequate space is carved out for local investment in the sector, supported by specific and select foreign direct investment.

Megapower Driving Change Beyond the Vehicle

June 2018 heralded a significant milestone for Megapower, as we celebrated 5-years of promoting the uptake of electric vehicles powered by renewable sources in Barbados. We are proud of what we’ve achieved so far: electric vehicles are the norm in Barbados’ driving landscape, we have 48 certified electric vehicle technicians, plus over 500kW of solar photovoltaic installations, and the country now has more charging locations than gas stations.

But the best is yet to come. With assistance from Caribbean Export Development Agency, our battery lab will be fully operational in Q1 2019, utilising electric vehicle batteries and renewable energy in a number of applications.

Electric vehicles are the only vehicles that can help the Government of Barbados to achieve its 2030 target of 100% of energy generated from renewable sources. As such, Megapower

is committed to playing our part in realizing these targets, thereby supporting sustainable national economic development. We are positioning Barbados to be the first destination in the region where tourists and business travellers are greeted at the airport and cruise terminal by electric taxis and electric buses, branding Barbados as the go-to destination for green tourism – a country that takes zero emissions seriously.

Confident that Barbados is the ideal launchpad for Megapower’s products and services regionally, we are currently engaging private sector groups, governments and electric utilities throughout the Caribbean, from Turks and Caicos in the north to Trinidad in the south.

With environmental sustainability at the heart of our work, our mantra is ‘driving change beyond the vehicle’.

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The Barbados Light & Power 100/100 Vision

The same holds true for wind technology which used to cost BBD $5.20 per Watt versus BBD $3.20 now. (Source: Lazard). And the good news is that the cost for both of these technologies is projected to fall by a further sixty to eighty percent within the next few years.

Fortunately, the cost of energy storage devices is also falling. Batteries are integral to the progression towards 100 renewable energy since wind and solar are intermittent. Batteries not only store the electricity generated by renewables to be used when they are not available but can help at periods of high demand to maintain reliable supply.

In Barbados, Government’s policy commitment to reducing the country’s carbon footprint, the need to save foreign exchange, and the reality of disruptive technology, along with changes in the way our workforce is prepared for all of this will, I believe, lead to us operating in an energy internet before we know it!

All of this means new jobs, new ways of working, greater productivity and an economic landscape that has the potential to be boundary-less. Underpinned by clean energy, a grid strengthened to take the country forward and a new, everevolving Light & Power, Barbados has the potential to be the first energy internet in the region.

Founder of the Virgin Group, Sir Richard Branson, says that solar energy has the capacity to bring abundant clean, sustainable energy to millions around the globe.

Imagine a Barbados where transportation is fully electrified and powered by clean energy. A Barbados where every citizen has a literal stake in renewable energy. A Barbados built on taking the best of emerging technology and partnerships with stakeholders that is a showcase for what’s possible in the near and long term future. When we first started talking about an economy that is powered by 100% renewable energy and that is also 100% electrified we know a few eyebrows were raised. However, we truly believe that this can be achieved within the next couple of decades, especially with the encouragement and support of Government.

The falling cost of renewables will also play a big role in achieving this. Over the past decade, the cost of solar photovoltaic electricity has fallen 73% internationally. For our customers this means that the cost per Watt of electricity generated by utility-scale solar pv systems now costs BBD $2.60 as opposed to BBD $8 when Light & Power first introduced the Renewable Energy Rider in 2010.

Barbados has been a leader in solar technology for decades, using the sun for solar water heating. This history of innovation coupled with the will to use the resources provided to us by nature to protect our future should see renewable energy paving the way towards great opportunities for us all.

The Barbados Light & Power Company Ltd. safely provides energy and energy services that are cost effective and reliable for our customers.

We invest in ways to make electricity generation cleaner and in of getting that energy to market.

We create regional energy solutions by linking assets, markets and partners in Canada, the US and the Caribbean.

We do this because we know that customers count on us for energy to power every moment of every day, and for solutions to power a sustainable tomorrow.

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The Barbados Blue Economy Opportunity for Sustainable and Inclusive Economic Growth
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Nikola Simpson Sustainability Consultant, Sustainable Caribbean

The Barbados Blue Economy

It has no boundaries. It is something that we all share. It is what connects us all. It is - our ocean. From much of the air that we breathe, to the food that we eat and the jobs, livelihoods, goods and services provided, our ocean deserves some credit.

From fisheries to tourism, transport, trade, medicine, coastal protection, mitigation of impacts of climate change and absorption of greenhouse gases, the ocean is the lifeblood of the planet. With oceans and seas covering over two-thirds of the earth’s surface, they play a significant role in the sustainable development, economic growth and livelihoods of small island developing states (SIDS) such as Barbados.

Unfortunately, human activity is placing pressure on the health of this natural resource. Facing a diversity of threats, ranging from habitat degradation caused by nutrient, chemical and plastic landbased and marine sources of pollution, overfishing and unsustainable fishing practices, to impacts of climate change such as rising sea levels and increased frequency and severity of extreme weather events, our ocean is in peril. However, there is hope as the ocean which supports much of the life on earth is now getting the attention that it deserves. Although there may be no universally accepted definition of the Blue Economy, it can be described as the sustainable use of ocean resources for ocean ecosystem health, economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs (adapted from World Bank, 2016). An emerging concept that encourages better stewardship of our ocean or ‘blue resources’, (Commonwealth Blue Charter), the Blue Economy seeks to promote economic growth, social inclusion and improvement of livelihoods, while at the same time ensuring environmental sustainability (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, UNCTAD). It covers established oceans-related sectors such as fisheries, maritime transport, shipbuilding and tourism, as well as new and emerging industries, including renewable ocean energy and biotechnology.

Globally, the Blue Economy is a trillion dollar industry annually with more than 3 billion people relying on the ocean for

their livelihoods (UNCTAD) and directly providing over 30 million jobs (The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, OECD). According to the European Union’s (EU) first annual report on the Blue Economy, this sector has seen a turnover in excess of USD$500 billion and has generated greater than USD$150 billion of value-added creating jobs for nearly 3.5 million people. In the last decade, the Blue Economy has grown faster than the national economy in several EU member states and proved more resilient during the financial crisis, softening the effects of the downturn on coastal economies. The biotechnology sector marked significant growth in member states such as Ireland, and the offshore wind industry experienced a jump in employment, outnumbering employment of the EU fishing sector.

In the Caribbean region, the ocean and its related resources are a fundamental base on which our economies are built and are central to our delivery of many international agreements and commitments, such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Blue Economy initiatives do exist in the Caribbean. From the Caribbean Development Bank’s work on exploring the financing of the Blue Economy, and advancements by Grenada in this area, to sub-regional initiatives such as the Caribbean Regional Ocean Policy (CROP), we stand in a position with great potential to increase both scope and scale.

With the creation of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy in mid-2018, Barbados joins the Seychelles as one of the few countries in the world to have a Ministry dedicated to the Blue Economy. With an exclusive economic zone/land territory ratio of 1:434, this means that our ocean space is over 400 times larger than our land space, providing opportunity for significant growth if sustainably managed. Although the value of ocean assets in Barbados is currently unknown, the possibility of potential contribution to GDP is promising.

Barbados has already begun to diversify its existing ocean-based economic sectors and is looking into strengthening the fishing industry through increased training for fisherfolk, upgrades to the markets, improvement in technology, reduction of

fish waste and creation of value-added products such as fish skin leather. In addition, the Ministry plans to focus on sustainable fisheries management, including fisheries regulations and sustainability certifications, creation of marine managed areas and reducing dependency on imports thus enhancing food security. The country is currently exploring opportunities that lie in the new and emerging maritime sectors such as marine biotechnology and renewable energy, including tidal and offshore wind energy which remain underdeveloped in the region.

Barbados has also successfully started leveraging alternative sources of international climate and environment funds, such as the Green Climate Fund, and is well on the way to new and innovative models, including impact investment and blended finance.

The next big step is to start asking and answering some pertinent questions. Could Barbados become the regional, if not the global, ocean hub, home to groundbreaking research and development, innovation and ocean tech? Can we continue to build resilience to changes in climate through blue carbon and renewable energy? Can we look into innovative finance instruments such as blue bonds or debt for nature and resilience swaps? Can we use blockchain technology to improve traceability and to help combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing?

If the answer to those questions is, ‘yes we can’, then we will all be better able to answer the final multi-million dollar question: Is the ocean where the next best investment lies?

Globally, the Blue Economy is thriving and Barbados can make it part of our path forward for driving sustained and inclusive economic growth.

All bona fide investors are welcome to join us.

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Globally, the Blue Economy is thriving and Barbados can make it part of our path forward for driving sustained and inclusive economic growth.
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Investment Opportunities in the Tourism Sector

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Christopher Brome Partner, KPMG

Investment Opportunities in the Tourism Sector

The tourism industry, which has been the backbone of the Barbados economy in recent years, continues to be the main contributor to the creation of employment and the primary generator of foreign exchange.

Tourist arrivals have been on a constant upward trend since 2013, with compound annual growth of approximately 8.3% between 2014 and 2017. Year to date results are further suggesting that this trend will continue for 2018, with arrivals at June 2018 ahead of those recorded for the same period in the prior year by approximately 3.4%. This growth in arrivals has been derived primarily from North America and the United Kingdom, reflecting the continued success in penetrating these markets. In contrast however, the cruise visitor segment has seen a reduction on account of a decline in ship calls for the six-month period to June 2018.

It is clear that this positive trend in tourist arrivals is acting as a catalyst for investors to seek opportunities to maximize their returns through investing in projects within the tourism industry. These investments from reputable global brands will not only increase the profile of the island’s product offering but will also increase its capacity to handle the increasing numbers arriving on our shores. The significant projects expected to commence in the near term include the Sands (153 rooms), Wyndham Hotel Group (450 rooms), Hyatt (190 rooms), Beaches Resort (400 rooms) and more recently the partnership of the Crane with Hilton Grand Vacations.

This pattern of growth highlights the consistency of the local tourism industry. Of note is the global trend, which suggests that planned travel, whether for business or leisure is becoming shorter in duration but at the same time, more frequent in occurrence. Overall, the positive trend in the tourism industry, both locally and regionally, has heightened the level of confidence of banks throughout the region in providing financing for expansions and renovations; and to a lesser extent, acquisitions, and new builds (according to

this year’s KPMG Tourism Financing Survey).

During the onset of the recession, financing was primarily being provided by non-banking institutions which had a significantly more confident outlook regarding the prospects for tourism throughout the Caribbean region. Recent statistics are now showing that the banking sector’s confidence level is almost on par with that of the non-banking institutions. Given the capital intensive nature of projects within the tourism industry, the ability to raise financing is pivotal to the progress of the proposed plans, as this form of capital will allow investors to maximize their returns through having access to the appropriate level of debt financing to fund these projects. As such, the aforementioned improvements in the confidence levels of key banks bode well for the future prospects of the industry.

Ultimately, the ability to continue to realise future success within the tourism industry will be hinged on the ability of policymakers to continue to encourage

further investment in the island. To date, there are a number of legislative avenues for investors to access favourable tourism incentives. These include the Tourism Development Act 2002, through which incentives are offered to restaurants, recreational facilities and services, tourism attractions (with emphasis the island’s natural, historic and cultural heritage) and for the construction of properties in noncoastal areas. Additionally, provision is made in the Act for investors in tourism projects to benefit from the write-off of capital expenditure and claim allowances on 150% of interest. Lower rates of VAT are also applied in respect of the supply of tourist accommodation and services. There are also exemptions from import duties, value added tax, and the environmental levy in respect of furniture, fixtures and equipment as well as building materials, supplies and equity financing.

It should also be noted that in a recent speech, the Prime Minister of Barbados, the Honourable Mia Amor Mottley, Q.C., M.P. also made reference to creating a “level playing field” for the industry with

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Crane Beach

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Investment Opportunities in the Tourism Sector

regard to concessions. This would suggest all investors in the industry would benefit from the same concessions.

Following the most recent budget, there have been a number of initiatives implemented to give a much-needed boost to the island’s earnings capacity to counter the domestic and external debt obligations. While there have been recently-introduced measures such as the airline travel and tourism development taxes, a decline in tourism growth has not been the case in other similar tourismdriven Caribbean economies which have implemented similar initiatives. This provides some level of comfort regarding

the impact on the local tourism industry.

Moreover, the recently issued review of statistics published by the World Tourism Travel Council underscore the continued growth of the local industry. There is projected growth of 3.6% in travel and tourism direct contribution to GDP for the period 2018 to 2028; and similarly, growth as it relates to leisure and business spending has been projected to be in the region of 3.3% to 3.6% for 2018 to 2028.

To this end, the opportunities and longterm growth prospects are trending in a positive direction for existing and potential investors seeking to refine and develop tourism business models in Barbados.

To this end, the opportunities and longterm growth prospects are trending in a positive direction for existing and potential investors seeking to refine and develop tourism business models in Barbados.
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Photo by Adrian DeFreitas

Hilton Grand Vacations Makes a Major Investment in The Crane Resort

When Canadian born Paul Doyle first set eyes on the historic Crane Hotel in 1988, it was a tired 18-room property that had clearly seen better days. But, thanks to his astute entrepreneurial instinct, Paul saw way beyond the crumbling façade and recognized a major development ‘just waiting to happen’. Suitably motivated and brimming with self-belief, he took the bold step of selling his home in Canada to raise the required deposit, duly purchased The Crane, then set out to transform his compelling vision into a reality.

Now fast forward 30-years to 2018, by which time The Crane is widely acknowledged as being one of the world’s top, private residence resorts. Quite incredibly for an owner conceptualized, built and managed resort on a small island like Barbados, The Crane Resort’s fractional ownership programme has achieved the highest global ratings for both RCI and the exclusive Registry Collection, which only features the world’s most luxurious properties.

The Crane’s remarkable success story has captured the interest of several leading global timeshare brands over the years, ultimately resulting in the headlinegrabbing announcement in September 2018 that Hilton Grand Vacations Inc. had purchased timeshare inventory at The Crane Resort for an anticipated total transaction value of US$54.6 million.

Hilton Grand Vacations is one of the world’s largest luxury timeshare companies, with sales in excess of US$ 1 billion and over 295,000 Club Members, so the fact that they have chosen to invest so heavily in The Crane Resort is of enormous significance for Barbados.

Mark Wang, President and CEO, Hilton Grand Vacations: “Our owners tell us how much they love beach vacations, so we couldn’t be more excited to offer our first Caribbean destination with a world-class resort and spectacular location.”

Paul Doyle, Owner / Managing Director of The Crane Resort: “We are thrilled that Hilton Grand Vacations’ first timeshare offering in the Caribbean will be within The Crane Resort. Our parent company, Millennium Investments Ltd, still owns The Crane Residence Club and we will continue to provide all the on-site management services. We are confident that our relationship with HGV will bring consistently high occupancy levels and allow us to significantly accelerate our growth in Barbados. The plan is to start with The Crane, make sure that everything is functioning to the high standards we all require, then work together to open up more properties on the island, once again using the tried, tested and proven Crane model of operations and our existing construction and development team. It is a very good partnership and we have a lot to look forward to.”

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Kodi Lewis and Alex Weetch Sports Visionaries Carve a New Niche

Imagine a corporate trip with an indiscernible blur between business and pleasure. Where keynote speeches are delivered overlooking the Caribbean Sea, deals are discussed over a round of golf, team building comes naturally on the tennis court and corporate galas take place aboard a luxury yacht.

Dakota Ross Founder and CEO, Jonathan ‘Kodi’ Lewis, and Chief Strategy Officer, Alex Weetch, know first-hand that the Caribbean is where memories are made and lifelong relationships are born. Dakota Ross works closely with clients to create authentic experiences infused with sport and offering exclusive access to the

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luxuries of the Caribbean.

At thirty-seven, Kodi Lewis is already a veteran when it comes to luxury events. His ‘Tennis Pon de Rock’ was a historic event for Barbados, attracting the likes of Venus and Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, Victoria Azarenka, Gaël Monfils and John Isner. With proceeds going to his brother Haydn Lewis, Barbados’ No.1 at the time, and Darian King, Barbados’ current No.1, and to help support the Barbados Tennis Association, it marked the beginning of a shared company mission to level the playing field for elite athletes and champion the growth of regional sport.

Distinctively affable and unpretentiously

smart, it is no surprise that the shorts-clad entrepreneurs have already secured some major league relationships, including a partnership with a leading Canadian luxury hospitality company, with whom they will be co-hosting a number of upcoming international and regional events.

In the pipeline is an intimate, multi-island ‘white glove retreat’ for executives, corporate trips to The U.S Masters Tournament and Wimbledon, and a charitable initiative at the Formula One Grand Prix in Montreal. The team is also in the process of developing Barbados-based, luxury sporting events that could significantly revolutionize the future of

Barbados’ tourism.

The Dakota Ross strategy is simple: to leverage the natural lure of the Caribbean, while innovatively capturing market share from the sports holiday and sports events markets— the fastest-growing sector in the global tourism industry, estimated to be worth more than US$800 billion.

“Barbados has the opportunity to become the Caribbean hub for sports hospitality and events,” Lewis proclaims with heartfelt emotion.

“As an athlete, an entrepreneur and a Bajan, Dakota Ross is the reflection of a lifelong dream.”

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Medical Tourism & Education Barbados is an Attractive Location for
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Jean-Paul Cumberbatch Manager
and Development, Invest Barbados

Barbados is an Attractive Location for Medical Tourism and Education

Medical tourism is the process in which persons travel to another country for medical or health and wellness services. The medical tourism industry is flourishing rapidly, driven by more wellinformed individuals searching for quality, affordability, availability and accessibility in healthcare, all in an attractive and safe tourism destination.

According to market research experts, Mordor Intelligence (MI), the global medical tourism sector was estimated to be worth US $15.4 billion in 2017 and growing at a rate of 8.5% between 2018 and 2023. The medical tourism guide book, Patients Beyond Borders 2017 (PBB), estimated that global medical tourism travellers spend an average of between US$3,800 - $6,000 per medical visit, with the USA being the largest source market, no doubt due to the increasingly high cost of healthcare in America. According to PBB, an American traveller could save up to 90 % of the medical costs from his/her home country by seeking that service across borders. The Global Buyers Survey (2017), revealed that 60 % of medical travellers seek cosmetic/plastic/aesthetic surgeries or treatments, while a significant number also travel to undergo orthopaedic or oncology/cancer treatments.

Some of the leading countries that have taken up the opportunities that the thriving medical industry presents include: Asia- Malaysia, India, Thailand; Latin America - Costa Rica and Mexico; Caribbean - the Bahamas and Cayman Islands. The leading source markets for these services include the USA, Europe, the UK in particular, and Canada.

Barbados, a high profile, mature tourism destination which attracts visitors from around the world, but particularly from the UK, USA and Canada, is well positioned to fully engage this industry. The country’s prominence was endorsed when it emerged as the number one destination in the world for traveller satisfaction, according to the 2017 Destination Satisfaction Index (DSI), by the tourism

research company Norstat. Other characteristics that make Barbados appealing for medical tourism services include the country’s proximity to both North and South America, excellent infrastructure, easy international accessibility, high medical healthcare standards and skilled medical practitioners. Interestingly, as far back as 1751, Barbados was recognised for its apparent healing qualities - clean air, refreshing sea breeze and uplifting sunshine - when 19-year old George Washington, America’s future first President, came to the island seeking medical treatment and recovery for his ailing brother, Lawrence.

Committed to encouraging the growth of the sector, the government established a health and wellness taskforce to develop the medical tourism sector and attract patients from outside the region. A 2017 Global Buyers survey by Global Healthcare Resources revealed that safety is a major concern for medical travellers, paramount to their destination decision. Barbados is considered a very safe high, quality destination where tourists, especially those from North America and Europe, can feel secure and comfortable while undergoing treatment. Barbados is also ranked as one of the top jurisdictions in Latin America and the Caribbean conducive to conducting business.

According to a 2017 study by Labonté et al, Barbados spends more on healthcare than any other country in the Caribbean and Central American region. This prioritization of the domestic healthcare sector complements the country’s emerging medical health tourism sector that currently includes the internationally renowned and accredited Barbados Fertility Clinic - a state of the art in-vitro fertilization centre - as well as the 4H Hospital located within the Sparman Clinic - a wellness centre - both of which are successfully offering quality care to medical travellers.

To capitalise fully on the opportunities in the growing international medical tourism industry, Barbados is moving to create the appropriate enabling environment to facilitate the ongoing establishment of similar facilities. This involves a strategic approach encompassing all stakeholders to

The medical tourism industry is estimated to be potentially valued at US $100 billion and continues to grow annually driven by the increasing health care costs and the long waiting lists for non-emergency surgeries in many developed countries. This trend of patients travelling from developed to developing countries seeking affordable prompt medical services has the potential to drive investment in medical infrastructure and attract talent in all medical fields.

The presence of state-of-the-art centers patronized by a cadre of welltrained surgeons and anesthetists adds value by providing high levels of personalized medical care by way of giving physicians professional autonomy over their work environment without the burdens of heavy administrative bureaucracy. Such centers of excellence are attractive to highly skilled physicians, both local and international.

Barbados is a beautiful island with a good infrastructure, making it a choice destination to live and to visit. This is evident as it continues to attract many wealthy visitors, who are concerned about the level of healthcare on the island, and have a vested interest in its development.

I am confident that with private investment in these facilities, and the continued commitment to maintaining and improving the level of intensive care facilities on the island, Barbados is poised to be a major player in this growing lucrative industry.

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Dr Michael Fakoory Head of Department of Anesthesia and Surgical Intensive Care Unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Barbados is an Attractive Location for Medical Tourism and Education

streamline processes such as licensing/accreditation, work permits, training and accommodation, among other key considerations.

The demand for international medical education has also grown considerably over the years, resulting in an upsurge in offshore schools around the world, including in China, India and the Caribbean. These private, for-profit institutions attract students from across the globe, particularly from North America and India.

Over the past six years, Barbados has proven to be a particularly attractive location for the establishment of offshore medical schools, recording encouraging success in this area with six international medical schools already on-island, and plans in train to accommodate the acclaimed Ross University School of Medicine from January 2019. These schools cater to a diverse student population drawn mainly from Canada, the USA, India and Nigeria.

The shortage of physicians and medical trainees, especially in the USA and Canada, high demand for places in medical schools in these countries, together with the availability, easy accessibility and affordability of medical education offshore in a safe location like Barbados, should see the continuing demand for international medical education. The growth of medical schools will create more jobs and generate much needed foreign exchange for the host nations. They also provide many positive spillover effects, particularly in the tourism, hospitality, housing and transportation sectors.

The Barbados Government continues to enhance the country’s legislative and regulatory framework to ensure that Barbados remains a compelling choice for higher education and, equally, that those that are operational adhere to globally accepted best practice standards.

Medical tourism and offshore schools present exciting new opportunities for the expansion of the Barbados economy, with the backward and forward linkages to other sectors being generally positive. The Invest Barbados team looks forward to ongoing facilitation of investment in both medical tourism and medical schools.

Adtalem Global Education Selects


to Relocate Ross University School of Medicine

Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) graduates a diverse group of physicians who contribute significantly to the medical workforce in the United States and elsewhere. Founded in 1978, RUSM has more than 14,000 alumni who practice in primary care and other specialties.

2019 is a special time for RUSM as we embark upon a new chapter in Barbados. I anticipate the campus will be both a vibrant center for learning and a welcoming home for our students and faculty.

Why Barbados? In a nutshell, Barbados offers a productive learning environment and the high standard of infrastructure needed to support RUSM’s academic standards and student services requirements. The academic center at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre (LESC) is the ideal location to create a world-class medical learning facility in impressive time.

Importantly, Barbados was able to provide comfortable, modern housing for more than 1,500 RUSM students and faculty. The student housing community, located at The Villages of Coverley, includes a fitness center, medical center, pharmacy, student services, grocery store, restaurant options and transportation to campus.

We take pride in our investment in Barbados, we are grateful for the warm welcome and partnership with the government and community, and we look forward to contributing to the country for years to come.

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Premiere Surgical Centre Delivering World-Class Health Care in Barbados

Opened in January 2017, Premiere Surgical Centre is a 10,000 square foot, multimillion-dollar, state-of-the-art surgical facility with capacity for vascular, gynaecology, orthopaedic, urology and general procedures. While specialising in minimally invasive surgery that allow patients to be treated and discharged within a 24-hour period, the Centre can also accommodate patients requiring multi-night stays.

Conceptualised, designed and delivered by a team of leading medical experts, all fully committed to providing an extensive range of world-class services to both Barbadian and international patients, Premiere Surgical Centre has been meticulously built and equipped to the highest international standards. The Centre’s leading-edge facilities include two ultra-modern operating theatres, both of which make full use of the finest laparoscopic, endoscopic and surgical technologies available in the world today, including computerised temperature and air-quality control to ensure maximum patient comfort and minimize risk of infection. The pre-operative and post-procedure recovery rooms are also fully equipped with high-tech monitoring systems. All patients have the choice of either a private or a semi-private room, each of which has wireless internet, cable television, telephone, bathroom facility and guest seating. Those patients who need or choose to stay overnight are kept under constant close observation by an attending nurse, with doctors on call.

Premiere Surgical Centre is justly proud of its technologically advanced capabilities and best-practice efficiency, but it is also equally proud of the talented and dedicated people who make that possible, including a team of surgeons of the highest calibre and the leading anaesthesiology group in the island. Staff at every level, including the senior physicians, all undergo the same stringent application process and careful vetting to maintain the highest possible standards of excellence and prime customer service.

One of the key roles of Premiere Surgical

Centre is to act as a facilitator, allowing local and overseas medical practitioners to practise in Barbados in the same sophisticated environment usually associated with high-end international hospitals, thereby enabling them to pass on addedvalue to their own patients. For surgeons based elsewhere in the Caribbean, that might mean he/she can operate in a more advanced facility than at home. Surgeons from the USA and UK who are already operating at the Centre have discovered that they can charge lower fees due to the competitive pricing available in Barbados. While surgeons from Canada can generally offer their patients an earlier date for their procedure compared to waiting in the Canadian system.

Furthermore, those overseas patients also stand to gain a double dose of benefits. In addition to saving money and/or time, they also get to spend their recovery period relaxing in Barbados, with all the many advantages that entails. Each patient has a golden opportunity to combine medical treatment with an enjoyable, health-improving vacation, both for the price of one airfare. Essentially, Premiere Surgical Centre can provide the highest international standard health care in arguably the best vacation destination in the Caribbean.

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Barbados - Forward

Real Estate Activity is Ready to Take Off

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Sir Paul Altman Managing Director, Altman Real Estate Chairman of the Campus Council, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill

Barbados – Forward. Real Estate Activity is Ready to Take Off A

s the Barbadian economy moves from the brink of failure back to the summit of success, several lead sectors will act as locomotives to achieve this recovery. Real Estate is one.

The part of the economic sector labelled as Real Estate covers a wide spectrum of activity. For this sector to impact the economy, it requires significant foreign investment. The sale of individual properties, when viewed collectively, contributes in a big way. However, project development comes in bigger bites and anchors the sector while also encouraging total investor confidence. This type of development occurs in the form of hotels, mixed-use developments, office towers, and even ‘outside the box’ projects such as offshore islands, new transit systems and the restoration of heritage districts.

Real Estate activity in Barbados is ready to take off and, when completed, the Government Green Paper on Planning Law Reform will pave the way for this take-off to happen within a structured framework. Investment requires clear guidelines and an efficient process for granting permissions.

In its 2018 Manifesto, ‘Building the Best Barbados Together’, Government committed itself to improving the quality and speed of delivery of services, including Town and Country Planning permissions, to promote doing business with ease. The reform of this outdated legislation was, therefore, identified as ‘mission critical’.

‘Build it and they will come’ applies to a perfect world situation. Barbados stands out as the premier location in the Caribbean and commands the attention of the international investment world. However, for investment to occur, several factors must exist. These include: local (and global) stability; a clearly defined and efficient master plan; a surrounding welldeveloped infrastructure; and an educated workforce. Barbados can tick all of these boxes. The last requirement demands a well-defined marketing and sales programme, led through promoting the competitive advantage which exists here.


Barbados’ recovery in the property sector must follow stated objectives and target established or historical markets. The best opportunities lie with existing business partners. The International Business sector presents a unified effort when taking their programme overseas and, as a mission sells the Barbados destination as a home for global business. The Real Estate sector needs to follow this approach and encourage Government to participate in a similar effort. One approach which will gain immediate attention is the redefining and extension of incentives to the Real Estate sector.

Special Development Areas

Special Development Areas and concessions available to large projects should be made clear and easily accessible to investors. Our World Heritage area together with Special Development Areas are obvious places to promote. Success stories attract wider participation. Detailed studies exist for redevelopment opportunities. These include: Marshall Hall (Bridgetown), the Pierhead (Bridgetown), Roebuck Street (Bridgetown) and a detailed study on Speightstown. The offshore islands proposed in this Government’s recent manifesto are real opportunities. A study is currently being prepared to justify the idea.

There are other ideas that can be used to spark investment. Coastal land is difficult to identify for tourism projects. However, there is considerable marginal clifftop land on the south east and north coasts which would not qualify because of the lack of beach and swimming access. One creative approach to this challenge would be to step back from the cliff edge onto private property and to excavate a large area to below sea water level. A large pipe, tunnelled through the rock, would allow sea water to enter the massive pool – at no cost. With one or more sides gently sloping into this pool, with sand dropped to form a beach, and building all around it, this would create the largest ‘private’ beach that was truly private – no contest.

Barbados is beautiful and, as it grows its tourism sector, it has to be creative in attracting more high-end visitors and provide more and unique options. The Barbados factor must be upheld - that is, local participation in tourism investment. We have built an efficient service sector, represented by the rum shops, water sports, beach facilities, the hospitality sector and more. We need to encourage greater investment in accommodation and major amenities and add more attractions to the existing ones – boutique eco-lodge hotels, heritage properties, a train ride at St. Nicholas Abbey, unique shopping experiences at Limegrove Lifestyle Centre, and well-maintained sporting options including cricket, golf, tennis, road tennis, surfing, hiking, racing, polo, swimming and sailing.

Beaches are becoming crowded, so let’s be inventive. How about anchoring a few old schooners just offshore and using them as beach facilities, restaurants etc.? Why not guide Roebuck Street into becoming a true replica of New Orleans, transforming it into the jazz and music centre of the Caribbean? We already have the musicians, the quality heritage properties and the know-how. Maybe what needs to happen is for Government to appoint a tsar to manage the overall transformation. It all needs empowerment, efficiency and, most of all, a plan of action.

‘Build it and they will come’. Barbados has the ability to achieve a whole new level.

Let’s do it!

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INVESTING IN PARADISE Tips for Purchasing Property in Barbados

approved agent of the Barbados Estate Agents and Valuers Association. All BEAVA agents co-broke each other’s properties and therefore they can offer you whatever is listed by other BEAVA agents. It is less stressful for you to deal with one agent who you feel comfortable with and trust.

To find the list of approved agents, you can visit:

Know for sure what type of property you need, like and can afford: The location, number of bedrooms and amenities are critical considerations. Also consider whether you might want to purchase a stand-alone villa, a town house or a condominium. Consider the type of neighbourhood that you would like and whether you would like a resort or gated community.

Determine how you intend to use the property: Will it be an investment property, your holiday home or will you be living in it long term? If it is for investment, will you be trying to flip it or will you be using it for short or long-term rentals? Will it remain empty when you are not staying in it?

Find a property that matches your needs and tastes: Then ask your agent about any general concerns regarding the property or neighbourhood, plus any specific covenants, rules and regulations, or requirements for a structural survey. The agent can also advise you about what would constitute a fair price and what initial offer you should make.

The property investment guidelines summarised in this short article have been extracted from my book Investing in Paradise – The Definitive Guide to Investing in Real Estate in Barbados, which I felt compelled to write after working for over 30years in the industry, including two stints as President of BEAVA, the Barbados Estate Agents and Valuers Association.

Before you start the process of property ownership in Barbados, outside of the obvious prerequisite of investment capital, you need to be prepared to embark on an educational, numerical and perhaps even emotional journey. I recommend that you start off by establishing some clarity of intent, including the fundamental purpose of the property, its size, location and type. Do some research, ask lots of questions and work with a recommended, experienced, local property specialist.

Here is a brief list of considerations for your guidance.

Arrange your finances: Make a decision on what you can comfortably afford. If you will require financing, make sure that you consider the fees and interest for a mortgage. If you need a mortgage, visit your bank or financial institution and determine the best price range for your needs and budget. Make sure to be preapproved for the maximum number in this range.

Find a reputable agent: You do not need more than one real estate agent. Your agent should be your partner from the beginning to the end of your real estate journey. In the Barbadian context, the agent that you select should be a recognized,

Hire a Legal Attorney who is a member of the Barbados Bar Association: According to the laws of Barbados, all property transactions must be conducted through the offices of approved Legal Attorneys. Along with the potentially complex nature of such transactions, this makes it imperative that both vendors and purchasers appoint a good legal attorney. Your agent will be able to recommend attorneys who they have previously done business with and can vouch for their reputation and track record for closing sales in a timely manner.

Other tips:

-Don’t decide based on a photo alone, schedule a trip to Barbados and visit the property.

-If you consider building, note that building is not always cheaper than buying or renovating.

-When factoring in costs, consider the services of a good property manager, especially if you do not plan on living in Barbados full time.

-Do not exceed your budget, it’s better to start small and upgrade over time.

Investing in property in Barbados can, and should, be a pleasurable and rewarding experience, especially when you follow all the right steps.

For further information or to obtain a copy of the book Investing in Paradise: Email: Visit: Tel: Luxe Caribbean Properties Inc. 1 (246) 832-4604

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Caribbean Properties Inc.
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J Superior Quality at a Better Price

osee Atkinson, President and CEO of Blueprint Management, is very highly regarded in Barbados construction and development circles for her exemplary standards of professionalism as a no-nonsense Project Manager who always sets the bar high and gets even the biggest jobs done well, on time and within budget. Josee has earned that high level of respect by proving her extensive capabilities on numerous major projects since relocating to Barbados some 15years ago.

Having first put the Blueprint brand on the map by successfully completing the Limegrove Lifestyle Centre project, Josee has since delivered excellent results for a diverse range of clients in Barbados, including Gildan’s Corporate Office, FLOW Headquarters, upscale restaurants, private homes and, in impressive fashion, the 2-storey Rubis Building at Welches.

Further afield, Blueprint has a long list of satisfied customers in Canada, Trinidad, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Antigua and St. Vincent & Grenadines, including projects in Canouan.

While specialising in Project Management, Interior Architecture and Design, Blueprint also provides top notch services in Procurement, Development Concept, Property Maintenance and Renewable Energy. It is that capacity to provide clients with a complete ‘one stop shop’ range of services that most

distinguishes Blueprint from other companies in the sector. Forever searching for new ways to improve the Blueprint offering, Josee Atkinson and her team have invested significant funds and time into researching the world for new ideas and reliable suppliers who can offer the rare combination of superior quality and lower cost.

Josee Atkinson: “The world we live in is changing rapidly and so is the market we operate in. People today generally either have reduced budgets or they are more cautious about where and how they use their funds. Achieving value for money is more important than ever, even for the very wealthy. At Blueprint we recognized that we had to listen carefully to our clients and adapt our business model to better meet their needs. Now we can offer a wider range of first-class products that can suit all levels of budget, without compromising our quality standards. We source our items straight from the world’s finest manufacturers, cutting out a lot of the extra hidden costs that traditionally got added on to our client’s final charges. In addition to offering a better service at a better price, that means that we can also look after our own shipping and have better control of delivery schedules. I have a great team of people at Blueprint and we all enjoy looking for new solutions, especially in a country like Barbados where we can implement a lot of exciting new green options in our projects.”

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Entrepreneur Extraordinaire Sir Charles ‘Cow’ Williams


nighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000 for his outstanding contribution to Barbados' development in agriculture, construction, tourism and sports, but still universally known by his schoolboy nickname of ‘Cow’, Sir Charles Othniel Williams has devoted his entire life to a relentless pursuit of success in a remarkable range of business interests and leisure activities.

Born on the 24th November 1932 at Ashford Plantation in St John, where his father Elliott was employed as a manager, Charles Othniel did not have to live long to discover how tough life can be. When Elliott Williams was dismissed through no fault of his own, the family was evicted from the manager’s quarters and put out onto the street penniless. Largely dependent on charitable goodwill, Elliott took any kind of menial work that came his way until he eventually got a job as manager at Edgehill Plantation.

That early introduction to genuine hardship made an indelible impression on Charles Othniel’s young mind and set the tone for his family’s industrious approach to life in the years that followed. Long days of hard work were routine, growing food to survive was the norm, making a few dollars on the side was essential. If the nine Williams children wanted anything, they had to earn their own money to pay for it. By the time Charles Othniel turned twelve, in addition to milking cows, raising chickens, pigs, goats and calves, breeding rabbits and keeping bees, he was already working as a leader boy on a team of mules, doing the work of a grown man, as well as diving up and preparing sea urchin roe to sell. And he enjoyed it all.

“Believe me when I tell you, when you’ve seen your mother cry because she couldn’t buy you a pair of shoes you will never forget it. That’s why I willingly did all my chores as a boy. Hard work never scared me and I was always happy to make an extra buck. That work ethic has followed me throughout my life.”

Charles Othniel Williams became forever known as ‘Cow’ after being labelled that by a teacher on his first day at Lodge School. When he left Lodge at eighteen, Cow went to work in the agriculture sector while continuing to expand his extra moneymaking activities, including running commercial fishing boats and sexing chickens for the poultry industry, both of which generated significant income. Thanks to his willingness to “work from before the sun came up until long after it went down”, Cow did well enough within the first nine years to earn himself the right to lease Forster Hall Plantation in St Joseph.

Around that same time, 1960, in what turned out to be a pivotal moment in his life, desperately needing a tractor to carry out agricultural work on the farm, Cow invested in a second-hand Caterpillar D6. He knew that acquiring the D6 would not only save him money, but also make money by doing work on other farms. But, as enterprising and determined as ever, rather than stopping there, he pushed harder and used the tractor to do earth moving jobs in the construction sector. Just ten years later, after acquiring an impressive list of international clients like Costains, Johnson,

Mitchell and McAlpines, Cow established C.O. Williams Construction.

Today, C.O. Williams Construction is one of the top companies in the Caribbean, having successfully undertaken numerous major projects in Barbados, St Lucia, St Vincent, Antigua and the Bahamas, ranging from harbours to airports, hydro-electric power plants and golf courses. However, the most iconic success for both the company and Cow himself was building the multi-million-dollar Hess Oil Terminal in St Lucia. Always willing to take a calculated risk and back himself as a winner, Cow accepted that hugely challenging job, “Even though at the time I didn’t know how to put up a storage tank, never mind a whole transhipment facility with a big harbour for oil tankers!”

As a construction man who invested heavily in land, Cow Williams transitioned very successfully into development, being the first person to develop the area known today as the Warrens commercial centre. He also built Millennium Heights and played a leading role in the creation of the island’s first residential marina at Port St Charles, as well as delivering Apes Hill Club, an upmarket residential community developed around a magnificent golf course and polo centre.

During his journey to becoming one of the Caribbean’s most prominent businessmen and landowners, Cow still found enough time to passionately pursue his favourite hobbies of polo, sportfishing and horse racing. And he excelled in them all!

In 2009, his Apes Hill Club polo team won the prestigious Queens Cup in England. In 2015, aged eighty-two, Sir Charles Williams entered the Guinness Book of Records as the World’s Oldest Active Polo Player. And in 2017 he was the recipient of the Hurlingham Polo Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award, quite remarkably for his contribution to the development of polo in England.

Cow’s love of horses also naturally led him into racing, where he has produced generations of top-class horses, regularly winning the Barbados Champion Breeder of the Year.

As an accomplished fisherman, Cow’s boats have won a number of international fishing competitions over the years, while he has personally registered several record catches along the way. But perhaps the highlight of his career was participating in the 2018 Offshore World Championship in Costa Rica, at the sprightly age of eighty-five.

Very few people have experienced a life that is as multi-faceted and deeply textured as that of Cow Williams. He is a living legend from a period when life was much more rugged and people much less sensitive, a man who has been equally at ease rubbing shoulders with workers, tycoons and royalty. As such, it is impossible to encapsulate his story in a short article like this, particularly because the greatest interest value can be found in the gritty details of the dramatic real-world adventures behind his many achievements.

To read more about the life of Sir Charles ‘Cow’ Williams, look out for his autobiography, COW, due for release in 2019. Contact:

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David Prestwich PricewaterhouseCoopers Caribbean Leader Tax and Legal Services

Future Thinking - A Launch Pad for Caribbean Leadership

One of the benefits of leaving the UK, as I did last year to relocate to Barbados, was avoiding the ritual humiliation of the English national football team. Despite an uncharacteristically upbeat showing at the 2018 World Cup, it has generally been a bad 40-years for English football. Those in the know often suggest that the stubborn rigidity of English footballing principles cannot adapt to the more dynamic and ever-changing climate of international football. Once much envied across the world, those rigid English principles, based upon strong defence, fixed team structures and everyone sticking tightly to their role, are not the breeding ground for the creative free-flowing football and fast decision making now required to be successful on the modern world stage.

Look at the top clubs in world football leagues over the last few years –Barcelona and Real Madrid in Spain, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund in Germany, Manchester City, Manchester United and a resurgent Liverpool in England – they are all teams founded on the principles of creativity and speed, principles of empowerment that enable players with creative talent to think and make instant decisions in a fast-moving environment. And, above all, an ethos to value creativity and prioritise that creativity collectively as a team with shared responsibility and accountability.

Changing from a rigid structure to one which values creativity cannot be done overnight. Indeed, some may say it cannot be done at all, because the principles at the core of each system are diametrically opposed. One founded on stability, safety, repetition of training and prioritizing basics. The other founded on an emphasis of creativity, quick decision making, early identification of talent and prompt exposure of that talent to decision making, thus empowering the talent to learn how to calculate risks. In essence, the very criteria that the former stubborn rigidity is designed to eradicate.

The same can be said of our global academic systems, which were originally built for the Industrial Revolution to

provide a largely operational and mechanical workforce with the talent to fuel growth in predominantly domestic, industrial businesses. It was a system where rigidity and learning by rote worked to provide talented students with the basics to succeed in their chosen field (with ‘chosen’ being loosely put, as careers were so often chosen by fathers) and provide manpower (again, carefully chosen, as it was so often men who were the focus).

However, the world we are now hurtling towards is anything but rigid and stable. The last 30-years has seen a surge in global population, technology, environmental risks and rapidly changing social values and behaviours, putting pressure on established industries the world over – an environment that creates space solely for those organisations nimble enough to find the gaps.

In this new world, the skills required from graduates have changed dramatically. Creativity, the ability to think around corners whilst moving at speed, has become the key requirement. That type of thinking is not just a scarce resource that is nice to have, it is absolutely essential to face the global challenges we face over the coming century.

Equally, in the world of professional

services, we are not without our challenges when it comes to global trends. Not least of which is the need to constantly innovate and stay ahead of the game as leading thinkers, while we move through new trends and new ways of thinking, with a business model that is heavily reliant upon attracting the best and brightest graduates. Academics and professional services have become codependents on this type of thinking.

What if we could create something new and different that had not been done before in the Caribbean? A programme that could attract students and industry thinkers alike, working collaboratively, to collectively think and challenge established global status quos. And if we can do that in our own region, then suddenly we can move from a position of fast followers of global trends to leaders in certain industries, probably in a shorter timescale than people would usually think.

Some of the benefits of such a programme would then be:

-Attracting the best global students, thus encouraging more global mobility

-Exporting and importing knowledge into the Caribbean through global networks between academics and industry leaders

-Putting students and industry leaders together to learn collaboratively

-Our region is in position to start academic courses in forward-looking subjects that no-one else has

-Create innovators, entrepreneurs and future leaders across the Caribbean

-Create the climate for investment into students and new start-ups in the Caribbean

And suddenly the possibilities are endless….

We are currently working with academic institutions in the Caribbean region to create such a future thinking programme, one that is designed to be a platform on which students can stand for the next 50years of global development, giving them exposure to global trends and leading thinking. This will be a programme that gives students and industry leaders alike the kind of elevation needed to help them see across fast moving global trends to differentiate between short-term speed bumps and long-term transformational shifts.

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We are currently working with academic institutions in the Caribbean region to create such a future thinking programme, one that is designed to be a platform on which students can stand for the next 50-years of global development, giving them exposure to global trends and leading thinking.

Veronica Millington and Khalil Bryan

Innovate, Disrupt, Empower

Young Barbadian entrepreneurs Veronica Millington and Khalil Bryan are 100% committed to their goal of transforming transportation in the Caribbean, ‘one city at a time’. With a vision to be the preferred provider of real-time, location-based services in the Caribbean and developing countries, their company Caribbean Transit Solutions (CTS) currently focuses on innovatively solving location-based transportation problems.

Veronica Millington: “We leverage existing technologies like GPS, mobile data and internet, to improve the lives of people in our cities. Many people use cell phones for entertainment, but these devices can do so much more. Why wait around for a bus? Why miss school because no bus arrived? We can solve that. While we can’t single-handedly change the bus system, or the infrastructure around it, our products can certainly enable transport companies and local authorities to improve their ROI, maximise vehicle use and eventually implement more accurate scheduling. For bus tracking, if I know where it is, then I can manage my time more effectively.”

Khalil Bryan: “For instance, the BeepBus platform allows app users to get basic bus

information, search bus routes and plan bus trips across the island. Right now we are beta testing the newest version of BeepBus which includes ‘Live’ pilot routes. For the first time in Barbados and the Caribbean, as well as searching by bus route to get estimated arrival times, users can now watch the bus approach them on the map along these pilot routes. But CTS can provide much more than just bus information. Our EasyTrak platform provides customised GPS Fleet Management Solutions for large and small fleets, which empower fleet managers and insurance companies to access superior business intelligence, tailored analytics and reporting, and advanced tracking information. All of which adds up to increased productivity, improved safety, optimal vehicle use and significant cost savings.”

Veronica: “Ultimately we want CTS to be a catalyst for the vision we see for the Caribbean in 15 to 20 years - a CARICOM virtual passport enabling seamless transit through the region, with air and sea craft moving people and goods easily. Some people want to see change, but we want to make it happen.”

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The University of the West Indies Investing in Transformation

Professor Stephan Gift PVC Graduate Studies and Research, Entrepreneurship and Innovation
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Lisa Cummins Executive Director, UWI Consulting Company, Lumin Consulting

The University of the West Indies - Investing in Transformation

lthough most Caribbean nations rank highly in UN Development performance indicators, the incidence of persistent poverty, high levels of indebtedness, sluggish growth and high trade deficits is pervasive across the majority of the countries in the region. In Barbados, the last decade saw little to no growth, dangerously low levels of foreign exchange reserves, poor trade performance and contraction in most productive sectors, as well as repeated downgrades of sovereign debt ranking. Policy space for Government as an enabler to private sector development has been limited and in a severely contracted economy, private sector performance, heavily dependent on the domestic market has been less then optimal.

There is no question that we are in a difficult moment. But that is not the full story. It is also a moment that gives us the opportunity to correct systemic issues and invest in transformation. That is true for our entire region. Out of the ashes of our economic failures of the last decade, new life can be breathed into our local and regional economy through a contemporary holistic visioning of development policy making, rationalization of the impetus required for a modern private sector, and the aggregation into a coherent far-reaching policy apparatus that creates a thriving symbiotic ecosystem. Innovation and entrepreneurship must be central to that policy apparatus which enables private sector led growth and the resultant triumphant re-emergence of the successful Caribbean nation state.

But, globally, private sector led growth requires multiple inputs which are glaringly still challenging our nations: extensive investment in research and development, a resulting culture of innovation and the rapid emergence of entrepreneurial activities that are innovation and technology driven in economies enabled by strong supporting Government policy. Most reports, including those from the IDB and the Global Innovation Rankings, as well as reports on

trade performance by entities including the World Trade Organization, cite challenges in the Caribbean in these areas. Our investment in R&D is among the lowest in the world and our innovation levels according to the Global Innovation Index, is significantly below other regions. In terms of innovative entrepreneurship, we are more likely to take existing technology and innovations and adapt them for local use than we are to create new products, services or processes.

Barbados and the Caribbean need to create strong innovation ecosystems that will in the first instance enable transformation of existing firms and, secondly, birth a new class of innovation driven, technology enabled, high-end entrepreneurship that creates new highly competitive outward oriented firms. Strong domestic firm level performance must translate into strong export performance and local and regional firms must reach and sustain competitiveness through constant innovation and transformation as a result of research and development. The University of the West Indies (UWI) is the most obvious conduit through which these objectives can be realized.

We must have a complete ecosystem that is mainstreamed from a transformed education system, all the way through to the domestic and export market buttressed by enabling Government policy. This is that moment.

In developed nations, particularly those

which rank highly in both innovation and entrepreneurship, but in particular innovation driven entrepreneurship, universities, technical institutes, research institutes and polytechnics are central to the ecosystem. Research, extensive relationships with industry, investment in partnerships and supporting intellectual property policies which enable and not stifle commercialization are critical to the eco-system. These are the economies that achieve the goal of private sector led economic growth and trade surpluses and not deficits. These economies also find the ideal balance between creative funding mechanisms for innovation and commercialization of ideas and inward attraction of foreign investment.

The University of the West Indies, in recognition of the important role it must play, is aggressively transitioning to an entrepreneurial university driven by innovation. The UWI, across its campuses, possesses a cadre of highly-skilled lecturers and researchers who deliver high-quality programmes and conduct advanced research and innovation. UWI is being positioned to take that further. In 2018, the UWI twinned its leadership of research and graduate studies with innovation and entrepreneurship to ensure that the Institution takes firm leadership of the academic driver fuelling regional private sector led growth. The UWI is developing and delivering courses on entrepreneurship and working closely with industry to develop and commercialize new products and services, generating transformational processes through the production of entrepreneurial and innovative graduates and positioning itself to be the catalyst for the region’s entry into global innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems.

The UWI, the regional research and teaching mecca, must be at the centre not of driving just entrepreneurship but also creating research driven innovation which births innovation driven entrepreneurship which brings new products to market, revolutionizes old products and processes, creates disruption internal to industry and creates direct linkages between industry, academia and the Government to develop a clear corridor that places regional business on the global stage.

The University of the West Indies is ready to take the lead.

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Barbados and the Caribbean need to create strong innovation ecosystems that will in the first instance enable transformation of existing firms and, secondly, birth a new class of innovation driven, technology enabled, high-end entrepreneurship that creates new highly competitive outward oriented firms.


Established in 1991, the Barbados- based University of the West Indies- Sagicor Cave Hill School of Business and Management (SCHSBM) has stood the test of time. In a world that offers easier access to education and training, its blend of academic teaching, hands- on training and organisational interventions has ensured the continued success of the alumni from the Executive Master’s in Business Administration and Executive Diploma in Management programmes, as well as with the shorter Strategic Business Services programmes which tackle immediate, applicable needs. Serving its home base and the Eastern Caribbean, the SCHSBM has extended its reach to other territories such as Guyana, the British Virgin Islands, Belize, the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands. The school takes pride in the expertise of its faculty, trainers and facilitators, who are equipped with the latest tools and techniques to position participants and their organisations for financially viable and sustainable growth.

In addition to its training programmes and conferences, the SCHSBM offers consultancy and research services to institutions who seek improvement in their operations but are unsure where to start or how to tackle the issues they face. Likewise, organisations who prefer to have departmentwide training of their staff or members have also benefitted from SCHSBM interventions.

While the school facilitates their programmes across the region, their home at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus offers three fully equipped, spacious, wheel chair accessible training rooms and one board room suited for seminars, conferences or executive meetings. Events held in this space also benefit from a fully fitted kitchen and dining hall area, and a lounge for guests to enjoy between sessions.

So if you are serious about the improvement of skills, knowledge and abilities, or seek an event venue, contact the Sagicor Cave Hill School of Business and Management to begin the process of meeting your needs.

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Expanding Social Investment in Barbados

Third Sector Ecosystem Development

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Peter N. Boos FCA Chairman Emeritus, EY Caribbean

Expanding Social Investment in Barbados - Third Sector Ecosystem Development


In the last 20-years especially, Barbados has been the beneficiary of major philanthropic investment in areas of growing social needs: health, including mental health/addiction treatment, support for persons with disabilities, relief for and development of the indigent and underprivileged, protection of the environment, education of children, youth entrepreneurship development, assistance to the elderly, et cetera. Major contributors include The Maria Holder Memorial Trust, The Sandy Lane Charitable Trust, The Hans Rausing Family Trust, The Barbados Community Foundation and many other individuals and corporations locally and internationally. It is estimated that at least US $100 million has been gifted to the Barbados Third Sector by philanthropists in the last 10-years alone.

At the current time, Government’s resources are constrained and inadequate to support all the growing needs of a Society firmly aspiring to achieve Social Justice. Social Investment in the Third Sector is a priority for any Nation seeking stability and improvements in the quality of life of its people. Fortunately, there are large pools of international capital and support resources available for Third Sector projects that meet the highest standards of performance and measurable impacts.

Defining the Third Sector

‘Third Sector Organisations’ is a term used to describe the range of organisations that are neither public sector nor private sector. It includes voluntary and community organisations (both registered charities and other associations, self-help groups and community groups), social enterprises,

mutuals and co-operatives.

Third Sector Organisations (TSOs) generally:

• are independent of government

• are ‘value-driven’, meaning they are motivated by the desire to achieve social goals (for example, improving public welfare, advance economic well-being, or the environment) rather than the desire to distribute profit

• reinvest any surpluses generated in the pursuit of their goals

As of October 2014, research by the local charity, Aspire Foundation (Barbados) Inc., indicated that there were in excess of 1,000 TSOs registered in Barbados. The research clearly exposed the need for the development of an ‘ecosystem’ that provides the enabling environment for collaborative growth and investment in this important and rapidly growing sector.

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Christopher Holder opening The Maria Holder Nursery School

Government’s Commitment

The recently elected Government of Barbados recognises the meaningful impact a progressive Third Sector policy might make in helping to meet growing social needs, accelerating entrepreneurship and social impact investing. In addition, it acknowledges that the Third Sector will be instrumental in generating new jobs and foreign exchange, and will contribute to building a more caring society, while serving as a partner in the attainment of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Government is committed to establishing and working with a steering committee of Third Sector groups to promote and facilitate the development of a thriving, connected, engaged, energised and effective Third Sector in Barbados, capable of strong social and economic impact and of positioning Barbados as an international centre for Third Sector engagement and collaboration.

The United Nations made headlines around the world in September 2015 when it adopted an ambitious set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that aim to end extreme poverty, protect the planet and ensure health and prosperity for all by 2030. Philanthropy has a critical role to play in achieving the SDGs. It brings not just much-needed money, but also a vast pool of knowledge and willingness of people to support big thinking, innovation, risk-taking and collaboration.

Components of an Enabling Dynamic Philanthropic Ecosystem:

1. The philanthropy knowledge system: The theoretical repository of pertinent dataand expert opinion - that informs, constrains and motivates non-profits, donors and intermediaries.

2. The giving system: The complex network of donors, trustees, institutional advisers, online transaction services and formal philanthropic institutions that originate and/or manage charitable gifts and grants.

3. The non-profit management and reporting system: This includes the process of objective setting, planning, performance tracking and reporting that resides at the heart of every excellent nonprofit organization’s management system.

4. The non-profit evaluation system: The

network of auditors, evaluators, accreditors, regulators, experts, information websites, journalists, friends and others who seek to inform, influence, validate and/or protect donors and their decisions.

Ultimately, a high-functioning philanthropy system is one in which non-profits and donors will:

• work from a common knowledge base

• seek consensus around community objectives and collective action

• require consistent reporting by nonprofits that is at once internally valuable for the organization and publicly transparent

• direct resources to organizations that do well the work society values

• demand accountability not only of foundations, trusts and intermediaries, but also of the vast population of individual donors that account for the vast majority of charitable giving.

Local TSOs are currently self-organizing to address their own sustainability and, led by CPDC, are currently developing Third Sector/NGO proposed legislation. Enabling legislation is expected by the end of 2018.

Funding the Third Sector

The creation of a substantive Barbados

Third Sector Renewable Energy Investment Fund would provide TSOs with an important and readily accessible source of funding, subject to applicants meeting the standards established for the making of grants. ASPIRE is an example of community philanthropy which provides a route of certification and capacity building for local TSOs. Such a long-term funding resource would provide the platform of financial stability so badly need by TSOs. With the support of EMERA and its Barbados subsidiary, Barbados Light & Power Co. Ltd., and with enabling Government policies and regulations, it is conceivable that within 3-5 years an investment of Bds$100 million can be made in Renewable Energy Infrastructure in Barbados, the profits of which will flow directly to approved TSOs. Other funding streams will continue to flow directly to TSOs from Philanthropic Persons, International Development Agencies, Crowdfunding and Government

subventions, as well as from profit-making social investments by TSOs and entrepreneurs.

The Role of the Private Sector is not only relevant in terms of philanthropy, but also helping to sculpt an ‘ease of business’ environment for local TSOs. Possibilities include bringing awareness of the legal environment for social business and more personalized banking services for TSOs. For example, Santander Bank’s ‘Clubs and Charities’ accounts. Incentives for this can include tax breaks et cetera, based on social giving criteria.

Ecosystem Aspiration

The outcomes towards which the development of an ecosystem should aspire have been clearly articulated through research. Specifically, these desired outcomes include:

1. Increasing the volume of philanthropy

2. Improving the sustainability of philanthropy

3. Encouraging more strategic philanthropy

4. Facilitating the adoption of professional practices

5. Generating better knowledge of the scope and work of philanthropy

6. Building skill sets needed to do effective philanthropic work

7. Communicating effectively about the work of philanthropy

8. Working more collaboratively with other organizations

9. Improving the ability of philanthropy to influence policy (particularly in the service of creating an enabling environment for philanthropy)

10. Generating public support and engagement for philanthropy

11. Raising public awareness of the value and impact of philanthropy

12. Encouraging greater transparency of philanthropic practices, particularly with respect to governance and financial accountability.

‘Field-based thinking’, as opposed to ‘organizational-based thinking’, requires a paradigm of collaboration to achieve societal goals that are beyond the competence of any single organization to deliver. It follows that organizations delivering work need to frame their objectives and work programmes based

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Expanding Social Investment in Barbados - Third Sector Ecosystem Development

on the needs of the system, rather than narrow organizational goals. The work of any given organization should be based on their comparative advantage, an approach that will minimize duplication and unnecessary competition. This will require models of organization based on sharing. This entails a holistic approach that includes following agreed-upon values and principles, sharing data, reviewing common lessons learned, agreeing on common points.


In Barbados, The Third Sector is growing quickly, enabled by ‘philanthropy’ that comes in many forms from different

and diverse stakeholders both locally and internationally. We must now move to higher levels of execution and measurable impact by embracing greater competency, capacity, close collaboration and a commitment to sharing and communicating. Businesses must give time and consideration to measuring their levels of strategic support for Social Investing. Social Investing needs to become part of the ethos and culture of every business. Businesses must move these discussions and decisions beyond short-term marketing considerations to ones based on contributing to long term National Strategic Social Impacts and Societal Stability.

In the same way that business advocates for an enabling business facilitation environment, so too it must support the development of a Third Sector Ecosystem that facilitates the creation of better quality of life and social justice for all.

For Philanthropy and Social Investing to grow and thrive in Barbados, the crafting of a supportive Ecosystem is a critical foundational step.

With thanks for endorsements by Aspire Foundation (Barbados) Inc.

and Christopher Holder, Chairman of The Maria Holder Memorial Trust.

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School House for Special Needs
Providing accurate and high value business information and contacts to anyone interested in doing business in Barbados.

Business Barbados Fast Facts Guide

Please Note Carefully

At the time of going to press, the Government of Barbados has announced its intention to overhaul the country’s tax system, meaning that elements of the following information could be outdated any time after January 2019. Please consult a tax professional for guidance and/or refer to for updates.

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The Business Barbados Fast Facts Guide



Barbados, the most easterly of the Caribbean islands, is located to the east of the Windward islands and 460 km (285.7 miles) northwest of Venezuela. By air it is about 4.5 hours from New York, 5 hours from Toronto and 8 hours from London. The island’s geographic location makes it very convenient for doing business with North America.

Climate and Geography

The topography is relatively flat and composed mostly of coral. The highest point on the island is Mount Hillaby, at 336 m or (1,104 ft) above sea level. Barbados has lovely sandy beaches and a pleasant tropical climate that attracts visitors and investors alike. The average daytime temperature ranges between 84-86 degrees Fahrenheit (29-30 degrees Celsius). Barbados has used these resources effectively to develop a viable tourist industry, which now serves as the base for a stable and buoyant economy.


Settled in 1627 by the British, Barbados remained a British colony until its independence on November 30, 1966. A member of the British Commonwealth, Barbados’ constitution is based on the British style of parliamentary democracy, with elections being held every five years. The island has one of the oldest Westminster style Parliaments in the western hemisphere, which has been in existence for over 375 years. Barbados has two houses of Parliament, a Senate and a House of Assembly. The Governor General, who represents the British Monarch, is Head of State while executive authority is vested in the Prime Minister and Cabinet who are collectively responsible to Parliament.


The legal system is derived from English common law and statutes. The courts administer the laws of Barbados, which consist solely of local legislation. The judicial system comprises a lower Magistrates court and the Supreme Court, which includes a Court of Appeal and a High Court. The Attorney General is responsible for the administration of the legal and judicial system. In February of 2001, the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community signed an agreement to form a Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). The inauguration ceremony took place on April 16, 2005. At present, final appeal from Barbadian courts is to the CCJ, which is based in Trinidad. Prior to 2005, final appeal was to the Privy Council in England.


The resident population of Barbados is estimated at 273,824 at the end of second quarter for 2018 . The ethnic mix consists of 93% of


Land Area

Population (July 2016 est.)

Time Zone

Capital City

Currency Language


Life Expectancy at Birth (years)

Country Phone Code

Unemployment (2016P)

Labour Force (2016P)

Exchange Rate (BB$ to US$)

Major Industries

Principal Exports

Principal Imports

Major Trading Partners

431Km/166sq. miles


EST +1/0; GMT-4/ -5 *


Barbadian Dollar



75.7 years

246 10.0%

144, 300


Tourism, Financial Services, Agriculture, Light manufacturing

Tourism, Financial Services, Sugar, Rum, Chemicals, Electrical Components

Machinery, Food and Beverages, Construction Materials

USA, Canada, Caricom**, Japan, UK

**Barbados is a founding member of the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM). Other member States are Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago and Haiti (July 2002).

African descent, 3.2% European, 2.6% of mixed race and 1% East Indian. The population density is high, with 85% of the population living in urban areas.

Barbados’ high standar d of education has produced an easily trained workforce, with an adequate supply of professional as well as skilled and unskilled labour. The labour force is estimated at 144,300. The Central Bank of Barbados Economic Review for January to June 2018 stated that the twelve-month moving average unemployment rate ending August 2018, remained on par with the average for the comparable 2017 period at 10%.

The weekly working hours for office personnel vary between 35 to 40 hours, while a 40-hour week is normal for manual workers. Work undertaken in excess of the basic workweek and during public holidays normally attracts premium rates of pay.

*Barbados is in the same time zone as North America and four hours behind the U.K. and the rest of Western Europe when there is no observance of Daylight Savings Time.
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Source: Barbados Statistical Service, Digest of Educational Statistics 1995-1999 compiled by Planning, Research & Development Unit, Ministry of Education, The World Fact Book.

The Business Barbados Fast Facts Guide

Several pieces of legislation are in place to govern labour relations including the Employment Rights Act, the Severance Payments Act and the Holidays With Pay Act. The National Insurance and Social Security Act provides medical assistance for employees in the event of illness, maternity leave and accidents. It also makes provision for unemployment, disability and pension benefits. For further information visit

The labour movement is represented by four major unions. There have been few work stoppages in recent years, primarily due to the existence of good labour relations.

Barbados has twelve p aid public holidays. In addition, all workers have a statutory right to twelve weeks of maternity leave and three weeks of annual vacation with pay, which increases to four weeks after the fifth year of steady employment.

The 2019 Public Holidays

• New Year's Day - January 1

• Errol Barrow Day - January 21

• Good Friday – April 19

• Easter Monday – April 22

• National Heroes Day - April 28

• May Day – May 1

• Whit Monday – June 10

• Emancipation Day - August 1

• Kadooment Day – August 5

• Independence Day – November 30

• Christmas Day - December 25

• Boxing Day - December 26


The Barbados educational system is modeled after the British system and is considered to provide one of the highest standards of education in the English Caribbean. The educational system ranges from pre-school to university. School is compulsory up to age 16 and government schools are free at the primary and secondary levels. Educational institutions at the post secondary level include colleges, a university, vocational and technical training schools. There are also special schools for the mentally and physically disabled.


Barbados is recognised as having the most modern medical facilities in the Eastern Caribbean. The life expectancy at birth is 72.75 years for males and 78.6 years for females. Medical services are provided by two major hospitals and several well-equipped clinics, health centres and nursing homes. The government-run 600 bed Queen Elizabeth Hospital provides several specialist services along with a 24-hour casualty service. The second major hospital, Bayview Hospital, is a private health facility that also provides a variety of medical services.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital - (246) 436-6450

BayView Hospital - (246) 436-5446

Sandy Crest Medical Center - (246) 419-4911

Island Care Ambulance - (246) 435-9425


Barbados has a market-based economy with both the private and public sectors actively involved in determining the goods and services made available to consumers. The Barbadian economy has diversified over the last five decades, with emphasis shifting from agriculture towards the provision of services. The economy is driven primarily by the following sectors; tourism, business, financial and general services, agriculture and manufacturing.

Employment by Major Industrial Division
INDUSTRY 2016 (‘000’) 2017 (‘000’) Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing 3.8 4.0 Construction, Mining & Quarrying 14.0 13.3 Manufacturing 9.4 8.9 Electricity, Gas, Steam, Water & Air Conditioning Supply 2.3 2.9 Wholesale & Retail Trade 22.4 20.3 Transport & Storage 6.7 6.9 Accomodation & Food Services 16.4 15.0 Finance & Insurance 5.8 5.5 Professional, Scientific & Technical Services 4.5 4.2 Administrative & Support Service 7.6 7.4 Public Administration & Defence 9.7 9.6 Education 6.1 7.6 Human Health & Social Work 6.6 6.6 Other Services 4.0 4.6 Activities of Households as Employers 5.4 4.8 Other Groups 8.3 8.1 Not Stated 0.0 0.2 Total 132.9 129.9 131 /
Source: Barbados Statistical Service Labour Force Survey

The Business Barbados Fast Facts Guide


Source: Barbados Statistical Service and Central Bank of Barbados (p) - Provisional (e) - Estimate

1 - Central Bank of Barbados Estimates

2 - Data to October 2017

3 - Data to September 2017

4 - Gross Public Sector Debt = Gross Central Government Debt - Domestic Debt held by NISDomestic Debt held by CBB + Other Public Sector Debt



Tourism provides the main source of foreign exchange, economic activity and employment. The major elements of Barbados’ tourism product are its solid historical and cultural legacy, varied entertainment and its natural physical attributes. The four major markets for the Barbados tourist industry are the UK, USA, Continental Europe and Canada.

Accommodation facilities in Barbados include a wide range of hotels, apartments, luxury villas, cottages and beach houses. Barbados receives just over one million visitors per year, with cruise ship arrivals narrowly surpassing long-stay arrivals in recent years. For 2018, arrivals from the United Kingdom grew by 3.6%, while arrivals from the US and Canada have increased by 8.9% and 3.0% respectively1. Overall, a 3.4% increase in visitor arrivals, has been reported for the first half of 20182. The Port Authority has invested in a dredging exercise to facilitate mega cruise liners, which has expanded its berthing capacity and the potential to earn more foreign exchange. Cruise visitors declined following a reduction in ship calls for the six months ending June 2018.

International Business and Financial Services

Low tax rates, double taxation agreements and exchange of information treaties, have provided Barbados with an ideal environment for its development into a major international business and financial services centre. The key components of this sector are the banking and financial institutions and offshore businesses.

Total Number of International Businesses

Source: International Business Division, Ending September 30, 2018

Tourism Arrivals (excluding cruise ship arrivals)

* No. of cruise ship passengers who did not permanently disembark in Barbados

Source: Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.

2013 2014 2015 2016(P) 2017(P) Nominal GDP ($M)1 9,225.0 9,216.7 9,168.3 9,058.1 9,058.1 Real Growth (%) 0.0 0.0 0.7 1.8 1.0 Inflation (%)2 1.8 1.8 (1.1) 1.5 4.0 Avg. Unemployment (%)3 11.6 12.3 11.3 9.7 10.2 Foreign Exchange Reserves ($M) 1,144.1 1,054.9 929.4 629.4 409.7 Net Capital Inflows ($M) 513.5 734.0 441.2 84.9 84.4 Gross Public Sector Debt4 (% of GDP) 96.1 101.6 102.4 100.0 104.6 Private Sector Credit (% of GDP) 60.9 58.2 58.8 60.2 59.9 Fiscal Deficit (% of GDP) (10.4) (7.7) (9.4) (5.7) Country of Residence Jan - Dec AB Change % Change 2016 2017 UK 222,616 222,346 -270 -0.1 USA 169,221 189,022 19,801 11.7 Canada 78,945 85,207 6,262 7.9 Germany 11,523 11,307 -216 -1.9 Other Europe 24,739 25,722 1,033 4.2 Trinidad & Tobago 34,003 35,832 1,829 5.4 Other Caribbean 71,149 73,674 2,525 3.5 Brazil 3,081 1,443 -1,638 -53.2 Other Central & South America 8,407 8,433 26 0.3 Other Countries 8,449 10,475 2,026 24.0 Total 632,133 663,511 31,378 5.0 Total Cruise Passengers* 594,985 681,201 86,216 14.5 Total Cruise Calls 424 506 82 19.3 Entity 2017 2018 Number of New Licences Issued International Business Companies (IBCs) 239 195 Societies with Restricted Liability (SRLs) 59 39 Number of Licences Renewed International Business Companies (IBCs) 2,617 2,726 Societies with Restricted Liability (SRLs) 425 463 Foreign Sales Corporation (FSC) 4 2 International Trust (ITs) - 1 Number of Reinstatements Issued International Business Companies (IBCs) 223 106 Societies with Restricted Liability (SRLs) 13 6 Number of Its & PTCs Registered International Trust (ITs) 32 19 Private Trust Company (PTCs) 1 1 1
2 Ibid. 132 /
Central Bank of Barbados Review of the Economy for January to June 2018.

The Business Barbados Fast Facts Guide


The manufacturing sector comprises mainly of light industry which includes the production of cement blocks, clay tiles, garments and textiles, paint, paper products, furniture, electronic components, chemicals, edible oils, soap and food products.


Sugar continues to be the principal agricultural product. Most of the sugar produced is sold to the European Community at a guaranteed price. Other products from this sector include root crops, vegetables, dairy products, chicken and fish.


The Central Bank of Barbados is the main regulatory financial institution in Barbados, and is responsible for formulating, in association with Government, monetary and fiscal policies to assist with local economic development.

Barbados has taken advantage of the expansion in international business, in particular the financial services sector that is now the country’s second major foreign exchange earner. Adequate telecommunications infrastructure, a well-trained and Englishspeaking workforce, and a stable political environment give the country an additional advantage over other, similar destinations. Barbados has also done well from the increased scrutiny and regulation of financial services by international organizations such as the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

In addition to the above, a number of key factors help keep Barbados relatable to the North American market, thereby increasing opportunities to drive capital into the country. These include an exchange rate tied to the U.S dollar, and a roster of daily flights to key North American business centers including Miami, New York and Toronto.

The Stock Exchange

The Barbados Securities Exchange was established in June 1987 in order to create a market to promote trading in financial securities and to encourage investment by the public in business enterprises. Since 2001 this organization became known as the Barbados Stock Exchange.

A company wishing to be listed on the exchange must meet certain criteria established by the Exchange, after which it must submit a prospectus compliant with both the Companies and Securities legislation of Barbados for review. A new Securities Act was passed in 2001 in order to facilitate the establishment of a securities comm ission and it makes better provision for the regulation of the securities market, the capital market and investors.

Currently there are 19 listed securities on the regular market (17 companies) on the Barbados Stock Exchange including 2 crosslisted securities belonging to issuers from within CARICOM. There is also an international securities market which has 2 listed securities. 2 mutual funds are also traded on the Exchange. The Securities Exchanges of Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica work closely together and nationals are eligible to cross trade in each market.

Mutual Funds

Mutual funds in Barbados are governed by the Mutual Funds Act of 2002. The Act stipulates that authorised Mutual Fund operators require a licence to operate in Barbados and must have a registered office in Barbados.

The Barbados Stock Exchange is responsible for the regulation of both domestic and foreign mutual funds. Exempt or foreign mutual funds can conduct business in Barbados provided they are registered with the Barbados Stock Exchange and have paid an annual registration fee. The minimum amount of shares that can be purchased is BB$100 (US$50) or its equivalent in any currency. Local investors are also exempt from stamp duty and property transfer tax with respect to transactions involving the ownership or transfer of shares.

Exchange Control

The Government has a liberal policy toward foreign exchange controls and is committed to moving towards the elimination of all foreign exchange controls. The Exchange Control Act of Barbados provides for:

• Registration and repatriation of foreign investment

• Remittance of dividends, profits, interest and rentals from real estate to non-residents

• Transfer of land and buildings situated in Barbados

It is possible to buy foreign currency directly from the commercial banks however the Government, through the Central Bank, has imposed limits on the amount of foreign transactions available to residents and non-residents. Residents are allowed US$3,750 for personal travel, and for business travel US$25,000. Foreign nationals working in Barbados may operate an external account, which can be credited with foreign currency from specific sources, provided that they are not classified as residents.

The Government is seeking to liberalize the Exchange Control regime with a phased approach.

Corporate Law

The Barbados Companies Act, which came into effect in 1985, is modelled on the Canada Business Corporations Act. The procedure for incorporating a company is simple and efficient. A company can

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The Business Barbados Fast Facts Guide

be established by either residents or non-residents without a license or other authorisation, unless one is seeking to obtain certain benefits as an International Business Company, International Society with Restricted Liability, Exempt Insurance Company, Qualifying Insurance Company or as an Offshore or International Bank. There is a minimum of one director required. The names and addresses of the directors must be filed at the Corporate Registry. There is no limit on the amount of authorised share capital and shares are without par value. A company can carry on any type of legal activity, unless its articles of incorporation specifically provide otherwise.


The Government has established a separate Ministry to facilitate the development and expansion of the international business sector. Several concessions have been granted to entities carrying on international business from Barbados. These include a reduced tax rate of between 2.5% and 0.25%, exemption from withholding tax on dividends, interest, royalties or other income paid to nonresidents, and an exemption from exchange controls. Additionally, a percentage of the remuneration of qualified foreign employees working in IBCs, International Banks, International Societies with Restricted Liability, Qualifying Insurance Companies and Exempt Insurance Companies can be paid free of Barbadian income tax and in any foreign currency as follows:

(a) on amounts not exceeding $150 000 – 35%

(b) on amounts exceeding $150,000 but not exceeding $500,000 – 50%

(c) on amounts not exceeding $500,000 – 60%.

International Business Companies

The International Business Companies Act of 1991 defines an International Business Company (IBC) as a company that carries on business in international manufacturing, international trade and commerce from within Barbados.

All companies wishing to operate as IBCs must obtain a licence from the Ministry of International Business. On application, there is a fee of US$125 and a license fee of US$500. The license must be renewed annually at a fee of US$500 in order to be valid. A company ceasing to transact business as an IBC or ceasing to satisfy the requirements of the Act must notify the Minister in writing.

In order to operate an IBC in Barbados, the company must be incorporated in Barbados, or registered here as an external company. In addition, the company must be financially capable of carrying out the business and comply with all conditions.

Benefits of the IBC Act along with other relevant features are:

• Tax on income on a sliding scale, from a maximum of 2.5% to a minimum of 0.25%

• Exemption from all withholding taxes

• No capital gains tax

• Tax credit in respect of taxes paid outside of Barbados is allowable but only insofar as it does not reduce the tax payable in Barbados to less than 0.25%

• Freedom from exchange control

• Audited financial statements, where required, must be filed with the Ministry

• Tax concessions for specially qualified persons

• Bearer shares are not permitted

• An IBC can keep books and records in a foreign currency

• Imports of equipment and machinery free of customs duty, consumption tax and stamp duties

• May apply for a guarantee that all or any of the benefits and exemptions in the Act will be valid for 15 years

• An IBC, which is solely owned by an Offshore Trust under the management of a licensed Barbados International Bank, is exempt from tax if its activities are restricted to buying, holding or managing securities.

Exempt Insurance Act

The Barbados Exempt Insurance Act (1983) states that for a company to qualify as an Exempt Insurance Company it must be incorporated or registered in Barbados with a minimum capital of BB$250,000 (US$ 125,000). Exempt Insurance Companies cannot insure risks originating in Barbados or risks of local residents. The resident director may not own shares in the company. Exempt Insurance companies are taxed on their profits at the rate of 0% for the first 15 years and thereafter 8% on the first BB$250,000 (US$125,000) of profits. They are exempt from withholding tax and exchange control restrictions. Tax concessions are made for specially qualified persons and convention expenses are allowed by US authorities. There is an application fee of BB$500 (US$250) for an Exempt Insurance Company, and an annual licence fee of BB$20,000 (US$10,000) which is applicable during the first 15 years of operation.

Qualifying Insurance Companies

A 1998 legislative enactment allows companies involved in international insurance business to register under the domestic insurance legislation as Qualifying Insurance Companies (QIC) on the condition that at least 90% of its premiums originate outside Barbados and at least 90% of its risks insured are located outside CARICOM. A maximum tax credit of 93% is available to a QIC where premiums originate outside of CARICOM. As a result, a QIC is entitled to the benefit of a low effective rate of tax (generally 1.75%) in respect of general insurance business and 0.35% in respect of life insurance business after deduction of the foreign currency earnings allowance. QICs are also entitled to exemptions from

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The Business Barbados Fast Facts Guide

withholding taxes and exchange control. Personal tax concessions are also available for specially qualified employees. Unlike exempt insurance companies, a QIC can be owned by residents of Barbados and can insure a certain amount of local risk. QICs must pay an annual fee of BB$20,000 (US$10,000).

International Trusts Act

The International Trusts Act allows trusts to be created by nonresidents for the benefit of non-residents. There are no minimum capital requirements for Barbados Trusts and they can be either of fixed interest or discretionary. An International Trust is taxed at a maximum of 40% on its profits earned in, or remitted to Barbados but there are no withholding taxes on payments to non-resident beneficiaries.

An International Trust must satisfy the following conditions:

• The Trust deed must specify that the International Trusts Act applies

• At least one trustee must be a resident of Barbados

• Settler and the beneficiaries must be non-residents of Barbados

• The assets of the trust cannot include Barbados real estate.

International Banks

The International Financial Services Act 2002-5 replaced the Offshore Banking Act Cap 325 in June 2002. The new Act governs and regulates the activities of the International Banks, providing

tax and other incentives for international banking business conducted from Barbados.

In order to establish an international bank in Barbados, details of the proposed bank must first be submitted to the Central Bank of Barbados for approval. Approval must be sought from the Ministry of Finance prior to the incorporation of a company. A company must have a licence before engaging in banking business. Applications for a licence are submitted to the Central Bank which may issue the licence, subject to the approval of the Minister of Finance. A licence to operate is issued only to suitably qualified applicants. Licences are under the control and oversight of the Central Bank of Barbados. International Banks are subject to audit and income tax on a sliding scale of 2.5% - 0.25%. Non-deposit taking International Banks are subject to an annual licence fee of BB$50,000 (US$25000), whereas deposit taking International Banks must pay an annual licence fee of BB$100,000 (US$50,000).

The International Financial Services Act provides that dividends, royalties, interest, foreign securities funds, gains and assets generated or managed by a licensee are automatically exempt from the provisions of the Exchange Control Act.

Societies with Restricted Liability Act

The Societies with Restricted Liability Act 1995 was designed to favourably position Barbados in yet another niche market for international financial services. An entity formed under the

Financial Services Sector Exempt Insurance Companies IBC Licensee -Int’l Fin. Scvs. Act Int’l SRLs Int’l Trusts 1. Tax rates 0% 2.5 down to 0.25% 2.5 down to 0.25% 2.5 down to 0.25% 16%, 33.5% & 40% on income received 2.Withholding tax on:Dividends No No No No No Interest No No No No No Royalties - No No No No 3.Licence required Yes Yes Yes Yes No 4.Exemption from exchange controls Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 5.Exemption from duties on imports No Yes Yes Yes No 6.Required to file financial statements with regulatory agency Yes Yes Yes Yes No 7.Financial statements open to public scrutiny No No No No No 8.Exemption from taxes & duties on sale of securities or assets Yes Yes Yes Yes (in practice) Yes 9.Incorporation in Barbados required No No No No N/A 10.Local Director required No No Yes No N/A Where ‘yes’ is indicated, this is not an absolute exemption and duties may apply in certain situations. 135 /
Summary of Major Incentives in the

The Business Barbados Fast Facts Guide

Societies with Restricted Liability (SRL) Act possesses the flexibility to be treated as a corporation, a partnership or a disregarded entity for US tax purposes. A SRL can be formed either as an international society or a regular society. International SRLs are used mainly for international transactions and are prohibited from acquiring or holding land in Barbados, other than land leased for business purposes.

A SRL has the characteristics set out below:

• Limited liability

• Perpetual duration

• The rights, powers and privileges of an individual

• Stipulation that the transfer of quotas in a society will not confer on the transferee the right to become a member or participate in the management of the society without the written consent of all the members.

An International SRL has the following benefits:

• Tax on income on a sliding scale, from a maximum of 2.5% to a minimum of 0.25%

• Exemption from withholding taxes on dividends and interest payment

• Tax credit in respect of taxes paid outside of Barbados, in so far as it does not reduce tax payable to less than 0.25%

• Re-domiciliation provisions

• No capital gains tax

• Exemption from all import duties on machinery or equipment for use in its business

• Freedom from exchange control.

Criteria for operation of an International SRL

The International SRL must be organized in Barbados and is required to have and continuously maintain a registered office and agent in Barbados.


In October of 2017 the OECD, through its Forum on Harmful Tax Practices (“FHTP”) required Barbados to revise or abolish the international business regimes outlined above. As a result, these regimes in their current form will be closed on December 31 2018. The Barbados government is participating in ongoing discussions with the OECD to conclude on the nature of the changes to the current regimes.


Companies and individuals who are resident and domiciled in Barbados for tax purposes are subject to income tax on their worldwide income whether or not the income is remitted to

Barbados. Individuals who are resident but not domiciled in Barbados are taxed on their income derived from Barbados and on any overseas income remitted to Barbados. Non-residents are taxed only on income derived from Barbados.

Corporations are taxed on their profits at an annual rate of 30%, whereas individuals are subject to income tax at the rate of 16% on taxable income up to and including $35,000 and a rate of 33.5% on taxable income between $35,000 and $50,000 and a rate of 40% on taxable income exceeding $50,000. Individuals earn the first BB$25,000.00 (US$12,500.00) of their annual income tax free.

There are no capital gains taxes levied in Barbados, and gift, inheritance, and estate taxes are not applicable. Property transfer tax applies to the transfer of property situated in Barbados at a rate of 2.5%. This includes real estate as well as certain leasehold interests and shares. Stamp duty is also payable on instruments executed in Barbados, which relate to any property situated in Barbados or to any matter or thing done or to be done in Barbados. Generally stamp duty at the rate of approximately 1% is applied to instruments executing the sale of real estate.

Value Added Tax (VAT)

Barbados introduced a value-added tax on January 1, 1997. Generally, value-added tax is levied at the rate of 17.5% on all goods and services supplied in Barbados, and on goods imported into Barbados. However, there is provision for specific zero-rated and exempt goods and services that would not attract the value-added tax. VAT is included in the final price the consumer pays for goods and services. Hotel accommodation, and certain supplies related to tourism, enjoy a lower VAT rate of 7. 5%. However, the supply of mobile services of voice, data, and text messaging attracts an enhanced VAT rate of 22%.


Barbados has entered into double taxation and bilateral investment treaties with the countries as indicated in the table below.

The Double Taxation Treaty (‘DTA’) with Ghana, Rwanda await ratification while Slovak Republicc are awaits ratification date.

In January 2-----017, Barbados signed on to the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Sharing (“MLI”). The country must now complete the necessary domestic ratification procedures and determine the application of the MLI to its existing DTAs.

Countries indicated with an asterisk (*) are also signatories of a Bilateral Investment Treaty with Barbados. This combination of double taxation, investment treaties and tax incentives makes Barbados unique within the Caribbean and particularly attractive to foreign investors.

As indicated in the following table, in addition to its extensive network of DTAs, Barbados also has bilateral investment treaties

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The Business Barbados Fast Facts Guide

(“BIT”) with several important jurisdictions. These BITs provide benefits and protections for cross border investments including:

• Investment promotion and protection

• Provision of compensation for losses

• The granting of most-favoured nation and national treatment provisions

• Protection from unfair expropriation and nationalisation of investment

• Procedures for the fair and equitable settlement of disputes arising

• Procedures for the timely repatriation of investment and returns

• Procedures for prompt transfer of funds

• Subrogation.


Special trading arrangements have been entered into with other jurisdictions. These can be summarised as follows:


Allows products manufactured in Barbados and other CARICOM member states to be exported among member countries free of customs duty, provided all qualifying conditions are met. In addition, CARICOM has already signed or is currently negotiating trade agreements with the Bahamas, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Venezuela.

Rates For Applicable Taxes

Tax Rates Applicable to Taxable Income for 2018 Austria Finland Netherlands Sweden Bahrain Ghana Norway Switzerland Botswana Slovak Republic Panama United Arab Emirates Canada* Iceland Portugal United Kingdom CARICOM+ Italy Qatar United States China* Luxembourg San Marino Venezuela Cuba* Malta Seychelles Czech Republic Mauritius* Singapore Cyprus Mexico Spain * Also bilateral investment treaties + CARICOM member states are Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia,
Tax Rate Corporation Income Tax 30% Personal Income Tax 16%, 33.5% and 40% Withholding Taxes 15% to 25% Property Transfer Tax (payable
Vendor - 2.5% Value Added Tax Standard Rated Goods and Services 17.5% Select Food Items 0% Hotel Accommodation (inc. Inns & Guest Houses) 7.5% Supplies related to tourism 7.5% Certain Mobile Services 22% Supply of Financial Services Exempt Sale, Transfer or Disposition of Real Property Exempt Leases of Real Property for over 25 years and Residential Leases Exempt Exports 0% Supply of Services to Non-Residents 0% Goods imported by Entities operating in the International Financial Services Sector 0% Taxable Income Tax on lower amount Rate on Excess Exceeding Not Exceeding BB$0 BB$35,000 BB$0 16% BB$35,000 BB$50,000 BB$5,600 33.5% BB$50,000 - BB$10,625 40%
St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad & Tobago. However, Bahamas and Suriname are not signatories to the CARICOM Tax Treaty.
on transfer of shares and real property in Barbados)
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Barbados’ Double Taxation and Bilateral Investment Treaties

The Business Barbados Fast Facts Guide

Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)

Among other things this agreement removes all quotas and tariffs from Caribbean exports to the EU, with the exception of sugar and rice, both of which will be liberalized over time. The EU has also agreed to open up new markets for Caribbean companies and professionals offering services to Europe, and to permit young services professionals to gain work experience in the European market.

Caribbean countries which are signatory to the agreement have agreed to gradually open their markets to European exports over the next 25 years.

Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA)

Duty free export of some products to the USA market.

CaribCan (Caribbean-Canada)

Duty free export of some products from the Commonwealth Caribbean into the Canadian market.


The Shipping Incentives Act, of 1982, provides concessions to shipping companies engaged in the operation of passenger carrying ships, leasing of ships, shipbuilding, maintenance or repair. The concessions include a 10-year exemption from tax and customs duties on all materials connected with the company’s shipping activities.

It should be noted that following the 2017 Report of the OECD, this regime is in the process of being eliminated.


Buying and selling property in Barbados

There is no restriction on the purchase of property in Barbados by persons who are not citizens or permanent residents. These funds must be registered with the Central Bank of Barbados and the permission of the Exchange Control Authority obtained for the sale or purchase of property by a non-resident whether such nonresident is a Barbadian citizen or not.

The sale of property by all persons including citizens or permanent residents is subject to a property transfer tax of 2.5% plus approximately 1% stamp duty. However, the first BB$150,000 (US$75,000) of the sale proceeds is exempt from Property Transfer Tax provided that there is a building on the property. Attorney’s fees for both the seller and the purchaser are on a sliding scale generally ranging between 1% and 2% depending the sale price of the real estate.

The scale is:

Note that this is only the minimum fee that may be charged. Note that the minimum fees for the sale of registered land is supposed to be 2/3 or 1/3 of the cost for a normal conveyance (above) depending on if acting for vendor or purchaser, but the vast majority of the island is not registered as yet.

The real estate agent’s commission fees are normally 5% of the sale. Both fees are subject to 17.5% VAT. A deposit of 10% is typically due upon the signing of the purchase agreement with the balance payable on completion of the purchase.



Barbados has a reliable supply of electricity with rates being among the lowest in the Caribbean. The domestic and commercial supply voltage in major residential areas and in all new developments is 115/230 volts at 50Hz. In Bridgetown and some other areas, the supply voltage is 115/200volts at 50Hz.


The Barbados Water Authority, a Government statutory corporation, is the sole provider of water services. Water service can be connected within 48 to 72 hours. A monthly payment for continued service is based on the meter system. The water service in Barbados is reliable and tap water is safe to drink.


Barbados is equipped with a modern telecommunications infrastructure with the latest in digital technology and fibre optics systems including international direct dialing, facsimile transfer and satellite telecommunications which allows for the efficient transmission of electronic data. Internet and e-mail services as well as express mail and courier delivery are also available.

Local cell-phone operators are divisions of international telecommunications providers with service offerings that the international business traveler has come to expect, such as the ability to easily roam and the availability of high-speed 3G and 4G data networks island-wide. The International direct distance dialing code for Barbados is (1-246), followed by a seven digit local number.

Up to $25, 000 $750 On the next $75, 000 2% On the next $100, 000 1.5% On the next $300, 000 1.25% Thereafter 1% 138 /

The Business Barbados Fast Facts Guide


Barbados has an extensive road system of about 1,475 km of paved roads. Highways link the north and south of the island, as well as the west coast and the airport on the south-east coast.


The Grantley Adams International Airport, located about 15 minutes from the capital city Bridgetown, plays an important role as a vital centre and link for international air traffic in the Eastern Caribbean. The main passenger terminal handles in excess of 2 million passengers each year and has been upgraded to accommodate increases in traffic.


Barbados has one of the most modern ports in the Caribbean with both a deep-water harbour and a shallow draught facility. There are regular freight sailings to North America, Europe, and the Caribbean. The Bridgetown port is well equipped with containerhandling and berth facilities for ocean-going freighters and passenger vessels, including major luxury liners and has undergone recent upgrading to expand its berth and customs facilities. The port has won awards for the most improved port facility and the most receptive destination.


There are non-stop daily scheduled airline services to major business hubs including New York, Miami, Toronto, London and the Caribbean islands. There are also regular non-stop scheduled airline services to other major markets including Frankfurt, Charlotte and Panama.

Airlines flying to Barbados include American Airlines, Air Canada, British Airways, Caribbean Airlines, Copa Airlines, Jet Blue, LIAT, Virgin Atlantic, West Jet and several charter flight companies.


The Barbados Immigration Act allows non-citizens to work on the island only if they have been granted a work permit. Certain CARICOM skilled nationals may live and work in Barbados without a work permit. The person has to possess a degree, diploma or professional accreditation and an offer of employment or plan to undertake employment as a self-employed person.

There are no statutor y restrictions on the number of foreign employees on the payroll of a company at any time. Foreign workers contribute to and are entitled to social security benefits on the same basis as Barbadian nationals. A work permit is usually processed in about six to eight weeks. The forms and list of required documentation is available from the Immigration Department in Bridgetown.

New Immigration Policies

Barbados now offers special entry and reside permits (“SERPs”) to enter and reside in Barbados with little or no restrictions. These SERPs may either be granted for an indefinite period or for a fixed period, depending on the particular category the individual falls under.

It should be noted that the OECD has required a review of this policy to determine its compatibility with the objectives of the Common Reporting Standard. However, there are no details on the status of discussions between the OECD and the Barbados government in this regard.

Visa Entry Requirements

A valid passport is required by all visitors to Barbados. All visitors are required to have onward or return tickets. Citizens of certain countries will require a visa to visit Barbados. Contact your nearest Barbados Tourism Authority office or one of the Invest Barbados offices for further information. Visas are not required for passengers on cruise ships with the exception of citizens of the CIS Eastern European states, The Peoples Republic of China, Taiwan, South Africa, Korea and some Middle Eastern states.


Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association

Barbados Statistical Service

Barbados Stock Exchange

Barbados Tourism Authority

Central Bank of Barbados


All of the information in this guide has been carefully collected and prepared, but it still remains subject to change and correction. Use these contents for general guidance only and seek extra assistance from a professional adviser with regard to any specific matters. Readers can contact the relevant authorities mentioned. A comprehensive list of Government Services, Legal Services, Business Associations and Agencies can be found at the end of this guide.

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Government Ministries

Ministry of Finance, Economic Affairs & Investment

Government Headquarters, Bay Street, St. Michael, Barbados

Tel: (246) 535-5657

Fax: (246) 535-5656

Ministry of Industry, International Business and Industry

7th & 8th Floors Baobab Towers, Warrens, St. Michael, Barbados

Tel: (246) 535-7200

Fax: (246) 535-7245

Ministry of Small Business, Entrepreneurship & Commerce

8th Floor Baobab Tower, Warrens Tower II, Warrens, St. Michael, Barbados

Tel: (246) 535-7225

Fax: (246) 535-7705

Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade

1 Culloden Road, St. Michael, Barbados, BB14018

Tel: (246) 431-2200

Fax: (246) 429-6652

Ministry of Tourism & International Transport

One Barbados Place, Warrens, St. Michael, Barbados

Tel: (246) 535-7500

Fax: (246) 436-4828

Ministry of Information, Broadcasting & Public Affairs

Government Headquarters, Bay Street, St. Michael, Barbados

Tel: (246) 535-5360

Fax: (246) 535-5658

Ministry of Maritime Affairs & The Blue Economy

Civil Aviation Building, Charnocks, Christ Church, Baerbados

Tel: (246) 535-3334

Fax: (246) 535-0030

Ministry of Health & Wellness

Frank Walcott Building, Culloden Road, St. Michael, Barbados

Tel: (246) 536-3800

Fax: (246)

140 /

Government Corporations, Depts. & Statutory Bodies

Barbados Investment & Development Corporation

Pelican House, Princess Alice Highway, Bridgetown, St. Michael, Barbados, BB11000

Tel: (246) 427-5350

Fax: (246) 426-7802

Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.

1st Floor, Warrens Office Complex, Warrens, St. Michael, Barbados, BB12001

Tel: (246) 535-3700

Fax: (246) 535-3799

Barbados Tourism Investment Inc.

Ground Floor, Old Town Hall Building, Cheapside, Bridgetown, St. Michael BB11142, Barbados

Tel: (246) 426-7085

Fax: (246) 426-7086

Central Bank of Barbados

Tom Adams Financial Centre, Spry Street, Bridgetown, St. Michael, Barbados

Tel: (246) 436-6870

Fax: (246) 427-3334

Corporate Affairs & Intellectual Property Office (CAIPO)

Ground Floor, Baobab Towers, Warrens, St. Michael, Barbados

Tel: (246) 535-2401

Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs

Block 1, Pelican Industrial Estate, St. Michael

Tel: (246) 437-3552

Fax: (246) 228-3821

Customs & Excise Department

2nd Floor West Wing, Warrens Office Complex, Warrens, St. Michael, Barbados

Tel: (246) 310-2300

Fax: (246) 421-2029 (Ms. Annette Weekes, Comptroller of Customs Ag.)

Immigration Department

Princess Alice Corporate Centre, Princess Alice Highway, Bridgetown, St. Michael, Barbados

Tel: (246) 535-4100

Fax: (246) 426-0819

The Financial Services Commission

Suites 301 & 302, Building 4 Harbour Industrial Park, Bridgetown, St. Michael, Barbados, BB11142

Tel: (246) 421-2142

Fax: (246) 421-2146

Office of the Attorney General Jones Building, Webster’s Business Park, Wildey, St. Michael, Barbados

Tel: (246) 535-0467

Fax: (246) 535-0559

Government Overseas Offices/ Missions

Embassy of Barbados - Belgium

100 Avenue Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1050 Brussels, Belgium

Tel: (011 322) 737-1170

Fax: (011 322) 732-3266

Embassy of Barbados - Brazil

SHIS Q1 13 Conjunto 10 Casa 03, Lago Sul, Brasilia, D.F. Cep: 71 635 100, Brazil

Tel: (55 61) 35268310

Fax: (55 61) 35468310

High Commission of Barbados - Britain

1 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3ND, United Kingdom

Tel: (011 44 207) 299-7150

Fax: (011 44 207) 323-6872

High Commission of Barbados - Canada

55 Metcalfe Street, Suite 470 Ottawa, Ontario KIP6L5, Canada

Tel: (1 613) 236-9517/8

Fax: (1 613) 230-4362

Embassy of Barbados - China

Villa 09-02 Block A, Liang Ma Qiao

Diplomatic Compound, No. 22 Dong Fang

Dong Lu Chaoyang District 100600, Beijing, People’s Republic of China

Tel: (011 8610) 85325404

Fax: (011 8610) 85325437

Embassy of Barbados - Cuba

Calle 18 # 715e / 7ma y 31 Miramar, Playa, La Habana, Cuba

Tel: (011 537) 212-5894

Fax: (011 537) 212-5897

Embassy of Barbados - USA

2144 Wyoming Avenue N.W. Washington, D.C. 20008, USA

Tel: (1 202) 939-9200

Fax: (1 202) 332-7467

Embassy of Barbados - Venezuela

Edificio Los Frailes

Oficina 501, Piso 5 Avenida Principal de Chuao Chuano, Caracas, Venezuela

Tel: (011 58212) 313-3425

Fax: (011 58212) 991-0333

Consulate-General of Barbados - Miami

2121 Ponce de Leon Blvd, Suite 1300 (PH), Coral Gables, Florida 33134, USA

Tel: (1 786) 515-1201

Fax: (1 305) 455-7975

Consulate-General of Barbados - New York

820 Second Avenue, 5th floor (Between 43rd and 44th Streets), New York, N.Y 10017, USA

Tel: (1 212) 551-4325

Fax: (1 212) 867-8899

Consulate-General of Barbados - Toronto

105 Adelaide Street West, Suite 1010, Toronto Ontario M5H 1P9, Canada

Tel: (1 416) 214 9805

Fax: (1 416) 214 9815

Permanent Mission of Barbados to the United Nations

820 Second Avenue, 9th Floor, (Between 43rd and 44th Streets), New York, NY 10017, USA

Tel: (1 212) 551-4300

Fax: (1 212) 986-1030

Permanent Mission to the United Nations’ Office & Other International Organisations at Geneva, Switzerland

18 A Chemin Francois-LehMann, 1218 Grand Saconnex Geneva, Switzerland

Tel: (011 41 22) 791-8500

Fax: (011 41 22) 791-8509

Contacts 141 /


Business Associations & Agencies

Invest Barbados Offices

Barbados Head Office

Trident Insurance Financial Centre, Hastings, Christ Church BB15156, Barbados

Tel (Local): (246) 626-2000

Tel (From Canada): 1-647-977-5996

Tel (From UK): +44 (0) 203-318-9036

Tel (From USA): 1-347-433-8942

Fax: (246) 626-2099


110 Sheppard Avenue East, Suite 205, North York, Ontario, M2N 6Y8, Canada

Tel: (416) 214-9919

Fax: (416) 214-9815

United States of America

820 Second Avenue, 5th Floor New York, NY 10017, USA

Tel: (212) 551-4375

Toll Free: 1-800-841-7860

Fax: (212) 682-5496

Emergency Numbers

Police 211

Fire 311

Ambulance 511

Business Associations

Barbados Bar Association

“Leeton”, Perry Gap Roebuck Street, St. Michael, Barbados

Tel: (246) 537-7316

Fax: (246) 538-1739

Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry Braemar Court, Deighton Road, St. Michael, Barbados

Tel: (246) 434-4750

Fax: (246) 228-2907

Barbados Coalition of Service Industries (BCSI)

Unit 2B, Building #3, Harbour Industrial Estate, St. Michael, Barbados

Tel: (246) 429-5357

Fax: (246) 429-5352

Barbados Estate Agents and Valuers Association Inc. P.O. Box 130, Worthing, Christ Church, Barbados

Tel: (246) 836-0650

Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) 4th Avenue Belleville, St. Michael, Barbados

Tel: (246) 622-5041

Fax: (246) 429-2845

Barbados International Business Association (BIBA) 19 Pine Road, Belleville, St. Michael, Barbados

Tel: (246) 537-2422

Fax: (246) 537-2423


Thomas C. Sears, Chairman

Tel: (905) 800-0548

Barbados Manufacturer’s Association

Suite 201, Bldg #8 Harbour Industrial Estate, St. Michael, Barbados, BB11142

Tel: (246) 426-4474

Fax: (246) 436-5182

Barbados Private Sector Trade Team

Goddards Complex, Fontabelle, St. Michael, Barbados

Tel: (246) 430-6541

Barbados Small Business Association

Suite 101, Building 4, Harbour Industrial Estate, Bridgetown, St. Michael, Barbados

Tel: (246) 228-0162

Fax: (246) 228-0613

Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados

Room 29, Hastings Plaza, Hastings, Christ Church, Barbados

Tel: (246) 429-5678

Fax: (246) 426-0970

142 /

Barbados Stock Exchange

8th Avenue, Belleville, St. Michael, Barbados

Tel: (246) 436-9871

Fax: (246) 429-8942

International Agencies

Caribbean Development Bank

P.O. Box 408, Wildey, St. Michael, Barbados, BB11000 Tel: (246) 431-1600

Fax: (246) 426-7269

Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export)

Baobab Tower, Warrens, St. Michael BB14000, Barbados

Tel: (246) 436-0578

Fax: (246) 436-9999

Caribbean Tourism Organization

7th Floor, Baobab Towers, Warrens, St. Michael, Barbados, BB22026

Tel: (246) 427-5242

Fax: (246) 429-3065

European Union Delegation to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean

Palm Beach Corporate Centre, Hastings, Christ Church BB15156, Barbados

Tel: (246) 434-8501

Office of Trade Negotiations

1st Floor, Sky Mall, Haggatt Hall, St. Michael BB11063, Barbados

Tel: (246) 430-1670

Fax: (246) 228-9528

Inter-American Development Bank

“Hythe”, Welches, Maxwell Main Road, Christ Church BB17068, Barbados

Tel: (246) 627-8500

Fax: (246) 429-8869

Pan American Health Organization

Dayrells Rd & Navy Garden, Christ Church, Barbados

Tel: (246) 434-5200

Fax: (246) 436-9779


United Nations

UN House, Marine Gardens, Hastings, Christ Church, Barbados

Tel: (246) 467-6000

Fax: (246) 429-2448

Non-Governmental Organizations

Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation Inc. Lex Caribbean, Worthing Corporate Centre, Worthing, Christ Church, Barbados

Tel/Fax: (246) 435-3308


2nd Floor Mahogany Court, Wildey Business Park, Wildey, St. Michael, Barbados

Tel: (246) 537-8324

Future Centre Trust

Little Edgehill, St. Thomas BB22118, Barbados

Tel: (246) 625-2020

Fax: (246) 620-2021

Tourism Development Corporation

BHTA Building, 4th Avenue, Belleville, St. Michael, Barbados

Tel: (246) 228-8900

143 /

Legal Services

Carrington & Sealy

H. Adrian W. Cummins Q.C.,Ph.D.

Ms. Fiona Hinds Q.C. Belmont House, Belmont Rd St Michael, Barbados

Tel: (246) 367-6700

Fax:(246) 427-5807

Clarke Gittens Farmer

Ramon O. Alleyne Managing Partner Parker House, Wildey Business Park Wildey Road, St. Michael BB14006, Barbados

Tel: (246) 436-6287

Fax: (246) 436-9812


Chancery Chambers

Sir Trevor Carmichael, KA, LVO, Q.C. Chancery House, High Street, Bridgetown, St. Michael, Barbados

Tel: (246) 431-0070

Fax: (246) 431-0076

David King & Company


Heather Tull, Attorney-at-Law Suite 101, Lauriston Building, Lower Collymore Rock, St Michael, Barbados

Tel: (246) 427-3174

Fax: (246) 436-9541

Harford Chambers

Cnr Roebuck Street & Gills Road

Bridgetown, St. Michael Barbados, W.I

Tel: 246-437-8532

Fax: 246-436-8295

Harridyal Sodha & Associates

Liza A. Harridyal Sodha, LLB (Hons), LLM, TEP Attorney-at-Law

The Grove, 21 Pine Road Belleville, St. Michael, BARBADOS BB11113

Tel: (246) 228-9888 ext 222

Fax: (246) 228-9382

Cell: (246) 231-9609

Hastings Attorneys-At-Law

“Chelsea House” Chelsea Road, St Michael, Barbados, BB14022

Tel: (246) 228-9420

Fax: (246) 429-8056

Barry L.V. Gale Q.C.

Jacqueline R.M. Chacko

Laura F Harvey-Read

Mawena Maynard

Shirley Beharre Procope

Micaela Pile

InterCaribbean Legal Attorneyat-Law

Karen A Perreira, LLB (Hons); TEP “Palm Court”, #28 Pine Road Belleville, St. Michael, Barbados, BB11113

Tel: (246) 228-7504

Fax: (246) 228-1591

Cell: (246) 231-8453

Lex Caribbean

Mary J. Mahabir, Q.C Worthing Corporate Centre

Worthing, Christ Church, Barbados

Tel: (246) 539-1000

Fax: (246) 430-3899


Meridian Law

Dawn Williams

Ashton House, Strathclyde

St. Michael, Barbados

Tel: (246) 431-6677

Fax: (246) 435-0607



Penrith Chambers


11th Avenue Belleville

St. Michael BB11114

Tel: (246) 622-1911/622-2082

Fax: (246) 622-1912

Sharron E. Smith

Wallace Q. Blackman

Peter G. Symmonds, Q.C., J.P.


GH House, 3rd Floor, Trents, St. James, BB24017

Barbados, W.I.

Tel: 246-419-4196

Fax: 246-419-4188

Pinebridge Law

Kaye A. Williams, BA (Hons), LLB (Hons), ACIArb, UK Commonwealth Fellow

Suite #3 St. Caroline’s Business Complex

Pine Plantation Road, St. Michael. Barbados. BB11091

Tel: 246-228-2751

Fax: (246) 228-2751

Rita Evans & Associates

Rita L. Evans

“King Cote”, No. 12, 8th Avenue Belleville St. Michael, Barbados

Tel: (246) 429-4643

Fax: (246) 429-9339

Prospect Chambers

Zarina Khan


Prospect Chambers, Summerland House

Prospect, St. James BB24008, Barbados

Tel: (246) 622-0050/51

144 /

Articles inside

The Business Barbados Fast Facts Guide

page 141

The Business Barbados Fast Facts Guide

page 140

The Business Barbados Fast Facts Guide

page 139

The Business Barbados Fast Facts Guide

page 138

The Business Barbados Fast Facts Guide

page 137

The Business Barbados Fast Facts Guide

page 136

The Business Barbados Fast Facts Guide

page 135

The Business Barbados Fast Facts Guide

page 134

The Business Barbados Fast Facts Guide

page 133

The Business Barbados Fast Facts Guide

page 132

Expanding Social Investment in Barbados - Third Sector Ecosystem Development

pages 128-129

Expanding Social Investment in Barbados - Third Sector Ecosystem Development

pages 126-127


pages 123-124

The University of the West Indies Investing in Transformation

pages 121-122

Veronica Millington and Khalil Bryan Innovate, Disrupt, Empower

pages 118-120

Future Thinking - A Launch Pad for Caribbean Leadership

pages 116-117

Entrepreneur Extraordinaire Sir Charles ‘Cow’ Williams K

pages 113-115

J Superior Quality at a Better Price

pages 110-112

INVESTING IN PARADISE Tips for Purchasing Property in Barbados

pages 108-109

Barbados – Forward. Real Estate Activity is Ready to Take Off A

pages 106-107

Premiere Surgical Centre Delivering World-Class Health Care in Barbados

pages 102-103

to Relocate Ross University School of Medicine

pages 100-101

Barbados is an Attractive Location for Medical Tourism and Education

page 100

Barbados is an Attractive Location for Medical Tourism and Education

pages 98-99

Kodi Lewis and Alex Weetch Sports Visionaries Carve a New Niche

pages 94-97

Hilton Grand Vacations Makes a Major Investment in The Crane Resort

pages 91-93

Investment Opportunities in the Tourism Sector

page 90

Investment Opportunities in the Tourism Sector

pages 88-89

The Barbados Blue Economy

pages 84-85

The Barbados Light & Power 100/100 Vision

pages 80-83

Megapower Driving Change Beyond the Vehicle

pages 78-79

Transforming Barbados Through Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

page 78

Transforming Barbados Through Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

pages 76-77

Solar Watt Systems Inc. Powering the Future

pages 72-75

Gabriel Abed and Oliver Gale Positively Disruptive

page 71

Barbados Can be the Blockchain / Fintech Hub of the Region

pages 68-70

Insurance Corporation of Barbados Limited (ICBL)

pages 64-66

Towards a Smart Barbados

pages 62-63

The Business of Medical Cannabis T

pages 54-59

Reigniting the Barbados China Connection

pages 52-53

Reigniting the Barbados China Connection

pages 50-51

The Argentina - Barbados Connection Much More than 50-years of Friendship

pages 45-47

Could the UK Taxman Still Come Knocking?

pages 42-44

Barbados Welcomes UK Businesses & Offers a Gateway to the Americas

pages 38-41

Barbados on track with BEPS Action 5

pages 35-37

Jaye Applewaite Transforming Traditional into Top-Tier Trendy

pages 33-34

The Critical Role of a Revived Social Partnership

pages 30-32

The Critical Role of a Revived Social Partnership

pages 28-29

A Renewed and Transformed Barbados

pages 25-27

A Renewed and Transformed Barbados

pages 21-25

Transforming the Nation P

pages 14-16
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