Touch of Caribbean for investors in Edinburgh
Barbados welcome (l-r): Ian Gittens, Kaye-Anne Brathwaite and Milton Innis
A touch of the Caribbean came to Edinburgh as it hosted a leading diplomatic and business event at Norton House Hotel, bringing together Scottish business leaders.
The event on Tuesday 21 September showcased investment opportunities on the Caribbean Island of Barbados and signals another return to normalcy as Scotland emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The reception was hosted by Invest Barbados, the economic development agency of the government of Barbados and Business Friends of Barbados (Scotland).
Speakers included the Barbados High Commissioner to the UK, Milton Innis; CEO of Invest Barbados, Kaye-Anne Brathwaite and Chairman of Business Friends of Barbados, Ian Gittens.
Famed as a popular tourism destination, attendees heard how Barbados offers a warm and welcoming investment climate.
The island boasts ambitions to become a “digitally enabled nation” and is well on track to achieving the goal of 100% renewable energy generation by 2030, delivering a carbon-net-neutral target. The opportunity is ideal for those looking for more information and greater links with Scotland.
Attendees heard how investment opportunities for exploration include niche manufacturing, global banking, information, and computer technology (ICT), global education, food and drink, wealth management, insurance, renewable energy, and medical tourism among others.
The investment event comes hot on the heels of the recent announcement of Scotland’s only direct route to the Caribbean, with Virgin Atlantic launching a connection from Edinburgh to Bridgetown, Barbados, set to launch on 5 December.
It also comes as a precursor to a trade mission to the island from Scotland, which will take place from 22-27 November 2021, the first in-person mission to Barbados since the start of Covid in early 2020.
Of additional interest is an innovative and highly successful ‘Welcome Stamp’ (introduced at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic), which enables individuals to stay and work remotely on the island without changing their tax residency.
It also has the lowest structure of income tax rates and some of the most competitive personal income taxes. Additionally, Barbados is a gateway to investment in the wider Caribbean and Latin America.
The island has historic links with Scotland, with strong Scottish immigration as well as having its own Scotland District on the east coast of the island, named due to its physical similarities with Scotland, located appropriately within the Saint Andrew Parish.
Barbados hosts an annual Celtic Festival which takes place each spring (Covid permitting); this includes pipers, dancers, choirs, a haggis night, and a rugby tournament. The island also boasts its own tartan – the first Caribbean tartan to be registered in Scotland.
Barbados’ educational system is renowned globally, with a literacy rate of 99.7%, one of the highest in the world, delivering a highly talented workforce.
Commenting on the event, Ms Kaye-Anne Brathwaite, said: ‘We were delighted to host this event. Scotland has long and well-established links with Barbados and will become even more connected with the commencement of direct flights from Edinburgh in December.
“Barbados remains an incredibly desirable place to do business and is a stable political and economic jurisdiction. Our welcoming investment climate compliments the enviable quality of life that we offer.
“Our novel Welcome Stamp has also proven globally popular, enabling individuals to stay and work remotely on the island without changing their tax residency.
“Barbados is a long-established hub for global business and you’re invited to grow your business here.”
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