Throughout its fascinating history, Barbados has been renowned for its political maturity, social stability, successful economy, financial independence, the integrity of its legal system and a well-educated population. These strong national characteristics have enabled Barbados to become a leading investment and international business jurisdiction that is consistently rated in the top tier by the world’s leading agencies. In 1975 the Barbadian dollar was fixed at a rate of exchange with the US$ of US$1 = BB$2.00 and this rate remains today.
It is not by accident that Barbados was the only independent Caribbean nation listed on the top tier of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) “Progress Report on the Jurisdictions Surveyed by the OECD Global Forum in Implementing the Internationally Agreed Tax Standard”. For several decades, Barbados has actively pursued its designation as an international business centre, negotiating two dozen double taxation agreements and passing several pieces of legislation designed to create an attractive business environment for international technology companies, manufacturers, banks, insurance firms and trust companies seeking alternative jurisdictions from which to operate.
This commitment by successive government administrations since Barbados’ Independence in 1966 to provide a legislative framework and comprehensive tax treaty network has served this island well as it is now home to over 3,000 registered international businesses.
However, the decision to choose Barbados as a location for carrying on international business rests on more than its low tax regime, its strong regulatory reputation and its international agreements that pave the way for businesses registered here to access business all over the world. Barbados continues to distinguish itself from other similar neighbouring jurisdictions through the high quality of its most abundant indigenous resource – its people. Over the past four decades, Barbados has transitioned from attempts to follow the “industrialization by invitation” model, which attracted low-cost-labour-seeking international manufacturing plants, to a strategy for attracting international companies who value the competencies of Barbados’ skilled workforce. Through its commitment to state-sponsored education right up to tertiary-level, Barbados has a deep talent pool from which businesses can draw upon not only for their in-house employment, but also requisite legal, financial and other professional services.