The ‘Barbados X-factor’ A Harmonious Blend of Island Living and World Class Excellence
“ I can also personally attest to the unsurpassed quality of life. That is perhaps the greatest advantage of Barbados, the fact that you can enjoy a wonderful lifestyle while still getting the job done.” - Damian McKinney, CEO, McKinney Rogers
By Keith Miller
July 23, 2019
This particular year, provides compelling motivation to reflect on what this young nation has achieved so far and assess our current status. The good news is that while any clear thinking and forthright Barbadian would readily acknowledge that there is a great deal that needs fixing, it is also equally apparent that Barbados and its people have achieved genuine world class excellence in a diverse range of areas – with many such examples featured in the pages of this publication.
A globally successful UK businessman, who owns of one the most iconic homes on the island, once described Barbados to me as “the best compromise in the Caribbean” – essentially meaning that while nowhere in the world is perfect, this small country manages to offer a little bit of everything to everybody, creating a happy balance that can rarely be found elsewhere. In essence, life in Barbados can be both simple and sophisticated.
Barbados is an isolated tropical island thousands of miles away from most countries – but it is easy to get here, either via regular scheduled flights from numerous international gateways or via private jet and the island’s world class IAM Jet Centre.
High profile celebrities can slip quietly in and out of Barbados and enjoy a scarce sense of freedom when moving around in public undisturbed – while staying at some of the most luxurious hotels and villas to be found anywhere in the world.
Visitors to Barbados find it easy to switch off from the customary stresses and strains of their everyday existence – but thanks to the island’s world class ICT capacity there is never a second when they need to feel cut off from the outside world.
Barbados is blessed with outstanding natural beauty, spectacular beaches, ideal sea conditions and the most benign climate imaginable – but can also offer a plethora of world class entertainment, nightlife and dining options.
Sports and outdoors exercise are a normal part of life in Barbados – but the island is also home to a diverse range of world-class sporting facilities, including international standard golf courses, polo fields and, quite remarkably, a motorsports circuit-racing facility that has already hosted the Top Gear Festival and the Race of Champions, a global event that attracts the world’s top drivers in every discipline.
For many years Barbados has been held in high esteem for its many qualities as a tourism destination where visitors are made welcome and life moves along at a chilled-out pace – but beyond the hotels and beaches there is also a vibrant international business sector which is managed and operated by world class professionals.
Barbadians are rightly renowned for being relaxed, easy-going individuals – but they have also proven themselves to be world-class academics, scientists, artists, business leaders, entrepreneurs, creators and innovators.
Despite being a relatively young nation of modest physical dimensions, Barbados has successfully negotiated and established a wide-reaching network of double taxation treaties with an impressive array of countries around the globe, including traditional trading partners like Canada and the UK, as well as new emerging markets such as China, Africa, Cuba and Latin America.
All of these many advantages combine to create a special ‘Barbados X-factor’ that continues to attract discerning people to these shores, including an increasing number of high net worth individuals (HNWs) who choose to purchase a home and invest in business in this country. While the majority of investors are attracted by the fact that Barbados is tried-and-tested as a stable and secure country, complete with sound banking and legal systems, beneficial tax legislation, a pro-business government and a welcoming residency policy, the harsh reality is that there are many other desirable destinations around the world that can also offer these same benefits. So, given the fact that successful entrepreneurs can make money anywhere and live anywhere, it is a huge vote of confidence that so many choose Barbados.
At the very least, that vote of confidence indicates that these investors can successfully conduct business in Barbados while also enjoying a lifestyle that is as pleasurable as in their homeland – possibly even more so, due to the intangible but invaluable attributes of enjoying a more relaxed frame of mind and improved health and wellbeing.
With its harmonious blend of island living and world class excellence, Barbados can be good for you, your family and your business.
Keith Miller was born in Liverpool, England, but has been a permanent resident of Barbados since 1978 and proudly claims to be a Bajan by invitation and adoption. Educated at the Liverpool Blue Coat School; the John Moores University; the Sorbonne, University of Paris, France; and the University of Valencia, Spain, his first venture into commercial life was in a management capacity with the retail giants, Marks and Spencer. Having decided that he needed to broaden his horizons with a more demanding and exciting challenge, Keith relocated to Barbados by accepting a position as a teacher and housemaster at Mapps College, St. Philip, where he remained for 14 years, including the last 6 as Headmaster.
In 1983, Keith and his wife Sally established Miller Publishing Company and launched the Ins & Outs of Barbados tourist guide. Today Miller Publishing publishes the Ins & Outs of Barbados, the Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago, the Ins & Outs of St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Barbados in a Nutshell, Visit Barbados and a wide range of high quality coffee-table books. Over the course of the years, Keith and Sally have been jointly awarded with The Ernst & Young Entrepreneurs of the Year for Tourism in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean; the Minister of Tourism's Special Award for Contribution to the Development of Tourism in Barbados and the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association's Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition to Miller Publishing and the Caribbean Business Publications projects of Business Barbados, BusinessBarbados.com, the Business Barbados E-Book and Business Trinidad & Tobago, Keith has also worked with a Canadian film production company to produce Barbados Style, a very high quality HD TV Film which promoted Barbados to a global audience. Keith also works as a professional writer and he has been shortlisted for the British Sports Book of the Year New Writer Award, for his title Steven Gerrard, Michael Owen and Me, which is based on the Academy System in Premier League Football in the UK. In between working, Keith enjoys travelling, keeping fit, good food and wine, playing golf, following all sports, relaxing at the beach and mentoring young people and would-be entrepreneurs. For over 10 years he was a Member and Chairman of the Board of St. Gabriel's School; he is a Founder Member of the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation, and he is the Project Leader of the $20 Challenge, an entrepreneurship competition for secondary school students.