ime is of the essence when it comes to investment. Emerging sectors are growing exponentially around the world and it’s a race to stay competitive, get products to market, and develop new technology. And Barbados is well-positioned to be a part of this. We have the infrastructure, highly-skilled workforce, competitive costs and tax structure and, importantly – a supportive government and regulatory framework wanting you to succeed.
Read on to learn more about Barbados investment opportunities in different sectors across our diversified economy. Some priority sectors have special incentives like concessions on imports and tax allowances. Check out our incentives page for more details.
Welcome to the Blue Book – a compilation of investment opportunities immediately available in Barbados. Explore the opportunities.
Medicinal cannabis is a rapidly-growing multi-billion dollar global industry. And Barbados is the ideal place for investment.
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Ready to see your investment grow? The legal and regulated production and use of medicinal cannabis is expanding around the world. There is a growing body of research that shows that it can successfully treat a number of health issues – from chronic pain to cancer. And many stakeholders, including doctors, patients and governments are embracing research that highlights the benefits. It is a multi-billion dollar global sector, and in Barbados we are ready to play our part.
There are opportunities for local and foreign investors in research, cultivation, manufacturing, export, quality-control and more. In Barbados our distinct soil types and environmental conditions can support the cultivation of unique cannabis strains.
On November 27, 2019, the government of Barbados passed the Medicinal Cannabis Industry Act, 2019 and established the Barbados Medicinal Cannabis Licensing Authority, so our sound regulatory standards are ready to support the industry. And to encourage investment, there are reductions and exemptions on import duties and VAT for qualifying equipment.
If you’re interested in investing in the Barbados medicinal cannabis sector, the first step is to apply for a licence from the Barbados Medicinal Cannabis Licensing Authority.
Barbados embraces disruptive technology. Fintech is one of these evolving and fast-paced sectors with many opportunities for investors in Barbados.
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The future is here. When technology like AI, blockchain and data science enhances or automates financial services, the benefits for consumers and businesses are endless. This translates to speed and convenience, simplified payments, wider choice, cheaper transactional costs, safer and more secure data exchange and more. This disruptive technology is redefining services like money transfers, mobile banking, and the way financial services are delivered.
Barbados gave the green light to the region’s first Fintech company in 2013 – Bitt.com – a blockchain start-up. Since then many investors have come to Barbados, as more and more countries and businesses embrace Fintech.
And to encourage further investment and innovation, the Central Bank of Barbados and the Financial Services Commission, the country’s two financial regulators, have established a Regulatory Sandbox for live testing new Fintech products and services.
Renewable energy is an obvious choice for Barbados. We are a future-focused nation, committed to playing our part in the global effort to combat climate change.
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Our future is green and bright. In Barbados we have an ambitious target to have all of our energy come from renewable sources and become 100 per cent carbon neutral by 2030. And our government is actively encouraging investment in the renewable energy sector. So far the focus has been on solar photovoltaics (perfect for our sun-soaked tropical island), but the government is also exploring other renewable sources like wind, wave and biogas. You can read the implementation plan in the Barbados National Energy Policy.
This is an attractive space for investment. The ambitious plans are backed up with financial incentives and support for private sector investors. These include duty free concessions when importing renewable energy equipment, income tax holidays for up to 10 years, and other incentives for research and product development.
Read more in the Fiscal Incentive Booklet published by the Ministry of Energy.
Barbados has a thriving insurance sector. We have built up a reputation as a strong and well-respected domicile for conducting international insurance business.
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Most of this business comes from the United States and Canada, but it is an expanding sector. Insurance companies serving international clients choose Barbados because it is a smart move to do business here. We offer a talented and experienced local workforce, supportive business environment, appropriate regulation and governance, ease of business incorporation and licensing and more.
All insurance companies are licensed through the Insurance Act. Insurance companies that earn 100 per cent of their income from foreign currency are entitled to receive a foreign currency permit (FCP), meaning they are exempt from exchange controls, among other incentives.
Read more about the different categories for insurance companies, tax rates, FCPs and requirements here.
Global Financial Services
Barbados is highly-regarded as a hub for global financial services, thanks to attractive conditions for doing business and a well-regulated sector.
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While tourism is the mainstay of the Barbados economy, international business is certainly a driving force, making a huge contribution. As of February 2022, we have 19 foreign currency earning banks (FCEBs) in Barbados, with many globally recognised names in the mix. They are drawn to our shores because of the competitive tax regime, exemptions from exchange control restrictions, the availability of world-class business services and human resources, and our reliable networking infrastructure to support financial transactions. Another pull factor is our expanding tax and investment treaty network, giving investors confidence and security in terms of taxation.
Barbados has modern business legislation and is a well-regulated jurisdiction. All financial institutions are governed by the Financial Institutions (Amendment) Act. Read more about the formation and requirements of foreign currency earning banks, and the advantages of locating them in Barbados.
Barbados has modern business legislation and is a well-regulated jurisdiction. All financial institutions are governed by the Financial Institutions (Amendment) Act 2018-51. Read more about the formation and requirements of foreign currency earning banks, and the advantages of locating them in Barbados.
Your investments are safe in Barbados. The country is recognised as a trusted jurisdiction for wealth management – efficient security and regulation are two of the pillars on which the country is based. And our pro-business government and modern business legislation mean doing business here is straight-forward and stress-free.
We have the leading accounting companies, KPMG, Deloitte, PwC, EY and BDO on island, in addition to other top service providers who will work with you to ensure you select the investment structure that best suits your needs, including trusts and mutual funds.
Barbados offers a formula for success in information communications technology (ICT) – reliable connectivity, highly-skilled workforce, competitive business costs and a stable political and economic environment.
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We know that the bottom line matters. Barbados offers a cost-effective location to attract investment in high value-added ICT services. Our geographic location means we are in a similar time zone to the US east coast. We have modern telecommunications infrastructure – reliable fibre-optic network, Wi-Fi and high speed 4G data services. And our pro-business government offers incentives for investors including duty-free concessions on the import of equipment used in business operations.
Our excellent education system produces a highly-skilled, service-oriented and trainable English-speaking workforce. The talent pool includes science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduates from the University of the West Indies and a range of technical institutions. Productivity levels are high and so is employee loyalty.
Foreign-owned ICT activities in Barbados include: contact and technical support centres
- Foreign-owned ICT activities in Barbados include:
- contact and technical support centres
- software development
- transactional processing
- health insurance claims processing
- credit card applications
- health information management (e.g. medical transcription)
- data entry and fulfilment
- database management
- optical character recognition applications
- web applications
- computer-aided design.
Barbados is the ideal choice for niche manufacturing products that require a world-class infrastructure including excellent air and seaport facilities, as well as a highly-educated and skilled workforce.
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Everything you need is right here. Commercial space in well-planned industrial parks can be rented or leased. Infrastructure and utilities are reliable and cost-effective. Our workforce is highly-educated and skilled.
The Barbados government offers incentives to the manufacturing industry including exemptions on import duties for components, raw materials and production equipment. You can also benefit from capital allowances on fixed
assets, and training grants to upskill your workforce in the initial operating period.
When it’s time to export and sell your products, our well-connected sea and airport make shipping efficient and cost-effective. And once your products satisfy origin criteria, and are proudly confirmed as ‘made in Barbados’, you can benefit from duty-free access to CARICOM countries and preferential market access to various global markets.
Investment opportunities include:
- electronic components and sub-assemblies
- high fashion apparel
- leather items
- medical supplies
- optical devices
Read more about Lenstec, one of our investor success stories in the niche manufacturing sector.
Visitors love to come to Barbados for the sun, sand and sea. But we have so much more on offer with a highly-diversified and expanding tourism product.
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Tourism is the backbone of Barbados’ economy, contributing between 12 and 13 per cent to our GDP and directly employing around 13 per cent of the workforce. Our exclusive, luxury brand sets us apart and keeps our repeat guests loyal.
But our tourism product is evolving, and there’s room to expand into these new spaces. Eco-tourism offers huge potential – both to generate income and to support conservation efforts. From stunning marine life on coral reefs to migratory birds in our protected wetlands – there’s something for everyone.
Medical tourism is another expanding area. Can you think of a more perfect destination to undergo and then and skilled medical practitioners. The island is home to an accredited JCI fertility centre.
Investing in Barbados tourism is a smart move. We have progressive legislation such as the Tourism Development Act (2002) and the Special Development Areas Act to offer a range of customs duty and income tax concessions for approved tourism development projects.
The following stakeholder agencies provide more information on investing in tourism:
Barbados attracts global education service providers, by supporting their infrastructure needs and offering students the unforgettable opportunity to live and study in paradise.
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Imagine taking a study break with a swim across Carlisle Bay. Barbados’ appeal as a location for global education services is partly because of our warm and welcoming environment, as well as the modern physical infrastructure, including a world class fibre optic telecommunications network, excellent transport and housing. Our location and international air connectivity means it’s easy for students and faculty to get here. And the highly educated workforce means global education institutions are able to meet their human resource needs locally.
Barbados is now home to four international medical schools: American University of Barbados, American University of Integrated Sciences, Bridgetown International University of Medicine and Ross University. The Bellairs Research Institute – a McGill University facility, and Canada’s only teaching and research facility in the tropics, is also located here.