Given Barbados’ competitive advantages, the government is actively encouraging the development of the following sectors over the medium to short term:
Barbados is a leader in blockchain technology within the Caribbean, having given the green light to the first blockchain start-up in the region – Bitt.com. This company was co-founded in 2014 by two visionary Barbadians who continue to work with other Caribbean territories that are keen to embrace this evolving technology. Since then, several investors have embraced the vision for Caribbean nations to adopt digital national currencies. Barbados, a vibrant centre for global business, supports and welcomes these types of initiatives by both domestic and international investors, and has launched a regulatory sandbox to facilitate further growth of the sector.
Barbados, a high profile, mature tourism destination which attracts visitors from around the world, but particularly from the UK, USA and Canada, – the leading countries from which the demand for medical services arise – is well positioned to fully engage the medical tourism industry. The country’s prominence was endorsed when it emerged as the number one destination in the world for traveler 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
As far back as 1751, Barbados was recognised for its apparent healing qualities: clean air, refreshing sea breeze and ‘uplifting’ sunshine, when America’s first President, George Washington sought medical treatment and recovery in Barbados for his ill brother.
Renewable energy is a fast developing sector in Barbados, which has great potential for attracting FDI. As a means of diversifying our economy, the Barbados government is actively encouraging the development of this sector over the medium to short term. Barbados is a tropical island which can capitalise on these alternative energy technologies as a means of securing a more sustainable energy mix. Several local companies have set up operations within the sector and there continues to be keen interest expressed by a number of potential investors seeking to conduct business on the island. Furthermore, tertiary training in photovoltaic installations and maintenance is readily available and remains critical to the continued development of the sector. See available information on renewable energy and energy efficiency fiscal incentives.
Medicinal cannabis is rapidly becoming a legal industry across the globe. There is a growing body of research that indicates that medicinal cannabis can be used to successfully treat a number of ailments. Additionally, several stakeholders, including medical practitioners, patients and governments, have been embracing research on the benefits of medicinal cannabis.
On November 27, 2019, the government of Barbados passed the Medicinal Cannabis Industry Act, 2019 and established the Barbados Medicinal Cannabis License Authority. The Barbados Medicinal Cannabis License Authority is responsible for granting licenses to facilitate the cultivation, processing and dispensing of the product.
This new and productive sector offers several investment opportunities in Barbados for both local and international investors who are seeking to participate in the jurisdiction’s medicinal cannabis industry.