As a small open economy, as with all others, Barbados is easily impacted by the headwinds of the developed world. Exogenous variables are a reality. While we agitate on the global platform for favourable outcomes, we have always continued to determine our destiny through education, innovation, adaptation, and thought leadership.
Since becoming independent in 1966, Barbados has recognised the inherent difficulties in building a thriving economy on the basis of selling commodities on an international market subject to the vagaries of geopolitics and market forces. The global business sector is a vivid example of a cadre of professionals surveying the global landscape and recognising that our sustainability lay in the provision of high value services to a sophisticated and mobile global clientele. This business model was enabled by legal structures put in place by the Government of Barbados in the early 1970s as part of the island’s economic diversification efforts away from a mono-crop (sugar)-based economy.[i] This sector sought to leverage Barbados’ natural advantages of its favourable geographical location, beauty, and pleasant climate, macroeconomic and political stability, rule of law, and a well-educated workforce – all necessary ingredients for a global business hub. It is a recipe which has worked well as Barbados is one of the top regarded global business jurisdictions in the Caribbean and among the world’s top 10 captive insurance hubs.