Political, Social and Economic Stability
Barbados enjoys an enviable international reputation for its outstanding record of social, economic and political stability. Barbados' parliamentary system has been in existence since 1639, making it the 3rd oldest parliament in the British Commonwealth.

The country’s long-standing tradition of parliamentary democracy and the prudent management of the economy provide a stable foundation for business. Also, the country’s freedom from corruption rates highly – Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index 2019 ranks Barbados as 4th in Latin America and the Caribbean, and 30th among 180 countries.

These positive features have also contributed to Barbados’ ranking in the Index of Economic Freedom 2019 as the 11th freest economy in Latin America and the Caribbean and 67th in the world.

Barbados is one of the most stable countries in the Caribbean. The government is committed to maintaining the country’s attractiveness as a centre for international business, and continues to work with Invest Barbados and other stakeholders to ensure that the country remains a safe and welcoming place for foreign direct investment in the competitive global environment.

Business-friendly
One of the attractive features of Barbados' business landscape is its enabling climate. Barbados offers a well-regulated, transparent and supportive environment for business.

Competition is enhanced by transparent policies and effective laws. Starting and operating a business is straightforward and free from burdensome regulation.

The country’s strong legal system ensures that property rights and intellectual property are well protected and an independent judiciary guarantees the impartial and effective resolution of disputes. No restrictions are imposed on foreign ownership of business enterprises or real estate in Barbados.

Barbados also offers a supportive institutional framework for global business. Auditing and reporting meet international standards, ensuring confidence in business activities.

Quality of Lifestyle
Barbados’ low crime rate provides a secure environment for residents to enjoy the country's warm climate, pristine beaches, world class amenities and array of recreational activities.

The major activities are:

  • Barbados Jazz Festival
  • Holder’s Season – Opera, music and Theatre
  • National Trust Open House
  • Barbados International Polo Challenge
  • Horticultural Society Flower Show
  • Mount Gay Regatta
  • Holetown Festival
  • Crop Over Festival – Carnival
  • Sandy Lane
  • International Surfing Classic
  • Oistins Fish Festival
  • Independence Festival of Creative Arts
  • Game Fishing Tournament
  • Run Barbados – Road Marathon
  • Golf Tournaments
  • Fine Craft Festival

In 2017, the international research company, Norstat designated Barbados as the destination with the highest level of tourist satisfaction in the world. Barbados was also recognised as the favourite cruise destination at the 2019 International British Cruise Awards.The country caters to all tastes and budgets from the luxury to the self-catering. There is much to discover about the island and always something to do.

Investors also choose Barbados as the location for their business operations because the country’s quality of life makes it an attractive place to work, to live and to raise families. As a country with one of the highest standards of living in the developing world, Barbados offers an excellent education system, an outstanding healthcare, affordable housing, world class telecommunications and utilities island wide.

Barbados’ high quality of health care and education services as well as its standard of living is borne out in the country’s ranking of 5th in the Americas and 56th in the world in the UN Human Development Index 2019.

Human Resources
A distinct competitive advantage of Barbados is its excellent human resources. Barbados' world class educational system produces a highly skilled, English-speaking work force comprising approximately 138,900 people (Barbados Statistical Service).

Investors can readily access the services of tax advisors, reputable international banks, global accounting firms, lawyers and management companies offering the full range of corporate services. 

In the UN Human Development Index 2019, the country ranks 5th in the Americas and 56th in the world in respect of educational attainment, as measured by adult literacy and enrolment at the primary, secondary and tertiary level.

Education is based on the British model and is compulsory for children from age 5 to 16 years old.  The government provides free primary, secondary and undergraduate university education for nationals. This means that approximately 20% of government’s annual budget is dedicated to expenditure on education. There are also private schools, which provide education on a fee-paying basis. 

 

More on Education

Primary

Children generally begin their primary education within one of the 73 run government schools or 20 privately run schools, at the age of four (Source: Ministry of Education, Technological & Vocational Training). Between the ages of 10-12, children take the Barbados Secondary School Entrance Examination to enter any of the island’s secondary schools.

Secondary

Secondary education is provided for children between the ages of 11-18 years.  There are twenty-one Government secondary schools, most of which are co-educational and ten private secondary schools (Source: Ministry of Education, Technological & Vocational Training).  Students sit the Caribbean Examination Council examinations at age 16, the equivalent of the British General Certificate of Education, and are tested in a number of academic and technical courses.  Students can continue on in some schools and sit the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Certificate after two years – this is also the equivalent of the British Advanced Level Certificate.

Edu Tech

The government of Barbados embarked on an extensive computerisation programme within the primary and secondary schools, to ensure that students are well skilled in Information Technology.  The objective of this programme was to enable students to develop inquiring and creative minds, as well as to develop a workforce that is skilled in information technology.

Tertiary

The presence of several tertiary and training institutions provides the workforce with opportunities to continuously upgrade its skills.  Barbados is home to a campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI), which has partnerships with universities in the US, Canada, Europe and China. Other government owned tertiary institutions include The Barbados Community College which offers Associate Degree programmes in academic, vocational and technical areas; The Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology which provides students with the necessary technical and vocational training that would equip them with the skills necessary to be part of a highly trained workforce and the Erdiston’s Teachers College which provides training for non-graduate and graduate teachers at both Certificate and Diploma level.

`