It is not by accident that Barbados was the only independent Caribbean nation listed on the top tier of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) “Progress Report on the Jurisdictions Surveyed by the OECD Global Forum in Implementing the Internationally Agreed Tax Standard” in April 2010.
For several decades, Barbados has actively pursued its designation as an international business centre, negotiating two dozen double taxation agreements and passing several pieces of legislation designed to create an attractive business environment for international technology companies, manufacturers, banks, insurance firms and trust companies seeking alternative jurisdictions from which to operate.
This commitment by successive government administrations since Barbados’ Independence in 1966 to provide a legislative framework and comprehensive tax treaty network has served this island well as it is now home to over 3,000 active international businesses.
Barbados’ business environment is competitive and investor-friendly. Its prudent regulatory environment meets or exceeds international best practices. Barbados’ incentive legislation combined with its tax and investment protection treaties create an attractive Net Tax Rate and secure investment vehicle structures. Barbados has earned a very good reputation for its levels of security and integrity and enjoys positive international recognition for its regulatory systems, anti-money laundering, tax information exchange and other requirements.
Through its commitment to state-sponsored education right up to tertiary-level, Barbados has a deep talent pool from which businesses can draw upon not only for their in-house employment, but also requisite legal, financial and other professional services.
International businesses can establish in Barbados with the confidence that their management team will enjoy a desirable quality of life. Barbados was ranked 5th in the Americas by the Economic Intelligence Unit’s Quality of Life Index for 2005.
Barbados has an excellent business infrastructure including excellent telecommunications, modern and efficient air and sea ports with a strong network of international connections, good roads and public transport, a strong banking system with minimal foreign exchange controls and a stable currency.
The island has a long history of political and social stability that promises a safe and secure environment in which to work and live. Its position as an international hub for major carriers flying from international destinations across Europe and the Americas ensures easy connections abroad for those who reside in Barbados.
The telecommunications infrastructure on the island is robust enough to ensure uninterrupted connection between parties across the globe when flying is not an option. In fact, Barbados was ranked 1st in Latin America and the Caribbean for its network readiness by the World Economic Forum’s 2009-2010 Global Information Technology Report; and 2nd in the hemisphere for the availability of latest technologies in the 2009-2010 Global Competitiveness Report.
Apart from its educational services, Barbados’ social services include a healthcare system that is world-class and the public health system is bolstered by private clinics offering state-of-the-art care in many specialist fields. And, of course, as one of the leading tourism destinations in the region, Barbados has quality beaches, Zagat-rated restaurants, luxury resorts and golf courses, and a variety of social and cultural activities throughout the year that could equally be found in the most cosmopolitan of settings.