By Leslie T. Gittens
In the aftermath of the first global pandemic in years, there will undoubtedly be a shift in the way business is conducted. One of these predicted changes will be the acceleration of the establishment of remote offices. The remote office is a corporate business site located some distance from the headquarters. There are several reasons for establishing a remote office, including costs, feasibility of transshipping, accessing talent, and many more. For persons involved in global business or simply looking for the optimal locale to live and work, Barbados offers a compelling case.
Following are some of the reasons why Barbados should be considered as a viable location for your remote office.
Well Recognized International Business Hub
Barbados has long been a go-to spot for the sophisticated investor engaged in international business. The international business environment in Barbados is characterized by having:
- World class human resources: As a result of high levels of investment in education by successive governments over the years, the island offers a well-educated workforce and a range of professional human resources making it easy to find talent and to operate in a business savvy culture.
- An expanding treaty network: A significant benefit of doing business in Barbados is having access to its treaty network. Barbados has an expanding network of bilateral investment treaties and double taxation agreements that offer certain advantages to businesses that use Barbados resident entities to conduct business in other countries. These benefits may include, reduced withholding taxes in the source country for certain types of income, certainty of tax treatment with respect to income gained from cross border transactions, as well as protection of investments where there is a bilateral investment treaty in place.
- A well-regulated business landscape: Barbados has in place a robust regulatory framework for its business sector. Adherence to international best practice is the key focus of the regulatory entities on the island.
Internet Connectivity And Telecommunications
Barbados has island wide internet connectivity provided largely by way of fiber optic networks. The internet service providers on the island offer various high-speed broadband plans to facilitate any need. The island is home to several international information and communication technology companies that rely on this existing infrastructure to facilitate their business operations around the world. The island also has several internet cafes and many public spaces with Wi-Fi available, which lends to the seamless transition of persons accustomed to operating in highly developed and well-connected cities. Barbados is number 1 in the Caribbean in terms of the fastest fixed broadband internet connection speed.
Economic Profile And Currency Exchange
Barbados is classified as a high-income country with a gross national income per capita of just over USD$15,000. The exchange rate to the U.S. dollar is fixed (1 U.S. dollar equals 2 Barbadian dollars). This fixed peg lends itself to easy conversions and simplicity of doing business on the island. In addition, bank accounts can be established in various currencies. The economy is technologically advanced and persons who prefer the cashless means of transacting business will find little difficulty operating in Barbados.
Accommodation And Lifestyle
Barbados is renowned as a prime destination with world class accommodation. For business, office space is offered both privately and by the government of Barbados. The latter has various industrial parks across the island where office and multipurpose-plant space is offered at competitive rates. In addition, there are modern co-working office spaces readily available on the island. Families with children who move to Barbados, commend the quality of education available and Barbados’ low crime rate creates a safe environment that allows one to fully enjoy the brilliant year-round weather and various activities available on the island, from the beaches, to golf, to polo and sailing, or fishing, to name just a few. In fact, one of the truly unique characteristics of Barbados is that it offers the possibility to visit a world class beach, play a round of golf, and take in a polo match or horse race all in one day with effortless ease! The island is also considered the culinary capital of the Caribbean; in short, Barbados is a food lover’s paradise.
The healthcare system in Barbados is a universal access system with healthcare for all citizens. The government spends a significant amount of its annual budget on the provision of healthcare services which are delivered at its main hospital in the capital of Bridgetown and at various smaller clinics across the island inclusive of pharmacies, geriatric clinics and childcare facilities. There is also a private hospital and private clinics. Preventative and curative services are offered by well qualified doctors and specialists in a range of fields. Barbados’ management of the COVID-19 pandemic has been globally recognized.
Barbados welcomes multiple daily direct flights from New York, Miami, London and Toronto. Additionally, there are several other direct flights from North America, Europe and Latin America. The Bridgetown Port is one of the most modern in the Caribbean with both a deep-water harbor and a shallow draught facility, with international carriers such as UPS and FedEx facilitating global shipping from the island. Its geographic proximity to the US mainland is such that flying time to Bridgetown, Barbados from New York is less than that of flying to Los Angeles, California from New York.
Being a native English-speaking island in the Caribbean, with low crime, a stable economy, global connectivity and an excellent standard of living, Barbados has long been a sought-out location for savvy business persons primarily from North America and the UK. Whereas there is a primary understanding that Barbados is a good location for vacation homes, what is a lesser known fact is that Barbados is also an attractive international business location and a great choice for a remote office and investment in general. If you are looking to expand your global business, access new markets, establish a remote office in a near-shore location you will want to consider Barbados — a welcoming climate awaits.