Why choose Barbados as your home? Well, we ask, why not?!
There are countless reasons why you might choose to make our little island paradise of Barbados your new home. This page provides you with a complete overview of what makes Barbados so unique and why it could be a good idea for you to relocate and settle yourself here on the island.
Although classified as an Atlantic island, Barbados is a small island on the very eastern edge of the Caribbean chain. It consists of 11 parishes and is nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Barbados has an excellent social and economic infrastructure that services the continued development of the island.
Barbados – At A Glance
At a glance, Barbados enjoys:
— social and political stability
— growing economy
— business-oriented government
— stable US dollar-based currency
— well-respected legal system
— recognised as a clean jurisdiction
— low crime rate
— high literacy rate
— high quality of education
— well educated and skilled labour force
— high quality construction industry
— well developed road network and other utilities
— excellent telecommunications
— clean and healthy environment — beautiful beaches and parks
— wide choice of recreational facilities
— laid back and friendly way of life.
So, Why Choose Barbados As Your Home?
The 2013 Human Development Report UNDP Human Development Index (HDI) places Barbados 38th of 187 countries surveyed, including both developing and developed nations.
The HDI measures development by combining indicators of life expectancy, education attainment, and income. This latest ranking is an honour that Barbadians are proud of and strive to maintain in their everyday life.
For more information on the Human Development Report (2013), please refer to http://hdr.undp.org/en/countries.
Politics And Economy
Historically Barbados has continuously enjoyed political stability because unlike other Caribbean islands, it was colonised by just one nation – Britain.
Independent since 30 November 1966, Barbados currently ranks tourism, and no longer sugar cane production, as its main foreign exchange earner. Other major economic interests for Barbados lie in direct international financial investment as well as business services.
In terms of taxation, in 1997 Barbados implemented a general tax called the Value Added Tax (VAT) to cover the supply of goods and services such as medical and financial services, residential property sales and betting and gaming, and on the importation of goods. For more information, see http://businessbarbados.com/investor-guide/taxation/value-added-tax/.
Barbados also has competitive tax-efficient vehicles and double/bilateral taxation agreements with numerous countries, including Canada, the UK, the USA and Switzerland just to name a few, making it an ideal investment centre.
Barbados has had its own currency since 1935 – the Barbadian dollar (BDS), which is pegged at BDS $2 = US$1.
The average income of Barbadians is more fairly distributed than in most countries and in fact Barbadians have ranked as being on the higher end of wages in the Americas.
Legal And Social Environment
Barbados enjoys a stable social climate. Irrespective of religion, ethnicity or gender, civil and democratic rights are deeply ingrained in Barbadian culture and society. The constitution safeguards all nationals with the freedom of speech, press, worship, movement and association. Barbados’ social environment operates under the principle of equality, freedom, democracy, and humanitarianism – to create and maintain an atmosphere where there is equal opportunity for deeper unity and increased prosperity for all.
The legal system of Barbados is derived from English common law and is held in high regard, both regionally and internationally. It is a parliamentary democracy and the island considered an independent sovereign state within the Commonwealth. There are three levels of courts in Barbados – the Magistrates’ Court, and the Supreme Court made up the High Court and the Court of Appeal.
Barbados also has a well below average crime rate. Personal theft, sex offences, consumer fraud and corruption are well below average and Barbados continues to remain safer than most US or European cities. For information on the most recent crime statistics in Barbados, refer to http://www.barbadospolice.gov.bb/community-relations/?page=gen&sec_=3&item=53 (Barbados Police Force website).
Education And The Workforce
Over the years, Barbados has supplied the world with an exceptional collection of scholars, artists, musicians, sportsmen and professionals in every walk of life.
Education in Barbados is mainly based on the British model and is highly valued on the island. The quality of education in Barbados is of a very high standard, perhaps one of the highest in the region, with the government continuing to focus on enhancing the quality of education provided to students.
The literacy rate in Barbados is close to 100% (one of the highest in the world) and the present system provides education at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels. There is free and universal access to education at primary and secondary levels, from ages approximately 4 to 16 years.
The University of the West Indies (UWI) in Barbados is one of three campuses in the Caribbean region (the other two are in Trinidad and Jamaica) and offers various undergraduate and postgraduate programs, diplomas and certificates.
The Barbados government also continues efforts to reduce the unemployment rate of the country, which was recorded at 13.2% in the last quarter of 2013.
Need More Reasons To Choose Barbados?
Since the late 1990’s, Barbados has seen a major increase in construction with redevelopments, new homes, office complexes, condominiums, golf courses and up-market residential communities being developed all over the island. Choice in real estate is wide and varied, from budget through to middle income to the luxurious. The property market tends to be thriving, rewarding and secure and is sure to continue developing and flourishing.
Barbados also has a well-developed network of roads and highways, covering the most rural of areas, with all over island access through both public and private transportation.
Additionally, access to clean and safe drinking water is available island-wide, as is good sanitation. Barbados also boasts an efficient electricity supply, with few power outages.
Telecommunications in Barbados is also of a world-class standard, positioning the island in an excellent environment for foreign investors.
Barbados is also a hub for various airlines and has with great air links to regional and international destinations. Besides flights within the Caribbean, there are also direct flights to the UK, the USA and Canada. Over the years, the airport has also been refurbished and is of a high international standard.
But Wait, There’s More!
Besides the economic and legal framework making Barbados desirable to foreign investors, i the island also possesses a world-class environmental and scenic excellence.
Barbados boasts some of the best beaches in the world – ideal for relaxing, sports and leisure. Beautiful parks for recreation can be found all over the island, with many having essential amenities in close proximity, and are clean and safe – ideal for a Sunday picnic or leisurely stroll.
Social amenities are also abound in Barbados and both locals and visitors can enjoy wide entertainment choices. Besides a great nightlife, there’s also a very active entertainment scene during the day. There are many social clubs you can join all over the island including beach clubs and sports clubs (including golf clubs). Leisure activities are countless and range from motor sport, go-karting, shooting ranges, diving, horse-back riding, concerts, art shows, stand-up comedy, and theatre productions, just to name just a few. Whatever your taste or budget, there really is something for everyone to enjoy in Barbados!
Come And Join Us In Barbados
There’s no doubt that in Barbados both locals and resident foreigners enjoy an enviable quality of life. Out of this international ‘melting pot’ has evolved people who are, by both nature and necessity, productive, talented, creative, self-disciplined, intelligent, confident, proud and happy.
This makes Barbados an ideal environment in which to live, whether you are a returning national, relocating short term, setting up an international business or retiring for the long term.
Come and join us, and make Barbados your home!
Author: Brett Callaghan