Fourth annual trade mission deepens Scots ties with Barbados

A TOTAL of 22 Scottish firms and organisations have returned from a successful trade mission to Barbados with a slew of new business opportunities. 

The yearly Scottish Trade Mission to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean creates a forum for Scottish entities to strike deals and build relationships with the Caribbean Island.

Now in its fourth year, the trade mission offers opportunities for networking and business development and also aims to promote economic ties between the two countries. 

The annual Scottish Trade Mission to Barbados fosters successful business ties between the two countries

The mission was organised by Invest Barbados, the investment promotion agency for the island, in partnership with the British High Commission, the Renfrewshire Business Network of Scotland and the UK Department for Business and Trade (DBT).

The Office of National Statistics recently found that trade between the UK and Barbados grew by 43% for the four quarters to June 2023.

British exports to the island were also found to have increased by 83% compared to the same period in 2022.

Barbadian Minister of State in Foreign Trade and Business Development, Sandra Husbands, spoke during the opening session of the trade mission held at the Town Hall at the Crane Resort, St Philip. 

In her speech, the Minister emphasised the importance of transparency and substance in business. 

She also highlighted what she called Barbados’ competitive economy and business-friendly environment, which she said proved attractive to ambitious Scots firms throughout the trade mission.

Both the British and Barbados High Commissioners welcomed the Scots firms to the event, noting that being in Barbados gave firms an important opportunity to see the benefits of working internationally.

Kaye-Anne Greenidge, CEO of Invest Barbados said: “Each year, delegates from the trade mission return to Scotland with great success stories to share and this year is no different.

“It is fantastic to see so many deals being struck, including in cybersecurity and lifestyle, proving that Barbados is an island of opportunity.

“It’s not just the climate and quality of life that makes Barbados attractive, there is also a welcoming investment climate and a stable socio-political backdrop.

“We hope that all delegates found the experience to be rewarding and positive and will consider joining us again in 2024.”

Jo Smith of the Renfrewshire Business Network added: “Scotland boasts strong historic links with Barbados, and I am pleased to see these being strengthened between our two nations.

“This mission has allowed deals to be struck and agreements made to progress discussions further in a wide range of sectors.

“The support of Invest Barbados and the DBT has proven invaluable in progressing these relationships.”

As a result of this year’s mission, the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) signed a memorandum of understanding with the University of West Indies.

One of the Scottish university’s dementia experts, Dr Anna Jack-Waugh, also led two dementia seminars.

UWS was also able to share its expertise in water scarcity, aquaculture, thin films/ultrasound, and dementia care. 

Also during the mission, life coach and mentor, Cat Peterson, met with Tom Hinds of the Naniki resort.

The two agreed to further discussions, aimed at bringing SPACE retreats for women-led businesses to Barbados. The retreats offer women business leaders the space to connect, focus and grow. 

Meanwhile, HowGroupUK opened up new ways of supporting Barbados and the Caribbean with its supply of renewable energy products.

The group also agreed that Barbados would be the pilot for some new and upcoming innovations in green energy.

As part of the trade mission, PRM Waste Systems signed an agreement with Barbados firm Shorelinez and Stuffers.

Shorelinez and Stuffers specialises in providing high-quality fresh and frozen seafood to restaurants throughout the Caribbean. It will import PRM’s range of food waste processors in the area.

ID Cyber Solutions also held talks during the trade mission and has been asked to return soon to sign contracts.

The cyber security firm is bringing the new IASME Cyber Baseline security certification for organisations outside the United Kingdom to the island.

This certification scheme looks to ensure that organisations have critical cyber security protection measures in place.

The business has been working with the Barbados police and the Regional Security System, the military alliance responsible for the defence and security of the eastern Caribbean.