Alumni Driven Scottish Trade Mission Seals Deals in Barbados

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A number of deals have been struck and discussions progressed following a successful Scottish Investment and Trade Mission organised by University of the West of Scotland (UWS) Alumni to the Caribbean island of Barbados.

Organised by alumna Jo Smith, founder of the Renfrewshire Business Network, in collaboration with alumnus Shane Thomas, Invest Barbados’ representative in Scotland and Department for International Trade Scotland (DIT), the mission’s aim is to promote the opportunities available and highlight the success of Scottish companies who have invested on the island. The first trade mission organised by Jo and Shane took place in November 2021.

Jo who graduated with a BA in Business Administration from the Paisley Campus commented: “Renfrewshire Business Network (RBN) was established in 2012 to encourage businesses to connect and grow, so the Trade Mission is an ideal fit with this ethos. Scotland has many links with Barbados, such as the barrels in the Mount Gay distillery coming from Islay; a shared patron saint in St Andrew, and their beautiful Scotland District.

“RBN members are already setting up in Barbados, and I’m looking forward to seeing further opportunities for business growth there. The support of Invest Barbados and the DIT has been invaluable.”

Involving 26 delegates from a range of sectors, agreements have been struck across a range of areas, including manufacturing, education, training and hospitality.

Shane who graduated from the Tourism Management programme at UWS explains: “We are seeking to achieve increased trade and investment across a number of sectors. Barbados has an ambitious net zero emissions plan to achieve 100% of its electricity generation from renewable energy by 2030.

“As Scotland is the European leader in renewable energy development, it will be a golden opportunity to collaborate and possibly establish joint ventures in the various renewable energy solutions.

“Additionally, it would be very important to establish University courses that can be offered between the countries, allowing students to study in both countries.”

Now in its third year, the trade and investment mission has been reaping success with three companies already incorporated and working towards commencing operations in Barbados, while others are nearing the final stages of the incorporation process.

Kaye-Anne Greenidge, CEO of Invest Barbados, said: “We are delighted to have co-hosted and been the main sponsors for this highly-successful trade mission.  It is fantastic to see so many deals being struck, including in niche manufacturing and dental tourism, highlighting the many opportunities that exist on the island.”

This year’s Trade Mission is from the 20-24th of November 2023. If you would like to know more please email: and visit for full details.

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