The welcome stamp initiative is an example of the opportunities that can be realised when countries open their doors to overseas residents willing to become digital nomads.
So says Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley who expressed renewed optimism in this initiative and others on the horizon during an address at a meet and greet session in the United Arab Emirates between a delegation from Barbados and key leaders of Dubai’s Free Zone today.
Ms. Mottley shared that Barbados took a bold step in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, to “open up our borders to everyone” to spend 12 months on the welcome stamp.
She said that one of the welcome stampers was among those on the trip to Dubai and encouraged him and others to share their experiences. The Prime noted that countries who opened their doors to others had seen the success of that choice.
“…I am glad to say that it is people like him, who really have to tell the story as to whether or not the welcome stamp has worked or not. Similarly, what it has done, is to bring opportunities for partnerships as well…If you rely only on the talent pool that you have within your boundaries, you can’t move to scale and move to become global,” Ms. Mottley pointed out.
Underscoring that they were risks involved with global movement, the Prime Minister is committed to finding ways of dealing with the challenges.
“The issues for us are not simple. The global minimum corporate tax movement has meant that even though Barbados moved to have one of the lowest acceptable corporate tax rates in the world, as it currently is…, there are challenges and risks from outside.”
Ms. Mottley continued: “And therefore, we have to be innovative to see how we can manage that global movement while at the same time, remaining competitive and attractive.”
She noted that apart from the attractiveness of the host country, digital nomads were also interested in other attributes such as safety, access to the law courts, protection from cyber security threats and access to education and medical services.
“When we combine all of these things, we believe that we have the essence of it but what we need now is to finish and close the circle properly and to create that competitive and compelling story that will make Barbados a choice for many,” Ms. Mottley underlined.
The Prime Minister also mentioned other areas of collaboration in the establishment of a gold exchange as a potential market for visitors from Ghana and Guyana and hoped that the talks would lead to more opportunities between Dubai and Barbados.