Barbados and South Carolina: Building on Shared History to Expand Trade – Caribbean Trade Law and Development

This week I had the pleasure of joining, in a personal and unofficial capacity, a Barbados business delegation organised by Invest Barbados and the Barbados Consulate to Miami to the beautiful city of Charleston in the southern United States (US) state of South Carolina.

For many years I have heard of the rich history between Barbados and the Carolinas. History tells us that it was in the 17th century that British planters from Barbados and their enslaved Africans established a “colony of a colony” in the Carolinas, the area now roughly North and South Carolina. A vibrant underground trade existed between the colonies of Barbados and the Carolinas during the colonial era but current Barbados-South Carolina trade is quite small.

This three-day trade mission afforded me the opportunity not just to learn much more about this history, but more germane to my profession, consider how these historical ties could be leveraged to expand on the currently miniscule trading relationship between Barbados and the ‘Palmetto State’. In this article, I share my initial reflections coming out of this visit.

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