A Government minister has taken to task those persons who argue that foreign entities have no place in Barbados.
Speaking on Wednesday evening at the official opening of the United States-based Ashley Furniture Home store at the former Standards furniture store at Haggatt Hall, Commerce Minister, Donville Inniss, stated that those persons were ???woefully wrong???.
He pointed out that not only were such companies bringing much needed foreign exchange into the country and employing Barbadians, but also that they ???were bringing to this small island an opportunity to showcase to the world that even though we are small in size, we still had international appeal???.
The Minister told the storeowners that the fact they have brought the Ashley brand to Barbados was again a manifestation of the continued faith that American firms have in Barbadian society.
Mr. Inniss stated that now that the Ashley brand was located here, it would present a great opportunity for the company to partner with Barbados in terms of design work, and starting a tropical brand of island lifestyle furniture would be ideal.
???We also have somewhat of a furniture industry here in Barbados, and even though we cannot compete in terms of prices, we still offer high quality furniture that goes from one generation to the next.
“I hope that Ashley eventually finds an opportunity to locate a Barbadian line within their stores, with its currently 545 stores soon to be 1,045 around the world??????
United States Ambassador, Larry Palmer, told those gathered that Ashley???s partnership with Dwellings Barbados was also representative of the good business relationship between Barbados and the United States.
He said: ???Barbados is an attractive place for investment, along with its geographical location, its historical and cultural ties. Barbados is a natural partner for the United States.
“Barbados has done more trading with us than any other country and many Barbadians have friends and family members within the United States. Therefore, Barbados continues to be open for trading, investment and business.???
The Ambassador further asserted that the United States Embassy was committed to supporting the sustainable economic development of this country and this was evident by the two countries??? continuous partnership in a number of programmes.