Minister Inniss Challenges Private Sector

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Industry Minister, Donville Inniss is joined by Standard Barbados CEO, Katrina Newton (centre) and Managing Director, Standard Distributors Ltd, Trinidad, Kathleen Galy (left) in cutting the ribbon to officially open the new store at Millhouse, Canewood, St. Thomas today. (GP)

With the opening of yet another branch of Standard Distributors and Sales Limited in Barbados, Industry Minister, Donville Inniss, has reiterated his call for sustainable development to be private sector led, with Government providing the right environment.

The appeal came today, as he addressed the official ceremony for the new Standard’s store at Millhouse, Canewood, St. Thomas.

Declaring that he felt strongly about this, Minister Inniss said: “The pure socialist ideology is as irrelevant today, in my eyes, as the kerosene stove that Standard perhaps might have sold 40 years ago. The creativity, nimbleness, aggressiveness and determination of private enterprise is key for the resuscitation and growth of the Barbadian economy.”

He praised Standard for staying the course here, noting it had sought to reinvent itself, invest in technology, train and retrain staff, focus on customer care, and its management took accountability seriously.

“We need much more of this entrepreneurial and business-like approach to the administration of national and enterprise affairs in Barbados,” the Minister stressed.

While pointing out that ‘Standard’ was a well-known household name in Barbados for over 58 years, and was legendary for its high-quality appliances, furniture and electronics, Mr. Inniss noted its expansion came alongside Barbados’ pursuit of full independence and the transformation of the country, and praised its unveiling of another landmark store, on the eve of the island’s 51st year of nationhood.

“Your company in its quest to keep pace with modern developments in the international and domestic retail spaces; and in order to remain competitive, has demonstrated unwavering will, determination and commitment in the pursuit of success,” he said.

The Minister, who also has responsibility for International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, stressed businesses like Standard could only grow with the right enabling environment.

“When the state requires licences or any kind of permits and permissions for businesses engaged in their activities, then the state is duly bound to provide all required forms and guidelines in a manner that is easy to access and completed by applicants,” he said.

Mr. Inniss further noted that there must also be attached deadlines by which to complete tasks. He said imbedded in this must be systems that allow applicants to track applications and receive courteous and timely responses to all queries.

Noting that when this was lacking, one ran the risk of favours kicking in, Mr. Inniss declared: “No one in the public sector must be seen to be doing anyone a favour. We must do what we are paid a salary to do and do it in a very timely and efficient manner. And that, of course, has to be also at my level, at the political level.”

Also addressing the ceremony was Managing Director of the company in Trinidad, Kathleen Galy. Speaking on the investment, she said: “Over the last four years, Standard Barbados has taken on a totally new face – every store has been newly renovated, an entirely new warehouse, new management; 100% geared to customer service and delivering the quality that we are known for.  This has become the cornerstone of our success in every region we operate in.”

She added it was representative of the fact that Standard Barbados, a member of the ANSA McAL Barbados Group of Companies, continues to invest and show commitment and faith in the improvement of the economic climate here.

Standard Distributors, which was founded in Trinidad by Dr. Anthony N. Sabga some 73 years ago, was established in Barbados in September 1959.

joy-ann.gill@barbados.gov.bb

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