TRADE MINISTER TO HOLD DISCUSSIONS ON VENDORS

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There are plans afoot to have locally manufactured goods produced by small entrepreneurs on sale at the island’s two points of entry.

This was disclosed yesterday by Minister of Trade, Industry and Commerce, George Hutson, who said discussions had already begun with the Ministry of International Transport and Works to reach ‘common ground’ on the provision of facilities for the retailers at the Grantley Adams International Airport and the Bridgetown Port.

He was speaking after a tour of the Poverty Alleviation Bureau’s mini exhibition at the Letchworth Complex, the Garrison, St. Michael.

Minister Hutson lamented the non-provision of adequate vendors’ outlets for craft people to display their wares to thousands of tourists who disembarked at the main ports of entry daily.

“We need to get our priorities right and the micro businesses must be given the opportunity to show off their work at the airport and the sea port. So, we need to look at the situation and we will work with the Minister responsible for International Transport, to see how best we can put facilities in place to have the products displayed.”

Mr. Hutson observed that, on arriving at most overseas airports, one would find locally manufactured goods prominently displayed in various shops, and he declared that “a similar situation must obtain in this country.

“When you walk into the shops at the air and sea ports, you would see imported craft and we need to change that and give small businesses an opportunity to develop,” he added.

The Minister also spoke about reviving the Pelican Craft Centre.

“We have to find ways to create greater exposure for Pelican Village. We have a situation where very few cruise ship passengers are wandering into Pelican to buy craft and we need to find ways to attract them to the facility.”

The mini exhibition was mounted to showcase samples of local art and craft that will be on display to potential buyers at the15th Caribbean Gift and Craft Show slated to begin tomorrow at the Sherbourne Conference Centre.

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