The Barbados Manufacturers’ Association (BMA) recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Kenyan Association of Manufacturers (KAM), during a virtual signing ceremony, with the aim of developing trade between Kenya and Barbados.
BMA President John Marshall indicated the signing was a part of pre-summit activities of BMA’s Trade and Innovation Summit (TIS), under the theme “Our Global Village”. The theme encapsulates BMA’s goal to build meaningful relationships with global partners to ensure development and sustainability of manufacturing in Barbados.
Mr. Marshall said the MOU was not just a symbolic act but a serious desire to work with KAM to solve issues that the manufacturing sector in each country faces.
He thanked KAM and noted that he looked forward to working with the Association to develop trade between Kenya and Barbados.
In his remarks, KAM’s Acting Chief Executive Officer, Tobias Alando, said his 60-plus year-old association, which supports 14 manufacturing sectors that are significant contributors to Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product, saw the signing of the MOU as an opportunity to further develop relations between both countries.
He said he looked forward to developing key areas such as: Market Access, Market Intelligence and Information Sharing, SME development and Enterprise Capacity Building, Advocacy and Import/Export Competitiveness.
He reiterated his commitment to ensuring that the objectives outlined in the MOU are brought to fruition to the benefit of both countries, adding that the MOU was a milestone in fostering south to south trade.
High Commissioner to Kenya, Alexander McDonald, said he saw the MOU as an expression of interest between KAM and BMA to foster relations to deepen trade relations between Kenya and Barbados.
He made special mention of the lack of resistance in agreeing to the MOU and postulated it to similarities in openness shared between the two nations as gateways to their respective regions.
He extended warm congratulations to both organisations for seeing and seizing the opportunity and for working together to develop the MOU.
High Commissioner McDonald expressed commitment to sponsoring more trade initiatives between the two nations and his excitement and anticipation for future trade between Kenya and Barbados, which would be facilitated by the MOU.
During his feature address, Minister of Industry, Innovation, Science and Technology (MIST), Davidson Ishmael, highlighted his ministry’s mission to develop the manufacturing sector.
He underscored the importance of the sector in boosting the country’s economic performance. The Minister also reminded those in attendance of the Bilateral Trade Agreements signed by Kenya and Barbados, and pointed out that the MOU between KAM and BMA was one of the manifestations of the agreements.
He further noted that the MOU was a platform to further diversify markets for local products, indicating Government’s enthusiasm for this strategic alignment and the role it will play in the development of the manufacturing sector with respect to the transfer of technology, creation of jobs, diversification of the economy in a sustainable manner, input sourcing and the sharing of human and technical resources.
Minister Ishmael reaffirmed his support of the objectives of the MOU and to the continued creation of an enabling environment pursuant to the development of bilateral trade between Kenya and Barbados.
He commended KAM and BMA for the yeoman service in developing business and promoting trade between the two nations.