|Minister of Industry, Denis Kellman. (FP)
Minister of Industry, Denis Kellman has assured manufacturers that all necessary incentives will be provided to allow them to manufacture their goods.
The Minister gave this assurance in light of the discovery that some manufacturing companies have been purchasing products from countries outside of CARICOM, and relabeling them as local products.
Speaking to the media at the end of a tour of Barbados Industries in Wildey, St. Michael, yesterday, Minister Kellman, stated "it is unfair for us to be producing and paying the cost, while some people can pretend that they are producing, going next door, buying the goods and claiming them to be goods from CARICOM…and paying the same rates as if they are from CARICOM."
The Minister pointed out that such a practice would result in an unusually large decrease in the price of items, which would lead to a loss in foreign exchange.
"My main emphasis is on foreign exchange because if we do not have foreign exchange, those things that we cherish, we would not be able to purchase, and we would not be able to pay our loans," the Industry Minister asserted.
Issuing a warning to all guilty parties involved, Mr. Kellman stressed: "All those who believe that they have been beating the system, we want them to know that we are aware of what they are doing and we are looking…They can’t say it is by accident, because we know it is purpose work," the Minister stated.
He further stressed that the Barbados Manufacturing Association would continue to monitor and deal with the situation, and added that they would "speak to the agencies that are responsible for ensuring that it doesn’t occur, whether they operate from the seaport, whether they operate from the airport, or whether the Coast Guard has to be used."