The local manufacturing community has again come in for high praise for its contribution to the economy.

Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, Donville Inniss, reiterated his previous comments that Barbados has much to celebrate, given the number of local and outstanding plants that have been making a major contribution to the growth and development of this economy over the years.

Speaking to the media after touring McBride Caribbean Ltd in Lowlands, Christ Church today, Mr. Inniss noted that a number of local manufacturing businesses can boast of attaining such important milestones in their history.

Referring to such industries as Roberts Manufacturing which recently celebrated 70 years and Oran Limited 50, Mr. Inniss, who was touring the plant as it celebrates 25 years in the business, said there was ???ample evidence that manufacturing is very much alive in this country and is indeed still making a meaningful contribution??????

Noting that McBride was currently exporting 85 per cent of what it produced, the Minister underscored the need for Barbados to start seeing itself as a brand.

???We must be flexible in all that we produce and all that we display for the rest of the world??? and the products here at McBride are very much in sync with the Barbados brand, which is high quality products at an affordable price.

???As a manufacturer, people often think of the benefits of manufacturing as when you visit plants like these and you see the production cycle and packaging etc??? but I will always argue that there are tremendous spin off benefits as well. I believe that McBride brings 500 containers in and out of the Bridgetown Port as well on an annual basis and that creates employment opportunities for truckers, and customs brokers. So, there are many other benefits that accrue for this economy and society from manufacturing plants such as this one,??? he underlined.

Meanwhile, Divisional Manager of Manufacturing at Goddard Enterprises, John Taylor said: ???McBride was a very special business with very strong brands and a good technological base with a sturdy management team.???

He asserted that they were very keen to grow the business and expand into larger markets further afield, as they were already in 24 Caribbean markets.

???We are optimistic about the future of export manufacturing in Barbados, although cost is an issue and it needs to be addressed along with the ability to do business efficiently and quickly??? We would also like to see quicker responses in many areas and we would like to see a more business oriented approach in many areas of government services,??? he opined.

However, Mr. Taylor stressed that he was pleased that the facility continued to generate over 85 per cent of its sales outside of Barbados and they were determined to expand on that. McBride Caribbean Ltd. is the home of Bop, Suretox, Beep and Go products.

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