Those persons who say that manufacturing in Barbados is dead or the sector should be read its last rites should look to companies like Oran Ltd., which is celebrating 50 years in the business, to see that there is still hope.
So says Industry Minister Donville Inniss, who is of the firm belief that this industry has a lot more potential than it is given credit. And, he intends to lead ???the charge in resuscitating our local manufacturing sector???.
Speaking to media after a tour of Oran Ltd on Harbour Road, St. Michael, the Minister said the company would have been the provider of choice for many Barbadians throughout the years and this was still evident today.
Noting that the company was exporting approximately 60 per cent of what it produced and provided employment for roughly 230 Barbadians and their families, he said it was a ???good source of foreign exchange for this economy???.
???The fact that we have Barbadian skills and???talent now being displayed and providing a lot of security in houses around the region, as far out as Belize [and] certainly down south in Trinidad, is indeed something that we must certainly feel proud of. The fact that we can go to homes and offices around this CARICOM region and see a Barbadian product is something that makes me feel very happy and something that all of us in Barbados must celebrate,??? he stated.
The Minister also reiterated his administration???s commitment to work with partners in the region to remove the barriers on trade for other products.
???Sometimes, we complain when others put barriers in our way in getting into their markets, but we also have many more opportunities to celebrate those companies that are entering other people???s market and doing quite well. Sometimes, we complain about those who come into Barbados with their own products, but we don???t take note of when Barbadian companies are venturing into the rest of the region and doing quite well,??? he remarked.
The Minister also added that when it came to manufacturing as a whole his Ministry was keen to revisit the suite of incentives offered to the sector.
He stated that it made no sense to repeat the usual statement ???that manufacturing was good for this economy???and not do the things that we are supposed to do to display that commitment???.
To highlight his Ministry???s seriousness about the sector, he said that already they had started to gather the information in terms of the suite of incentives and ???they were ready to get some action going???.
He also said that the Barbados Manufacturer???s Association, the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation and other key stakeholders would be meeting shortly to discuss the current suite of incentives.