Minister of Industry, Donville Inniss, would like to see an increased emphasis on research as stakeholders seek to advance the manufacturing sector.

Speaking last Friday at the official opening of BMEX 2016 at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, Mr. Inniss said that as the sector looked towards the future, it was time to think and act outside the box.

???We often say it???s not business as usual and then continue to conduct ourselves as if it is still business as usual. That is why I am heartened to note this evening the involvement of the TVET Council??? certainly highlighting this year the immense contribution of that Council and its own constituents not only to the manufacturing sector but as well as to the overall economic development of Barbados,??? he stated.

Noting that the manufacturing sector still had its challenges, the Minister maintained that there were still opportunities to be found. He therefore identified research as an area of focus to develop and move the sector forward.

???Very often we are very anecdotal in this society; we stand and we speak with a great sense of authority and when asked where is the evidence it is not readily available. And, the manufacturing sector like so many others in our society really and truly needs to be more research-oriented and more research-focused. We cannot continue to say we are supporting a manufacturing sector without bringing great clarity as to what is the manufacturing sector,??? he pointed out.

He urged the Barbados Manufacturers??? Association, Barbados Investment and Development Corporation and all stakeholders to commit themselves ???with immediate effect??? towards obtaining a more research-oriented focus in the development of the manufacturing sector.

Mr. Inniss also lauded industry stalwarts who aided in the growth and development of the sector, and thanked them for their immense contribution. He added that as Barbados celebrates its 50th year of Independence, its citizens could point to the success of the country???s social, economic and political development as the best contribution that the manufacturing sector has made to Barbados.

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