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‘Splinter groups’ hindering exports

rhondathompson, [email protected]

‘Splinter groups’ hindering exports

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MORE COHESION IS NEEDED among players in the manufacturing sector in order for the sector to expand.
In addition, Minister of Industry, Small Business and Rural Development Denis Kellman said there were too many “splinter groups” hindering the growth of export.
“It does not make sense for us to have 70 different brands when we can bring everybody into a body and generate the resources and then have the capacity to export. We have 70 different brands and if we get a substantial order, we cannot fulfil it. It does not make sense,” he said.
“We have to learn to support each other. Everybody wants to be separate and distinct, [but] it cannot always happen,” added Kellman.
His comments came during the recent Barbados Manufacturers’ Business to Business mingle at the Harris Paints corporate office in Wildey.
Kellman, who is also a businessman, added that “the problem as it relates to manufacturing in Barbados is, we have too many managers”, and many of those managers, he said, were best suited to be on the production line as opposed to being in an office.
“The managers that we have are people who are [the most] capable of using their hands to produce,” he said.
Lamenting the demise of the local furniture industry, Kellman said the “condiment industry” was one that manufacturers should seek to expand.
He also accused players in the tourism industry of “lying on the manufacturing sector”.
“Since becoming the minister of industry . . . . I now recognize that the biggest lie that has ever been told on the manufacturing sector has been told by the tourism industry. The impression is given that people overseas do not want local products,” he argued.
Meanwhile, businessman Trevor Clarke used the forum to accuse Government and the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC) for not being willing to do things differently.
“The industry in Barbados was let down by the BIDC and Government,” he argued.
Clarke further suggested that there be a review of the port charges, saying they should only be on things such as imported shoes, garments and paints but not on the raw materials that local manufacturers brought in. (MM)