Light in export tunnel
While a new trade war seems to be brewing between Banks Holdings Ltd and Jamaican authorities over the increased tax imposed on its products at that country’s ports of entry, some companies are recording increased exports to the region and beyond.
Barbados Today has learnt that some companies are exporting as much as 85 per cent of the goods they produce.
A senior employee at Carlisle Laboratories Ltd, which produces medication and cough syrups among other items, told the Barbados Today that 85 per cent of the items produced at that company was exported to such Caribbean countries as Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, St. Vincent, Grenada, St. Lucia and Anguilla.
McBride Caribbean Ltd, which is located at Lowlands, Christ Church, has recorded a similar level of exports to the region.
The Sales and Marketing Manager at McBride said 85 per cent of their products left the island for markets as far north as Bermuda and as far south as Suriname.
According to the official, this area includes the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Belize the Cayman Islands and the Bahamas.
Caribbean Label Crafts Ltd, produces product labels and sells 85 per cent of all output from its Wildey, St. Michael, location to regional and extra-regional countries.
A senior official at Mount Gay Distilleries Ltd said too 75 per cent of the rum distilled was exported.
An official at Pine Hill Dairy told Barbados Today that 85 per cent of the products made at that Pine Hill company found markets in the Caricom region.
However, a company official at Preconco Ltd bemoaned the fact that currently only five per cent of their work was sold in the regional market.
In contrast, he said, during the period 2006 and 2007 the company enjoyed booming business in the region.
Executive Director of the Barbados Manufacturers Association, Bobbi McKay, while commending companies on their regional business, noted that the importance of those who sell locally could not be minimised.
“Some companies are established with import substitution in mind. The more we produce the less we need to import. For example items like bacon, toilet paper, juices and milk products. We save a lot of foreign exchange by increasing capacity. We need more import substitution.
Meanwhile, Minister of Industry and Small Business, Denis Kellman, said: “I am aware of this development. They are involved in import substitution. With import substitution there is no need to spend foreign exchange. This information was discovered when I toured some of the companies.
[At the same time] companies like Roberts Manufacturing Co. Ltd and Oran Ltd were exporting 85 per cent of what they produced.”