Minister Inniss says international companies are assets

donvilleinnissmeaksBarbados needs the Subways, Burger Kings and other internationally-rated companies to set up here.

Even as Minister of International Business, Industry, Commerce and Small Business, Donville Inniss this evening told the country it could not close its doors to international companies and only hold to its own, he tempered that by noting Government was also examining ways in which the local industries could produce more of the inputs these companies needed to operate successfully.

Inniss said some months ago, due to complaints from businesses, his ministry had agreed to put together a team headed by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Trade, Bentley Gibbs, and including manufacturers, processors, importers, fast-food franchise operators and other ministries, to look at the troubling issue of tariffs on poultry.

With the three-month period provided to review the related matters now ended, Inniss said the report was now before the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.

“I cannot at this point in time tell you that the rates will go up or go down … The truth of the matter is it has been a very good exercise that has enlightened both sides of the table and I am satisfied that at the end of the day the decision that will be taken will be in the best interest of all persons and entities…

“Without commenting in details on that, I will say that we have to recognise that Barbados must open its doors to those who wish to come here and engage in legitimate business including those in what is now the flavour of the day, fast-food operations. We cannot and must not operate in a rather myopic manner that whatever is foreign is not good or [that] we must frustrate enterprises who wish to operate in Barbados. We have to open our markets,” he said.

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