Goddard’s issues ultimatum
Goddard Enterprises has thrown down the gauntlet to Government, saying it will not continue investment in Barbados unless the tariff regime for production imports is changed.
Speaking last night at the 25th anniversary celebrations of one of its subsidiaries, McBride Caribbean Ltd, chairman of the Goddard conglomerate, Charles Herbert said that the manufacturing and services company celebrating this silver anniversary is but one of a number of its holdings that suffer under a regime of unhelpful taxes on imported materials.
“Goddard stands out by being not only a locally-owned and managed company, but also a net exporter and a earner of foreign exchange for Barbados,” Herbert pointed out, before complaining about the regime of tariffs and duties in Barbados.
“As long as the future regime for tariffs an duties remains uncertain, Goddard’s will not make new investment in local plant and equipment for the local market. And if this situation continues for too long, then we will make these investments in other countries and the opportunity for Barbados will be lost forever.”
Speaking immediately after Herbert, Minister of Industry and Commerce Donville Inniss responded to the challenge laid down at the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination.
“I certainly appreciate the fact that as manufacturers and industrialists, you cannot exist in an atmosphere of uncertainty,” the minister said,
adding, “therefore I give my assurance tonight that where ever such uncertainties exist and they are drawn to my attention, we will ensure that we address them with pace because we need Goddard’s to continue expansion here in Barbados.”
“I don’t think we often recognise the immense contribution that Goddard’s Group has been making to this economy, not just the jobs generated here, the foreign exchange saved, but also the foreign exchange earned and the fact that the Barbados’ flag is being flown in about 23 countries in Central America, the Caribbean, and perhaps even further afield”.
Reverting to his prepared speech, Inniss said, “When we reflect on the contribution of establishments such as McBride, it is only fitting that as a facilitator, the Government should respond in kind by providing the appropriate enabling environment and assistance which are conducive to the survival and longevity of such entities; thus allowing them to realise their true potential in the domestic, regional and international markets.”