Inniss warns of growing furniture bill
Minister of Commerce Donville Inniss last night warned that the island’s furniture import bill was rising, as he called on a United States furniture giant to partner with local manufacturers and designers to create a tropical line.
“In 2011 Barbados imported $60.8 million in furniture, furnishings, glass and related items, and exported $3.3 million. In 2012 we imported $68.8 million and exported $1.4 million. In the last financial year, the last calendar year, Barbados imported $68.9 million and exported some $1.6 million,” Inniss revealed at the launch of the Ashley’s Home Furniture Store.
“It tells us that the trend is growing and that … it takes a lot of foreign exchange to buy that furniture, “ the Minister noted.
“Every time you buy a nice piece of furniture in the store just remember it is being bought in US dollars. We have to earn that,” he said in remarks directed at local consumers.
“I want to remind all of us as Barbadians that in order to enjoy these options, it means that each one of us must work a little bit harder or smarter. We must certainly find new ways in which we could earn more foreign exchange, or save foreign exchange.”
“All of us can do much better at the individual and at the family level,” he added.
He urged the Ashley international chain representative, Charles Spang, to consider getting into ventures with Barbadian furniture manufacturers.
“We have people who design furniture. We could have a tropical brand. There is the opportunity for island lifestyle furniture, and we want to have that started right here in Barbados . . . I hope that Ashley’s eventually will find an opportunity to locate a Barbadian furniture line within your stores.”