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New mindset needed

The manufacturing sector is poised to play a significant role in the future growth of Barbados’ economy. However, some key changes must be made in order for this to be achieved, officials say.

Addressing the official opening of the annual Barbados Manufacturers Exhibition (BMEX) showcase at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre last evening, University of the West Indies lecturer in management studies Dr Paul Pounder warned that it could not be business as usual in terms of the sector’s “mindset”.

Dr Paul Pounder

Dr Paul Pounder

Highlighting technological transformation and competitive labour costs, Pounder said manufacturers “must believe and get on board with these changes” if the sector is to play an important role in the future of Barbados’ economy.

The state of manufacturing needs to be as resilient and as robust as ever,” said Pounder, as he called for increased and sustainable investment from both Government and private sector, which he said was “very crucial if we are to realize the strategic objective of creating jobs and inclusively growing Barbados’ economy.

This investment is of paramount importance especially in the context where our country continues to appear to be wrought by the reality of an investment strike. It should be advocated that a significant increase in private sector investment and competitiveness is needed in the wider economy,” he said.

Minister of International Business Donville Inniss

Also addressing the BMEX opening, Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development Donville Inniss said it was critical that manufacturers “think and act outside of the box”.

While acknowledging that the sector continued to have its challenges, Inniss argued that within those challenges were opportunities, as he suggested three areas of focus – research and data collection; innovation; and examination and penetration of new markets.

We really and truly need to bring innovation. Innovation, not just in terms of technology, not just in terms of the ICT environment, not just in terms of use of the social media . . . but innovation in terms of the way we manage our enterprises in Barbados,” the minister said, adding that there was also need for “innovation in the strategic alliances that we forge”.

Jason Sambrano

Jason Sambrano

President of the Barbados Manufacturers’ Association (BMA) Jason Sambrano said as far he was concerned a lack of business facilitation remained one the major challenges facing the sector.

Some of the areas we would like to see improved [are] the time taken for materials to be processed through the Port and Customs; access to financing; and Government policy, which provide assistance in a competitive environment.

We still look to our Government partners to increase their speed in providing requisite statutory approvals, concessions and incentives where necessary and possible,” he added.

The BMA President said partnerships were also key to the sector’s development, while lamenting that too often the importance of manufacturing to the local economy was underestimated.

He noted that manufacturing was critical to job creation and reducing the leakage of foreign currency, adding that “as a sector we are looking at improving our operational efficiencies and developing strategic alliances and partnerships which promote success and sustainability”.

3 Responses to New mindset needed

  1. Jus me May 15, 2016 at 7:07 am

    When are these people going to wake up and smell the coffee?
    I just hear.
    Clap trap about nothing, sweet words to appease the masses of totally ignorant people and ignorant because they have been led astray by Rhetoric,tailored to suit the moment by those who DO KNOW better and yet only work to suit their own purposes..

    Barbados has what the World wants and we will not give it to them.
    Remember the 4 S,s SAFETY, SEA ,SAND and SUNSHINE.
    We Have,
    Two political parties who use Barbados Inc as a private bank.
    A Minister of Tourism,. . .,in an easy number position and still making it easier.

    Keeps on regurgitating the same old Claptrap. Doesen,t have a CLUE or I feel ,even have a single INNOVATIVE thought.
    Just seems very agreeable to RIDE THE BANDWAGON till it drops.

    PLEASE do not give me the OLD LINE about Barbados being an UPMARKET destination.
    Go to the airport and SEE what people in the main get off the planes.
    People like YOU and I ,normal everyday people.
    Then LOOK around Barbados and see what is offered them.
    MY GOD, you could hire a car and SEE EVERYTHING in ONE DAY.
    Lets start tailoring our tourist product to Reality.

    The rich are selling out in Barbados, look at the BIG UP house prices now,cut to ribbons.Even then not selling.

    Around The World there are now so many places that DO study who uses their product and tailor it to suit.
    Barbados Tourism should be Managed and run by a Board of directors taken from the Industry.
    Get rid of the Political JOBS FOR THE BOYS, bosses.

  2. Jus me May 15, 2016 at 7:12 am

    A body CANNOT function with out a HEART.
    Tourism is our HEART.
    Everything else prospers when Tourism prospers.
    HOW will you have a strong manufacturing or ANY other industry when the TOURISM heart of Barbados is SICK.

  3. Jus me May 15, 2016 at 7:16 am

    PLEASE do not delude yourselves that this current slight UPTICK in visitor numbers is because of what is being done by Barbados Government or Minister of Tourism.

    Thank ISIS and Terrorism.

    They have decimated the attraction of the destinations used by those NOW coming to our shores.

    As that memory fades so will our tourist numbers.


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