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.

Ashley’s representative Charles Spang (left) in talks with Commerce and International Business Minister Donville Inniss (right) at the local branch’s opening Wednesday night. At centre is Ashley’s Barbados franchise owner Luis Carrillo.
Ashley’s representative Charles Spang (left) in talks with Commerce and International Business Minister Donville Inniss (right) at the local branch’s opening Wednesday night. At centre is Ashley’s Barbados franchise owner Luis Carrillo.

“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.”

7 Responses to Inniss warns of growing furniture bill

  1. John Drakes
    John Drakes December 5, 2014 at 6:55 am

    Mr Inniss, ya need to tell de local manufacturers to produce better quality products, and den tell ya friends ta lower taxes. I cant believe how a bunch of so-called leaders like wunna could be so out of touch as to what citizens going through. Ya think wid all deze high taxes as a manufacturer I gonna be financially stable to produce like i used to back in 2008? The words I’d call you might only get me banned from this page, so I saving them. Tidibut.

    Reply
  2. Martyn Ackee Tree
    Martyn Ackee Tree December 5, 2014 at 8:03 am

    Hopefully now that Inniss has his eye on the FMI they will lower taxes to make them more competitive and hopefully better quality.

    Reply
  3. Sandy Gee
    Sandy Gee December 5, 2014 at 9:06 am

    Sounding horse before cartish!

    Reply
  4. Cumberbatch Sophia
    Cumberbatch Sophia December 5, 2014 at 9:07 am

    I’m wonder if the gentleman speaking has any local furniture in his home or he bought his at Dwelling . The finish on lots of bajan furniture is very poor for example I went into a store checking on a living room suite and I could count every staple in the back of the chair . Why would I purchase that item and to make matter worse covered in cheap material

    Reply
  5. Elie Knaizeh
    Elie Knaizeh December 5, 2014 at 10:21 am

    Lol. This is especially funny since an Ashley Home Furnishings just opened…ah well. So much for local.

    Reply
  6. Cherylann Bourne-Hayes
    Cherylann Bourne-Hayes December 5, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    There is an Asheley home furnishings in Bim? The American store?

    Reply
    • Karin Russell
      Karin Russell December 5, 2014 at 5:56 pm

      Yep, right there in Haggatt Hall where Standard used to be and it’s expensive as all hell get out. I definitely won’t be shopping there

      Reply

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