Minister of Industry Donville Inniss this morning dismissed the naysers who claim the Barbadian economy is collapsing, stating that the interest by Burger King investors in opening more outlets was a reflection of their faith in the Barbadian economy and society. Inniss made the observation at the official opening of the newest outlet of the fast-food franchise in the Bridge Street Mall, The City.
Inniss said: “At a time when the preachers and prophets of doom and gloom seek wrath and pray for destruction upon our island and its peoples, it is very heartening to know that there are some amongst us who are prepared to roll up their sleeves, be deep thinkers, be determined and to get business going.
“Whilst others may sit and wait on manna to drop from heaven, I must commend those who are driven buy the faith in the perspective that the Lord helps those who who help themselves,” Inniss added.
He disclosed that when Burger King started in Florida in 1953, Barbados was a struggling country where dining out was a rarity, but today Burger King Barbados is but two of almost 13,000 Burger King outlets scattered around the world, generating almost US$ 2 billion in revenue and an asset base
of US$ 5.5 billion.
In welcoming another Burger King outlet to the country, the minister said: “I firmly believe that Barbadians must be allowed to have choices, and that there should be no shady underhanded or open-handed deals to frustrate legitimate entrepreneurs from fulfilling their dreams, nor from allowing Barbadians to have choices in any thing in life.”
Inniss said he was satisfied that the presence of Burger King in Barbados had led to the creation of additional jobs, rental income for landlords, procurement of goods, vegetables and services from several small and large enterprises, and had given Barbadians another option for dining.
He stressed that he was not supporting any efforts on the part of any established operation in Barbados to block others from coming into our space to engage in legitimate enterprises.
Addressing the issue of protection for local industry, Inniss said that policymakers had to be very clear as to what and why they were protecting an industry in Barbados.
“We have to ensure that as policymakers we have the facts and not what others believe are to be facts. We cannot cower because some people make a lot of noise and make a lot of threats. We have to do what is fair and what we believe is right,” Inniss said.