The manufacturing sector recorded a 26 per cent increase in exports for the first half of the fiscal year April 2013 to October 2013 to reach $178.6 million, when compared to last year.
Some sub-sectors recorded a slight increase in employment during the period. At the end of September 2013 the sector employed about 7 573 people.
Sharing the statistics, Minister of International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development Donville Inniss said the manufacturing sector continued to show positive signs and continued to contribute significantly to the local economy.
He was speaking at the official launch of the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC) roadshow and new product showcase at the Pelican Craft Centre today.
“Investment recorded for the July to September 2013 period totalled $4.8 million, some $1.7 million more than the level of investment recorded for the previous quarter. The food, tobacco and beverages sub-sector and the non-metallic sector emerged the biggest contributors with investments totaling $2.3 million and $1.2 million respectively,” said Inniss.
“Exports certified by the BIDC has increased significantly this year over last year. Total certified exports excluding oil and sugar, for the month of October alone was some $28.9 million or 30 per cent higher than the said period last year. That performance brought exports
for the first half of this current fiscal period of April to October 2013 to $178.6 million, which represents a 26 per cent increase over the corresponding period for the year 2012,” he said.
Inniss said rum continued to be the number one export commodity followed by margarine, vegetable oil and cement. He said total certified exports to Barbados’ largest export
market CARICOM, was 19.7 per cent or $25.3 million more during the six month period April to October this year when compared to 2012.
Under the BIDC’s export expansion programme, said Inniss, significant improvements in foreign sales were registered among the large exporters in production of cement,
renewable energy, building and construction materials. He said under that programme there was a total increase of 27.5 per cent to reach
$172.3 million when compared to last year. “It is really heartening to note that the manufacturing sector is recording an increase
in exports,” he said. “But we also cannot lose sight and relax and rest on our laurels. New markets, including Panama and Brazil, are aggressively being pursued.”
“These statistics suggest that manufacturing continues to make a significant contribution to Barbados economic performance,” said Inniss.
He did not say, however, the total number of people that were made redundant during the period under review or the sub-sectors that did not record any growth.