A group of business people have embarked on an initiative to get companies to spend at least $2 million in condiments, furniture, garments and other locally made goods.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY at the BIDC’s Harbour Industrial Park office today, Trevor Job Clarke said he had formed a partnership with a number of other manufacturers to host a three-day exhibition at which about 14 local manufacturers and service providers will have the opportunity to interact with top executives from the hotel industry, sports, education sector, churches and large supermarket chains.
The main objective of the October 27 to 29 event is to make people in those areas aware of what items they can source locally, and give them an opportunity to see firsthand the quality of the products and services available.
Clarke said the local manufacturing industry could meet the demands and it was about time people got serious about buying more local goods.
“We are only going to be representing the interests of manufacturers. Although they are not yet large, they have the capacity and the talent to supply whatever orders they [get],” he said.
“We are looking at possibly in excess of $2 million to $3 million. We don’t expect to get all, but we are targeting up to $5 million over two years . . . We believe our products and capability will get this volume of work from the main sources mentioned. We know a large volume of work is imported.”
Adding that he was particularly concerned about the job situation in Barbados following the rush to the Sandals job fair at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre this week, Clarke said if local manufacturers were given the opportunity to supply more items to local industries they would need to employ more people.
He said he had already contacted Executive Vice-President of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) Sue Springer to alert her of the plans.
“This is an opportunity for [companies in] the private sector, both large and small, to save our country a lot of foreign exchange. We are doing business with schools and churches now but we expect more business will come forward,” he said.
Clarke also lamented that Barbados was importing too many inferior products.