Minister of Industry Donville Inniss is standing firmly behind the country’s manufacturing sector following controversial comments by one of his colleagues.
Last Tuesday, acting Minister of Tourism Irene Sandiford-Garner charged that “the economy does not have any manufacturing element”, stating “We don’t export anything [and] we are not planting anything”.
But speaking at an event last night, Inniss said manufacturing is alive and well in Barbados.
“Certainly for those who may think that manufacturing isn’t very well in existence today, the truth of the matter is this is indeed just a reflection of what manufacturing is about in Barbados,” Inniss said as he congratulated the Oran family on the 50th anniversary of the manufacturing company bearing the family name and the 25th anniversary of the family-owned Sheraton Mall at the Crane Resort.
The acting minister’s utterance about alleged non-existent Barbados exports, also came in for public and indirect rebuke from Inniss, whose portfolio includes International Business and Small Business Development.
“Today you are not just doing it [manufacturing] in Barbados or from Barbados but I can certainly traverse the Caribbean and see Oran products as well,” he said .
“I expect to see much more of that happening, and the Government stands side-by-side with you as we do with other manufacturers to bring a higher level of innovation to the industry, and also to help find additional markets.”
Executive director of the Barbados Manufacturing Association Bobbi McKay has already responded to the comments by the acting tourism minister, saying nothing could have been further from the truth.