Officials of the annual Barbados Manufacturers’ Exhibition (BMEX) are hoping that this year’s event will help to breathe new life into the local and regional manufacturing sector.
At the same time, Minister of International Business and Industry Ronald Toppin said the ten-month-old Mia Mottley-led Government would be using the expo as an opportunity to come up with “broad-based sector solutions.
Welcoming new features to this year’s event, Toppin pointed out that the annual showcase has been a major beneficiary of government support over the years, providing opportunities for local producers and service providers to “interact with their publics, obtain feedback, create new networks, solidify their patronage and be exposed to the interests of regional and international buyers”.
New elements have been added to this year’s event, including an outdoor food court, a fitness arena, a “Bajan mancave” – an area for men to eat drink and play dominoes – and an automotive attraction with vintage cars. The June 7-10 event, which is organized by the Barbados Manufacturers’ Association (BMA), will also have a revamped children’s playground and a creative industries pavilion.
The BMEX organisers have partnered
with the Barbados Coalition of Services Industries (BCSI) to showcase the products and services of more of the island’s cultural industries operators during the event, which will be held under the theme The Rebirth of Pride and Industry.
“This year’s BMEX has several new features that I hope can bring new life to the event. The BMA has relooked its efforts to better facilitate the promotion of economic activity throughout Barbados, and will be introducing a number of pop-up exhibitions leading up to BMEX 2019,” he said.
The pop-up events, he said, represented collaborative efforts with key agencies such as the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., the Barbados Tourism Product Authority, and the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association.
Promising continued support for the sector, Toppin said “The Government of Barbados continues to provide targeted assistance to the manufacturing sector by way of the Special Technical Assistance Programme administered through the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC).”
“Almost $50 million have been disbursed from the fund over the 18 years of its administration. Some 414 companies have received direct benefit from this intervention, to the tune of $25.9 million or 51.8 per cent of total disbursements. The competitive position of these companies was further strengthened through 35 sector initiatives to which the remaining $24 million were allocated,” he said