JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Jamaica will begin manufacturing the world renowned Simmons bed very soon.
  • Minister of Development, Dr. Paul Robertson, has said that the award of the manufacturing franchise to Boss Furniture Company by the Atlanta-based Simmons Company was "a fillip in Jamaica's cap, as it indicates that the country is capable of producing high quality products".
  • He pointed out that this development also demonstrated that Jamaica has efficient, skilled and trainable workforce, and most importantly, the country could compete and survive in the global marketplace.

Jamaica will begin manufacturing the world renowned Simmons bed very soon.

Minister of Development, Dr. Paul Robertson, has said that the award of the manufacturing franchise to Boss Furniture Company by the Atlanta-based Simmons Company was “a fillip in Jamaica’s cap, as it indicates that the country is capable of producing high quality products”.

He pointed out that this development also demonstrated that Jamaica has efficient, skilled and trainable workforce, and most importantly, the country could compete and survive in the global marketplace.

Dr. Robertson was speaking at a function to launch the production of Simmons bedding in Jamaica, at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston on April 25.

The Minister said that the reputation of the Simmons Company as one of the world’s largest bedding manufacturers, with sales of more than US$1 billion, was well established. It was, therefore, a distinction for Jamaica to be numbered with the 19 manufacturing plants that Simmons Company operates in the United States and Puerto Rico, and also with several franchises worldwide.

He said that Jamaica welcomed construction of the new state-of-the- art 50,000 square feet factory, which is to open in the next three months, as it would provide a source of employment as well as other spin off economic activities. Indeed, he said Jamaica has a wealth of skilled artisans in the furniture and manufacturing sector.

Turning to other matters, Dr. Robertson said there have been mixed reviews of the budgetary measures announced recently. “However, from the government side, we believe that the budget is a balanced one, which is designed to correct the fiscal deficit without causing too much dislocation,” Dr. Robertson said.

He explained that the measures taken were to increase revenue inflows, particularly from those persons who seek to avoid paying taxes, which would result in a reduction of the government’s debt burden. “If we are able to close the fiscal deficit, this will stimulate economic growth and in this respect the budget must be viewed as a development budget,” he said.

Dr. Robertson said the Ministry was working closely with several initiatives in order to improve public sector efficiency to stimulate the economy. These initiatives include the Jamaica Cluster Competitiveness Project sponsored by the Jamaica Exporters Association (JEA) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The project is seeking to improve the competitiveness of 60 Jamaican firms operating in three clusters. In addition, the Caribbean Rim Investment Initiative and the National Export Strategy Project are programmes designed to make Jamaica globally competitive, he noted.

In his address, Omar Azan, Director of Marketing and Purchasing of Boss Furniture said it was a significant step forward for the company to have been awarded the franchise to produce beds in Jamaica . “We will strive to do our best to achieve the quality synonymous with the Simmons name,” he added.

Marco Roca, Vice-President of Purchasing and Marketing at Simmons International Group, expressed his company’s confidence in Jamaica, and was looking forward to a long and close relationship with the country.