Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Karl Samuda has reinforced the call for businesses to support local furniture manufacturers, and to push them to ensure that their products are internationally competitive.
Mr. Samuda said that while imported furniture indicates that the taste of the Jamaican customer has risen to the level that propels local producers to make quality goods, with consistent delivery and competitive prices, manufacturers need the continued support of retailers.
Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Karl Samuda examine a refrigerator inside the Cross Roads Branch of Courts Jamaica Limited, on October 7, during a tour of the store, at the unveiling ceremony for the company’s new concept store at that location.
The Minister was speaking at the unveiling of Courts Jamaica Limited’s new concept, Cross Roads store, on Slipe Road, on October 7. The branch underwent a $15 million refurbishing and upgrading exercise.
Mr. Samuda said that not only should the country produce furniture locally for this chain (Courts) in Jamaica, but “we should look beyond Jamaica to try to compete with the other stores that purchase furniture from different parts of the world.”
He said this is a “glorious” opportunity for the manufacturing sector, but this requires courage and entrepreneurship to take risks, to be innovative, creative, and to apply appropriate technology to enable Jamaica to take its place on the international market.
“I encourage this company to continue to support local manufacturing, because manufacturing has fallen from a high of 19 per cent in the 1980s to be struggling to get to nine per cent of our Gross Domestic Product,” he said.
Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Karl Samuda (right), in discussion with Managing Director of Courts Jamaica Limited, Hayden Singh (left) and Chief Executive Officer of Courts Caribbean, Mario Gerrero at the unveiling ceremony for the company’s new concept store in Cross Roads, on October 7.
Courts is the region’s largest furniture, appliance and electronic retail store, with the Cross Roads branch being its flagship location. The 51 year-old company operates 87 stores in 11 Caribbean countries, including Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, Trinidad, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Guyana.