JIS News

Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Karl Samuda, has called on players in the hospitality industry to support local manufacturers, whose products meet international standards.
“There has been detected, a veiled resistance to support some of our well established manufacturing entities,” Mr. Samuda told a press conference at his Ministry in Kingston on Tuesday (September 29).
“We have been getting complaints from local manufacturers that there is not sufficient willingness, especially on the part of new players coming into the hotel industry, to avail themselves of the opportunity to purchase goods that are produced domestically – goods that are of the highest of quality, very competitive, and with consistency of supply. Those are the basic criteria necessary in order to ensure any form of support from the purchasers within the hotel sector,” he stated.
Mr. Samuda added that, where that is the case, those manufacturers must be given a fair opportunity to compete.
“After all, if we are talking about manufacturing being an integral part of the export community, and if tourism is to be seen as an export industry, then all that is supplied to that industry would make the manufacturers a part of the export industry,” he said.
Mr. Samuda was addressing an issue involving a leading local bedding manufacturer, who was declined business without any of his products being examined or tested.
“What we expect of a hotel (is that), having asked a local player to tender on a job and to provide samples, we expect that at least they would inspect the samples, before making a decision to compare the quality and price of the sample, and to have a discussion,” the Minister stated.
He said that in the particular instance, the hotel came to the conclusion that the product did not meet certain specifications, or requirements, without even taking the product out of the sealed package to inspect it.
The Minister disclosed that he will be meeting with the purchasing divisions of various hotels, to discuss the extent to which they are engaged in the purchase of locally produced goods.
Mr. Samuda also announced that, in order to facilitate the manufacturing sector, another 100 acres of land will be applied for at Caymanas, St. Catherine.
This is in addition to the 100 acres already allocated, which has been fully subscribed by both manufacturers and companies importing products sold domestically.
“We are encouraged by the fact that the most recent survey shows that manufacturing and productivity in the sector has increased by some 300 per cent, over previous years,” Mr. Samuda said.
The Caymanas Economic Zone will transform approximately 1,000 acres of land into factories and warehouses for the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry, the services industry, manufacturing and agro-processing.

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