The Dominica Manufacturers Association hopes to position itself to become a major contributor to Dominica’s GDP at a point which it describes as a critical stage in the island’s development.
This is why the DMA is excited about a symposium planned for next Thursday, Feb 27th, out of which will come a Strategic Action Plan for the industry.
The association presented its plans for the event which features an address from Dr Peter Alfred, a Dominican based in Jamaica with extensive qualifications and experience in finance, export and manufacturing.
There will also be presentations on standards and packaging, fiscal incentives, collaboration, technical support and access to US markets.
The Dominica Bureau of Standards, the Invest Dominica Authority, Jolly’s Manufacturing, the OECS Competitive Business Unit and the US Embassy are part of the programme.
The symposium will allow for group discussions and recommendations that will form part of the strategic action plan for manufacturing in Dominica.
President of the DMA, Severin McKenzie, says this plan comes now because, “Over the last few years, particularly prior to Hurricane Maria, the DMA had seen a real surge in activities in the cottage industries but since Hurricane Maria, we found that quite a number of them went under…because they could not get the raw materials.”
McKenzie told the press on Tuesday morning, “We realized that with the lack of a plan, we were not prepared and we did not do what was necessary for dealing with the aftermath of a disaster.”
He says the sector still finds itself “almost two and a half years after Hurricane Maria still scrambling to get our act together.”
“If you fail to plan, you almost plan to fail,” he concludes.
He says the goal is to make manufacturing one of the main pillars of the economy by the end of the decade of the 20s through increased production and quality products.