The Dominica Manufacturers Association began its symposium this morning to outline a way to position the manufacturing sector to contribute more to GDP via its Strategic Action Plan.
DMA Secretary, Naomi Bannis-Sampson, says the event follows a stakeholder consultation which took place in January.
“The consultation brought together some key ministries, financial institutions, support organisations and manufacturers in one space with the goal of finding solutions to much of the issues plaguing manufacturers,” she explained.
The top three challenges she listed as finance and investment, factory space and expansion and a consistent supply of quality raw material.
The Hon Minister for Commerce, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Business and Export Development Trade, Ian Douglas gave his commitment to helping the manufacturers meet their aim of increasing their contribution to Dominica’s gross domestic product saying, “I am aware that you need both technical and financial support to realise the production aspirations suggested by this mission.”
He said all the work done by previous ministries will be accelerated under his leadership.
The event’s featured speaker was Dr Peter Alfred, an overseas-based Dominican with expertise in business, export and manufacturing.
He outlined areas of key focus for local manufacturers which were heavily based on collaboration.
Dr Alfred added however that manufacturing for the local markets must “be brought to operate at an appropriate level producing goods competitively before there can be any serious expectation of success in overseas markets.”
Dr Peter Alfred has worked in several regional countries and as a consultant with the World Bank on matters of export and trade.
The Dominica Bureau of Standards, the Invest Dominica Authority, Jolly’s Manufacturing, the US Embassy in Barbados and the OECS Competitive Business Unit made presentations on standards and packaging, fiscal incentives, collaboration, technical support and access to US markets.
An expo/popup shop took place afterwards.