President of the Dominica Manufacturers Association (DMA), Severin McKenzie has revealed that the association in collaboration with other manufacturers have presented a proposal to the government of Dominica seeking assistance to improve and expand the manufacturing facilities on island, in order to create jobs.
He made that statement while addressing the DMA 6th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in the Conference Room of the Garraway Hotel under the theme: “Making Dominican Products Export Ready”.
According to McKenzie the association is negotiating with another manufacturing association located in one of the neighbouring islands for the establishment of a Buy Dominica Shop where there is a concentration of Dominica nationals.
“I am pleased to announce that the DMA in collaboration with other manufacturers presented a proposal to government for assistance through the manufacturing sector which will assist in training, improving standards, getting our products ready for the export market,” he revealed. “If the assistance we are looking for is made available for the manufacturing sector, we will create within the next 12 months about 340 new jobs within the manufacturing sector because the proposal we have actually presented to government is one where we are seeking assistance to improve and expand the manufacturing facilities on island.”
McKenzie stated that a number of manufacturers are still skeptical and still ask the question, “What is in it for me?”
“Why should I be a part of DMA and what benefits are there?” he added. “And I would say that there are quite a number of benefits that persons who are involved in the manufacturing sector can get from being part of the DMA and the linkages that we are creating across the sectors.”
He went on to say that the manufacturing sector in Dominica can be a reliable source for growth in the Dominican economy.
The year 2016 saw mixed results in the manufacturing industry with the sector continuing to be confronted with major challenges, however, DMA had some achievements, such as the Buy Dominica Month in September and an awards ceremony in collaboration with the Dominica Coalition of Service Industries (DCSI) where focus was placed on Dominican products and services and the recognition of manufacturers.
He said the DMA successfully hosted students from the University of Dayton Ohio, for a third consecutive year; the Buy Dominica SuperCentre: The Home of Locally Manufactured Products, was relocated to the Roseau Market and DMA lead the initiative to prepare the enhancement of the manufacturing proposal to government.
Plans are on the way for the hosting of a National Expo in November, 2017, to celebrate Dominica’s 40th Anniversary of Independence.
The DMA is a non-profit, non-government organization, whose objective is to represent the interest of Dominica’s manufacturers by creating opportunities for the sales and marketing of local products and at the same time encouraging high quality, cost effective and consistent supplies of these products.
The DMA recognizes the important role of the manufacturing sector in economic development and is committed to creating the conditions to improve the profitability of its members who have invested in such an important sector.