Manufacturing offers the best potential for the Dominican economy – DMA president

DMA president, John Robin

President of the Dominica Manufacturers Association (DMA), John Robin said the association has embarked on a major drive to visit all manufacturing concerns on the island.

A number of manufacturing companies were severely affected by the passage of Hurricane Maria in 2017.

According to Robin, during this COVID-19 pandemic, an opportunity has been presented to reposition manufacturing and revitalize the manufacturing sector.

“We as manufacturers have to always ensure that we operate in integrity and we have to ensure that we understand the protocols that relate to everything that we are doing and we do it in a manner that is consistent with international standards,” he said.

He continued, “The DMA has a major drive and we have already embarked on it,  that is to visit all manufacturing concerns and to reposition them so that we can take maximum advantage of the package approved by the government.”

This includes duty-free entry on labeling, machinery and equipment.

Meantime, the DMA has given the Dominica Coconut Products Successors Ltd (DCPS) full support at this point in time, “and basically afford the opportunity to Dominica, not only to buy raw materials from the other CARICOM states, but it also affords us the opportunity and the potential to revitalize the Dominica coconut industry.”

Robin said the DCPS is very confident that with DCPS succeeding eventually in this endeavor, the Dominican economy and CARICOM on a whole will be in a better position.

“This has given us a tremendous boost and we are hoping that manufacturers take full advantage, but not only that, but will seek to revitalize the other companies that were seriously affected by the hurricane [Hurricane Maria,” he stated.

Robin said there are a lot of unique products in Dominica.

“Manufacturing offers the best potential for the Dominican economy now and we have to seek to use manufacturing to revitalize the economy,” he noted.

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18 Comments

  1. Waiting For Airport
    January 1, 2021

    Manufacturing will only be viable if … 1) it is based on local raw materials 2) infrastructure has been put in place to secure exports of these manufactured goods.

    Based on whats written above it is safe to assume that this initiative will be just another massive investment that, because of the lack of foresight, is destined to fail. Remember the coffee production plant?

  2. December 31, 2020

    Without a good machine shop and qualified operators we are at the mercy of other countries. In days of P.W.D. We had good machines guys could make any part. Now you have to scratch your head where to turn to.

  3. Cloud cuckoo land
    December 31, 2020

    Manufacturing? Like what? Coconut products and red Perry sauce? That’s the best all you and your PM can do! What else do you want to manufacture – cars, electronics, fruit juice, cans…? With all that money spent on education in DA the only thing that system produces is mediocre lawyers and doctors. Sorry, forgot to mention Skerrit entrepreneurs who already contribute millions to our country GDP.

  4. Magway ca
    December 31, 2020

    Argriculture offers the best potential for the Dominican industry. Get it right. The same argriculture industry that has more or less died in dca. If we go to pure manufacturing we have to import the raw materials to do that manufacturing but if we focus on argriculture we can not only export that produce but the excess can be bulk processed and stored in periods of high production for example mango season. The mangoes can be harvested, pulped and stored as a concentrate . That concentrate can be sold to already established manufacturing companies like GRACE and GOYA .we can also from that same produce make products to sell. Manufacturing is all well and good . But in a fertile country like Dominica use what we already have dont try to build something new that gonna need massive infrastructure construction

    • Dominican Bwoi
      January 1, 2021

      I was with you until the last part.

      “ But in a fertile country like Dominica use what we already have dont try to build something new that gonna need massive infrastructure construction”

      The reason why Dominica is so undeveloped compared to most of the other islands, and doesn’t have an international airport, proper nightlife, tourist attractions etc is because of people with your sort of thinking. Scared of the new and scared to try new things & only stick with what they know. That’s not a good way to live your life. And Dominica will never prosper if the citizens continue to have that way of thinking (which seems to be most people for some reason). Agriculture is great, but Dominica will always be poor if they don’t adapt with the times & stop relying on that one thing. Agriculture alone will not make Dominica rich.

  5. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    December 30, 2020

    “DMA has given the Dominica Coconut Products Successors Ltd (DCPS) full support at this point in time, “and basically afford the opportunity to Dominica, not only to buy raw materials from the other CARICOM states, but it also affords us the opportunity and the potential to revitalize the Dominica coconut industry.”

    John boy, your words in the quote is total nonsensical garbage!

    As far as I am concern all of any raw material found on any island in the Caribbean Region; are also found in Dominica, with the exception of gold and  bauxite found in Guyana:

    In addition to that from Trinidad you might import crude oil which you can manufacture  into gasoline and other petroleum products, so your theory does not hold water.

    When people go into manufacturing, the idea is not to simply sell to local population, there must be an international market for anything you produce, talking lowed as that in the quote has no weight, it’s hogwash okay!

    Debate me on that if you can.

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      December 30, 2020

      You see lots of you like to talk baloney such as “I want to go and further my studies; ” only in Dominica you hear that crap; nevertheless, those who are government sponsored, to go to Cuba and China, when you return the emphasis is placed on becoming a puppet to Roosevelt.

      None of you utilize your so called learnt skills.
      Professionally, I am an Electronic/Electrical Engineer; I have the ability to return to Dominica, and set up some form of Electronic Industry, manufacturing products that can be marketed internationally, even in the United States Europe; and Canada.

      I am older now and has no interest in that; when I could have done that in Dominica my chosen place was Antigua, and what I did I made money.

      You all are simply talking heads, talking fart, and no action; waiting for outside help, what’s the point of talking garbage?

      What about R&D, (research and development) what amount of time has any Dominican devoted to that?

      • Rosemary X
        December 31, 2020

        You are full of it. You talk the talk but you can’t walk the walk…

        • Dominican Bwoi
          January 1, 2021

          Exactly. He said “I have the ability to do this and do that”…but he didn’t. He’s all talk but no action. Clown :roll:

        • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
          January 2, 2021

          You no name need to shut up!

          I walk where my commonsense, intelligence, and academics direct me to walk. I would have to be an idiot to return to Dominica and invest money under the prevailing circumstance in Dominica.

          If Dominica was a place suited for investments, Ross University School of medicine would not have left. Colgate Palmolive and all the others who left would not have left Roosevelt Dominica!

          Years ago, I met Ron Abraham in Essex England I told him I intend to go home and set up a Radio and TV complex, providing free Television, he advised me to go into Cable Television, we debated that. I went to Antigua and set up an Electronic Busines on Kentish Road.

          Ron eventually set up Marpin Television in Dominica, you people are so damn jealous, and envious, you did not rest until you thief Marpin from him!

          Dominicans are in the habit of destroying our people when they return and invest their hard earn money.

          Meanwhile, Roosevelt gives billions to…

          • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
            January 2, 2021

            Yes, Roosevelt literally gives billions of dollars of taxpayers and passport money to foreigners who claim to be building hotels in Dominica.

            Where the hell in the world you have the government giving people money to build so called hotels. I am not a clown, nor an idiot.

            I have family in Dominica that I support financially, that I will do to the day I die, or if they die before me, other than that I am not concerned about much that goes on in the place of my birth.
            You are unemployed, sucking salt, yet you talk fart “I love my PM.” And so you vote for that corrupted sucker every five years, only to keep you poor.

            In the meanwhile he and his foreign friends, and passport salesmen and women are living on the hog; the Dominica treasury.

            His hog living turns him crazy, that is why he has a fireplace installed in his house in Dominica where the temperature varies between 70, and 91 degrees year-round!

            None of you have anything over me, I can step in your face!

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • Love your self
      December 31, 2020

      Francisco!

      We are coming from a massive Hurricane (Marie 2017 ) which basically wiped out all our coconuts. This incident has made it impossible to source coconut from our coconut farmers, as such DCP has resorted to securing supplies of the raw materials to make soap from CARICOM mainly Guyana. Despite having the possibly to source it elsewhere. In the meantime the DMA is encouraging efforts geared at a nationwide rehabilitation of our coconut industry so that in the near future we can continue to supply demand by DCP. It’s against this background that the DMA in collaboration with CMA is seeking to support DCP and all local manufacturers in their endeavors to create critical backward and forward linkage to agriculture and sustainable manufacturing within our region. The role of DMA as the lead manufacturing organization in Dominica is to provide consistent evidence based support at each phase of the operation, we do not discriminate we only focus on building.

      • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
        December 31, 2020

        Do not forget I am one born in Wesley, as a kid I saw dried coconut (corpora) shipped to Barbados for whatever purpose I do not know. Dried coconut taken to Antigua by hucksters and sold.

        No one (local individuals) ever try to produce any kind of refined coconut product and sold in the Caribbean, soap maybe I am not sure! Process coconut milk is big business, there are hundreds of different ways coconut products are made.

        So, assuming that you import coconut from St. Vincent, Trinidad; St. Lucia, what are you going to do with it in Dominica?

        When my mind flashes on manufacturing, I am not thinking about coconut oil, that will not help we can think in terms of Bananas the same way.

    • Broke and hungry
      December 31, 2020

      #1. Was very interested to see how DNO would write this article. 0 impact. There was much more to be said I’m sure.
      #2. Agriculture should be #1 yes, but the manufacturing industry is the way to value to our local produce otherwise they go to waste. We are waaay behind in manufacturing but we have some promising entrepreneurs comming up with standard ready for the international market. DMA, focus on them, assit them, give them hope for the future, not skeletons from the past.

      #3. Where are the manufacturing training programs? That’s what we want to hear about. Dominica needs to catch up!

    • Dominican Bwoi
      January 1, 2021

      “As far as I am concern all of any raw material found on any island in the Caribbean Region; are also found in Dominica, with the exception of gold and bauxite found in Guyana“.

      You said any island. Guyana isn’t an island so that’s irrelevant anyway :roll:

  6. Roger Burnett
    December 30, 2020

    Manufacturing can be viable if at least 50% of raw materials originate in Dominica. Otherwise manufacturers are at the mercy of overseas suppliers. Agro-processing for the most part meets this requirement.

    In terms of machinery and equipment, Caribbean manufacturers all too often fall for a clever sales pitch and end up with an unduly complex manufacturing plant that is unsuited to their needs.

    In this respect, the region has long been a dumping ground for inferior products. I have just spent my day making a replacement component for a piece of equipment that is part of a multi-million dollar complex. The component failed due to design and material flaws after only two years of intermittent service. Without the offending part, the plant cannot function.

    Skilled mechanical engineers and well equipped workshops are virtually a non-entity in Dominica.

  7. joseph c thomas
    December 30, 2020

    By far the island greatest asset your island has compared to neighbors is it is THE “Nature Island” a land of amazing and unique beauty.
    Wouldn’t promoting manufacturing be the exact opposite to what the islands greatest asset is?
    Odd approach.
    Follow the money…and which pockets it falls into.

    • Dominican Bwoi
      January 1, 2021

      People like you are holding the country back :roll:

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