People involved in the craft industry met on Thursday to discuss ways of improving productivity in arts and craft sector in Dominica.
The brainstorming meeting was called by the Invest Dominica Authority (IDA).
IDA’s Invest Services Officer, Shayan Monelle explained that the IDA has been working closely with the Dominica Manufacturers Association (DMA) of which the Dominica Art and Craft Producers Association (DACPA) is a part, to increase productivity and market share for people involved in arts and craft sector.
He justified this action by saying “We realize there are a number of arts and craft personnel in Dominica all of whom have various issues that they have been dealing with over the past years with arts and craft whether it’s funding or marketing or issues with quality or training, access to technology things of that nature.”
According to Monelle,” The Invest Dominica Authority chose to work with the Dominica Manufacturers Association (DMA) and DACPA in an attempt to improve the situation with art and craft in Dominica.”
President of DACPA Francis Richards is encouraged by the interest shown by the IDA to advance the island’s art and craft industry. He expressed thanks to the IDA for its efforts in working with the craft association.
“I want to place on record my sincere appreciation and thanks to the Invest Dominica Authority through Mrs. Rhonda Letang who was able to mobilize her staff to work with us”.
Meanwhile Lynford Guthrie President of the recently revitalized manufacturers association said he is optimistic about the potential for the export of local craft items. Guthrie noted that the coming together of the craft association with the manufacturers association will help to stabilize the craft production. Guthrie is of the opinion that the craft association can be considered to be one of the most productive sectors within Dominica’s manufacturing sector.
“The craft industry is a vital element of Dominica’s manufacturing sector which is linked to our tourism product in addition to bright export prospects and good local demand. It means therefore that there is a window of opportunity for locally made quality craft items by craftsmen and craft women who are looking to make a livelihood out of the craft business” he stated.
Economist, Eisenhower Douglas represented Trade Minister, Hon. Colin Mc Intyre at Thursday’s craft industry meeting.
Mr. Douglas spoke of Government’s plan to assist the craft association to be elevated. Mr. Douglas is suggesting that craft producers take advantage of the small business policy now being developed by Government.
“In Dominica we are putting together a small business policy, because fundamentally you are small business people. We already have a draft document and I really hope that we can have this draft finalized before this year comes to a close. This is an opportunity for the arts and craft producers to be part of this policy so we do not overlook that sector in any way.”
Douglas has also advised local craft producers take advantage of regional initiatives such as the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).