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Commerce Minister Congratulates Local Manufacturer on Regional Acquisition

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Thursday, February 16, 2006 - Acting Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre has congratulated a locally-based manufacturing company on its recent acquisition of a Jamaican company as it prepares for the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).

It was announced on Monday that Harris Paints has purchased B-H Paints, a popular Jamaican paint manufacturing company.

Mr. Pierre, who is also the island’s Minister of Commerce, Investment and Consumer Affairs, said the move by Harris and the involvement of its local branch “is in keeping with the direction our local manufacturers have to take ahead of the CSME.”

He noted that while some small businesses will need help to meet the competition that will come with the new single market and economy, “companies like Harris Paints that can make that leap expand the reach must be encouraged to do so.”

Harris Paints’ principals say the acquisition of the new Jamaican paint plant will increase their share of the regional market and strengthen the group’s distribution network and technical resources, as they move forward with plans for regional and international expansion.

Harris Paints is based in Barbados and has plants in St. Lucia, Dominica and Guyana.

With the acquisition of B-H Paints, Harris has established a Regional Management Team, which includes the CEO of Harris Paints St. Lucia, Mr. Keith Smith.

The Acting Prime Minister said he hoped that “other companies of similar capacity will emulate the example of Harris Paints, which has been an active and forward-looking manufacturing concern in St. Lucia over the years.”

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