Thu | Oct 19, 2017

Chinese have helped poor communities

Published:Monday | September 14, 2015 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

As a former president of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, I am deeply concerned about the statement emanating from the office of the current president about a possible boycott of Chinese businesses.

The definition of boycott is "abstaining and preventing, and even to intimidate". The purpose of the chamber of commerce has always been to encourage and promote legitimate business activity, as well as to lobby for new investments and good business practices. Anything that could stagnate that process would be of profound interest and should be resisted by the chamber of commerce.

But I continue to see statements that one could term unfriendly or aggressive and, perhaps, insulting to a certain sector of the business community - more seriously aimed at a particular ethnic business group.

At no time should the chamber of commerce echo any sentiment that could promote an ethnic divide in the business community, whether locally or aboard.

This apparent attack on the Chinese business community shows a lack of research on their historical contribution to Jamaica,which extends well over a hundred years, especially in low-income communities.

I personally want to apologise to the Chinese business community. For they have ventured into areas to provide services where no other Jamaicans would, even at the risk of getting robbed and ridiculed.

If the position of the chamber is to encourage business and dialogue, this cannot be the approach and could very well encourage a boycott against the chamber itself.

LEE BAILEY (OD, JP)

Former President,

Montego Bay Chamber of

Commerce and Industry