Wed | Dec 13, 2017

Letter of the Day | ‘Takeover’ rhetoric rankles Chinese investors

Published:Monday | August 14, 2017 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

The Association of Chinese Enterprises in Jamaica (ACE Ja) welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the country's development. The accommodating economic environment that Jamaica presents, as well as the incentives provided and supported by successive political administrations, have contributed to the attraction of increased foreign direct investment from several countries, including China.

We wish to reiterate the point contained in the recent statement from the Chinese Embassy in Kingston that there are clear separations between the Chinese government and the management of Chinese state-owned enterprises. State-owned enterprises, such as those represented by the Association of Chinese Enterprises in Jamaica, operate independently under business rules, and we assume sole responsibility for our profits and losses.

We wish to emphasise also that Chinese companies are, by nature, very competitive. Our primary aim is the satisfaction of our customers by delivering timely, cost-effective and high-quality work. The positive relationship that exists between China and Jamaica, particularly during the past 10 years, have, in large measure, facilitated historic investments in telecommunications, infrastructure, agriculture, power generation and mining.

With respect to founding member of ACE Ja, China Harbour Engineering Company Limited, the incentives alluded to have facilitated some of the most significant developments across Jamaica, which would not otherwise be affordable at this time. This includes: the Palisadoes Shoreline Protection and Rehabilitation Works, the North-South Highway, major bridges, and road network rehabilitation and expansion.

Individually and collectively, the membership of ACE Ja strives to maintain acceptable ethical standards and good corporate social responsibility, while focusing on growing our business through client satisfaction and in support of national development.

The association has already begun work on the implementation of a planned programme of activities for the coming calendar year. High on the agenda are the establishment of a code of ethics for its membership; corporate social responsibility and outreach programme; the formation and strengthening of strategic alliances with Jamaican enterprises and interest groups; the integration of the Chinese enterprises into the Jamaican society and economy; and the facilitation of discussions and seminars to promote positive interaction, the sharing of information and the development of new businesses.

The association believes that an objective cost-benefit analysis of the incentives that accrue to the foreign investors, including Chinese enterprises, be undertaken by the Planning Institute of Jamaica or any other reputable agency in order to address the lingering negative perception that Chinese enterprises in Jamaica are receiving extraordinary preferential treatment and that the objective of China's bilateral relationship is to 'take over' the country.

ALLAN BROOKS

Communications Consultant

ACE Ja