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JCC supports Mobay Chamber

Published:Sunday | September 13, 2015 | 2:19 PM
Warren McDonald

The Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC), has given conditional support to the call by its affiliate, the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, for Chinese business operators to honour their commitments.

President Warren McDonald told The Gleaner that the JCC definitely supports the view that all sectors of the economy should honour their obligations and is particularly concerned with the obligation to pay taxes.

"Our understanding of what is happening in downtown Kingston for example is that the Chinese are a cash society. There are no records and we find that they are not paying the taxes and when Tax Administration Jamaica goes down there the ownership changes and they say that they are not the people who were there previously; that they bought the business and they don't know where the others are," he said.

"We support the MoBay call, especially as I say in regards to certain obligations which we all have as members of society. The tax issue is a grave one and the country is losing money as a result of it. Because you can't be a member of the Chamber unless you are up to date with all of your tax obligations," the JCC president noted.

"So we support them (MoBay Chamber) in the view that they (Chinese) must play their part. If they are part of the community and the community has certain projects then you help out, you don't keep to yourself and lock away yourself.

McDonald said that by operating on a cash-only basis the Chinese business people who operate in downtown Kingston are putting themselves at grave risk of injury and death, as well as losing the very money they try to keep from reaching the State coffers.

"What we find is that they are being exploited because they are not on record. Because they have this cash society, thieves prey on them and they have no evidence of the funding that they really have. Some of them don't even want to report it because they are operating in the 50 per cent underground economy.


"And as a result people know this and take advantage of it. So by and large we are in support but we believe the entire society, not necessarily the Chinese alone, but they operate this cash system and I think it depriving the State of much-needed revenues."

We have tried to use an all-inclusive approach and some of our members are for example of Chinese heritage ... some of the past presidents of the Chinese Benevolent Association are our members and through them we've been trying to get the recent Chinese businesspeople , especially those downtown to play their part.

"I wouldn't say that we've been successful but we are working on it, so we support the MoBay Chamber, especially with regards to certain obligations which we all have as members of society.