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Chamber of lndustry and Commerce Notes Concern

Speaking on Antigua’s OBSEVER Radio recently, President of St Lucia ManufacturersPaula Caldron said the influx of Chinese businesses is a direct threat to the region. Sheargued that OECS governments should protect its people the same way China protectsits own.Caldron said the Chinese government makes it difficult for foreign businessespenetrate and dominate. She added that few global companies have succeededChina where government policies favour local giants.

“So we would not be the only ones protecting our people; China is also doing that. Sowhy is it we can’t find the tools, despite the beauty of trade negotiations, to protectourselves?”toinAdditionally, past vice president of theCommerce Michael Astaphan believes theretarding development.Caribbean Association of lndustry andregion’s relationship with China is actuallyAstaphan said it seems as if the political parties, and not the nation, are the ones thatare really benefiting and he thinks that this is something that the people should look atvery closely”A lot of them feel that we should be very much grateful to the Chinese for theirinvestment of the capital projects that they put in our countries.

Now this is a seriousproblem for us,” Astaphan said yesterday.The St. Kitts and Nevis Chamber goes on to say that even though St Kitts and Nevisdoes not formally have diplomatic relations with the Peoples Republic of China, theconcept of one economic space within the OECS makes the threat of trans-borderinfiltration very real and even more easy for these new arrivals into the sub-region. TheChamber supports the call of the OECS Private Sector that OECS Governments needto protect our own – same as China does.


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