By anguillian October 24, 2016 11:22 Updated



The Anguilla Chamber of Commerce and Industry which, in its previous embryonic stage, was unable to make any effective headway in its aims and objectives, is now evolving into a most influential private sector organisation.
So persuasive has its role become, that the Chamber, through its respected and eminently qualified President, Attorney Keithley Lake, and its strong Board of Directors, is calling on the Government to be an equal partner in the issuing of business licences.
Further, the Chamber, concerned about certain reports by the Customs Department about some food imports being unfit for human consumption, says one of its primary concerns is to make members of the general public aware that they, as individuals, must exercise good judgment in buying products.”

The advice from the Chamber, as articulated by Mr. Lake, is: “Read the labels carefully; look for expiration dates; and make sure that labels are written in English. If any of these conditions is not met, we do not encourage you to purchase the product.”
Mr. Lake gave voice to the above matters at a press conference called by the Chamber on Friday, October 14. On the question of business licences, he said in part:
“In my most recent Annual General Meeting address to the membership, I made special mention of the fact that the Chamber, for several years, has been seeking to obtain shareholder status on all matters related to economic matters within the Government of Anguilla. Chief among those concerns was the ability to have an input on the issuance of business licences. Our point has always been that if a particular segment of the Anguilla economy is sufficiently occupied by local businesses, there is no point in crowding out the local investors by allowing the entry of foreign competitors. Our local businesses should be afforded every opportunity to grow and expand. This is critical to the expansion of the local economy.”
He continued: “Recently, members of the Chamber, who are involved in the local spirits and wine industry complained to us that the Ministry had issued licences to two large foreign competitors. The Chamber made representation to the Ministry and was assured that the situation would be addressed.

“The Chamber wishes to make it clear that our concerns are not limited to the wines and spirits industry but to the economy on a whole. If local businesses are not allowed to grow, our economy will always be controlled by foreign forces and will never be sustainable.
“This is not a radical position. Markets across the world such as China, Japan, Korea and even the US, restrict market entry in those sectors that are reserved for local industry. The Chamber, today, wishes once again to renew its call for stakeholder status that would, among other things, allow it to have a voice in the issuing of business licences.
“We are very mindful of the fronting issue which, for years, has been utilised as a way to circumvent restrictions against foreigners seeking to enter the marketing place. The effort to combat fronting should be no less than the hysteria surrounding moneylaundering. The issue of fronting must be subject to a vigorous source of funds regime to make sure that local participation is real. The issuance of business licences and fronting poses an ‘existential’ issue for local business. We urge the Government to make this a high priority – and a good place to start is to move ahead with granting the Chamber a seat at the table with respect to the issuance of business licences. Together we can work for the growth of local businesses which will be for the benefit of the economy as a whole.”

Among those at the press conference, apart from representatives of the Anguilla Chamber of Commerce, were a number of persons with business interests on the island and offshore, as well as media personnel who sought clarification on several matters of interest to the public and the functioning of the Chamber.

By anguillian October 24, 2016 11:22 Updated


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