Companies holding out on providing information because they fear tax authorities - Richard Pandohie

BY ABBION ROBINSON
Observer Business Writer

Sunday, July 21, 2019

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President of the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association (JMEA), Richard Pandohie is calling for a more open flow of information within the manufacturing sector.

“The 'Buy Jamaican' agenda is expanding, and that is something that the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association is truly proud of,” Pandohie said. “But we are not happy as we are not achieving anywhere near our full potential — and one of the biggest setbacks is the collection and sharing of data”.

The JMEA president was speaking at the Tourism Linkages Network's 'Christmas in July' exhibition on Thurday last (July 18) at Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston.

“Companies are holding out on providing information because they fear the tax authorities are going to come after them, or their competition is going to get access to the data,” he said.

He then highlighted that legislation governing statistics-collecting agencies protect anyone from the risk they fear.

This mindset, he believes, is crippling Jamaica's manufacturing sector, and ultimately the growth possibilities of the country.

“Without information our industries are being under-represented by the national statistical bodies, investors are being misinformed, and successive governments are unable to make realistic polices,” Pandohie explained.

He indicated that Jamaica analyses less than three per cent of available data, while companies, business organisations and governments across the world can analyse a variety of information that can provide new insights to make better and faster decisions, in particular regarding where to allocate scarce resources.

“On the flip side, with complete and accurate information we can lobby more effectively on behalf of ourselves and our sectors.

“We can present a case to the government authorities to ensure more resources are allocated to the manufacturing and export sectors,” the JMEA president argued.

He added that more importantly, this information will drive the financial sector to provide more diverse products and services at a better rate so that the manufacturing, tourism and agriculture sectors, especially the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMES), are able to access the financial products they need to expand.

The fifth staging of the Tourism Linkages Network's 'Christmas in July' exhibition provides the opportunity for producers to showcase their offerings to corporate Jamaica, the tourism industry, and the public.

'Christmas in July' is a collaborative effort of the Tourism Linkages Network and its partners JMEA, Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), and Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA).


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