March 12, 2010
SVG-CAN and SVGCIC are separate entities

On February 17, 2010, a press release was issued notifying the general public of the formation of a body called the SVG Chamber of Agriculture and Nutrition (SVG-CAN).{{more}}

Since the press release and a subsequent article published in the News newspaper dated February 19, 2010, the SVG Chamber of Industry and Commerce (The Chamber) has received several queries from partner individuals and organizations regarding the relationship between the group and the Chamber of Industry and Commerce. Without intent to malign or prejudice, the SVG Chamber of Industry and Commerce hereby states the SVG Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the SVG-CAN are two separate and distinct entities. We wish to emphasize that The Chamber of Industry and Commerce is not in any way associated with the organization referred to as SVG-CAN.

The SVG Chamber of Industry and Commerce agrees that private sector cooperation through the creation of groups is a prime mechanism for the further development of our country; however, we are deeply surprised and somewhat concerned by the intrinsic ambiguity that arose as a result of the press release issued. Some of our reservations are as follows:

1. The press release was issued on the same date as a meeting co-ordinated by the SVG Chamber of Industry and Commerce, with farmers seeking the Chamber’s assistance in organizing themselves into a formal group. Though the decision was made at that meeting to form a group, this was not confirmed. To this end, many of the farmers present have since expressed discomfort that a group which seemingly originated from the Chamber was formed subsequent to the meeting without their prior final endorsement. We have therefore had to allay the doubts of the farmers.

2. Whilst the term “Chamber” is not proprietary information, the SVG Chamber of Industry and Commerce Inc is commonly known locally as the “The Chamber”. To this end, reference to another group as “The Chamber” in the press release may have further contributed to our stakeholders and partners being misled.

3. The press release was signed by a former employee of the SVG Chamber of Industry and Commerce. The Chamber has issued disclaimers of non-association with this individual.

4. The article published on the meeting of farmers was published alongside the press release on the formation of the new group. This may have further contributed to the Public being misled that both groups are one and the same.

The Chamber is deeply concerned about this development. Nonetheless, we shall continue to support the strengthening of private sector with credible intentions in order to cement advances in development and to speak with a common voice. The Chamber under the Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Committee would continue its mandate and work plan set by the Council for 2010.