In the name of service
By Leonard St Hill | Mon, December 24, 2012 - 12:01 AM()
When the Barbados Chamber of Commerce became the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), there was a presumption that the interests of the distributive and manufacturing/producer sectors would be merged to avoid any impression of a division or lack of cooperation in objective, which the former separation suggested.
The point at issue in the separation was that the best interests of local manufacturer/producer and distributor/retailer mainly as importers commission agents could not be served by one and the same organizations without observance of boilerplate protocol designed consensually.
When the BCCI endorses the grant of a licence to Burger King as an incentive for local restaurateurs to improve their service, there has to be an assurance that the competition will take place on a level playing field. Burger King will no doubt use local meat products and bread and condiments.
The suggestion that visitors come to Barbados, proclaimed nightly on TV as the epicurean centre of the Caribbean, to indulge the same fast foods to which they are accustomed in North America or anywhere else is ludicrous. It only reinforces commission agents’ penchant which has become the hallmark of BCCI membership, and further frustrates the development of enterprise and imagination which cannot be aught from the lectern of any classroom or seminar.
Enterprise and imagination are products of experience. The blind cannot lead the blind.
In the business climate where venture capital is virtually non-existent risk capital is unknown, initial public offering of equity in business is a foreign language, the Securities Exchange is a stagnant pool, all the hype about entrepreneurship is a lot of froth on top of very small beer, the wind bloweth and it is gone. Nothing is left but the imported vessel on which the commission agent has earned a fee. Business as usual. Buy cheap, sell dearer. This is the service industry maxim.
And then we talk some more about making progress by advertising what we do not have and exporting what we do not make – all in the name of a service-orientated industry.
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