By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Chairman of the Association of Chinese Enterprise in Guyana, Andrew Jin concluded that the bombardment of Chinese logging company – Bai Shan Lin’s – operations in Guyana is an attack on Chinese investment.
Addressing allegations that the company is involved in exploitation and indiscriminate logging, Jin along with John Willems, former Managing Director of Willems Timber and Mohindra Chand, President of the Forest Products Association believe that there is too much sensational reporting on the issue and claims are being made before verification and that which cannot be substantiated.
The trio was at the time speaking on the radio programme ‘Hard Talk’ on 90.1 Love FM this morning, Sunday, August 17.
“We are quite shocked by the bombardment of reporting on Bai Shan Lin,” Jin said; adding that “it is an attack on investment and we are alarmed at the association.”
The Chairman, whose mandate surrounds guiding Chinese investors, said he is still to be provided with substantial proof to show that Bai Shan Lin has violated the rules of agreement, which it entered with the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC).
In fact, both Bai Shan Lin and the GFC has refuted the allegations of irregularities and counter claimed that no law has been broken and all logging is done within the harvest limit.
Meanwhile, Chan who is also a member of the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) says the Forestry Sector is probably the most regulated in Guyana.
“There is always a concern that logging operations are outside environmental safeguards … people see barge loads of log and think it’s a harm to environment but that is a misconstrued conception and therein lies the problem,” Chan reasoned.
Willems also added to the debate which has occupied the covers of local newspapers for the past week, saying that while people have provided photos of the log yard showing stocked timber, he is yet to see a photo the damage which persons have claimed is being done to the forest.
He believes that it would be helpful if the GFC and government by extension reveal the nature and detail of agreement.
Region Ten Chairman, Sharma Solomon and Stakeholder in the Forestry Sector, Phillip Bynoe were invited on ‘Hard Talk’ by host, Chris Chapwanya to which they both agreed.
However, Solomon at the last minute requested a change in the recording time of the programme, which Chapwanya has agreed to.
The two are expected to debate the issue sometime this week on 90.1 FM.