Fri 1st Dec 2017
A Vincentian told the SVG Green Party Leader, Warrant Officer Ivan O’Neal BSc (hons) MSc, MBA, that in his opinion, Taiwan has one of the world’s biggest fish processing factories in Trinidad and Tobago. The factory processes fish on a massive scale.
The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) says that fishing vessels should offload their fish catch in the country of the flag the fishing vessel is flying. Taiwan has been using SVG’s deep-sea, tuna fishing licence and SVG’s national flag for many years.
Taiwan fishing vessels in the Atlantic Ocean, recognised as local fishing vessels from SVG, should be offloading their catch in SVG. However Taiwan does not offload its fish catch in SVG and does not pay fish tax to the SVG Treasury.
Taiwan’s massive fish processing factory in Trinidad and Tobago should have been built in SVG. The people of SVG are missing out in two ways: if the fish processing factory was in SVG, it would have created thousands of new jobs; secondly, SVG is not receiving revenue from Taiwan’s tuna-fishing and processing industry.
Taiwan’s decision to not operate its massive fish processing plant in SVG is a kick in the face to our people. This double deprivation by Taiwan is tantamount to an economic and social massacre. Our people and our economy would be so much better off, if Taiwan complied with the ICCAT regulations and offloaded its fish catch in SVG and had its fish factory in SVG too.
According to Warrant Officer Ivan O’Neal, who has a BSc (hons) degree in Accounting and Finance and Economics from Oxford Brookes University, England, SVG’s relationship with Taiwan is a dark hole, that is costing us about EC$ 3.3 billion in unpaid fish tax annually.
This is a very big heap of revenue. The ULP regime is turning a blind eye to this large amount of revenue loss and tax evasion.
If Taiwan had placed its massive fish processing plant in SVG, it would have provided SVG with many economic advantages such as:
1. thousands of new jobs;
2. the transfer technology to our country and our people for the long-term;
3. cold storage facilities would provide increase revenue for VINLEC;
4. secondary businesses such as ice making, security, transport;
5. and the fish gut waste could be processed for animal feed.
SVG Green Party is calling for Taiwan’s Ambassador to SVG to be placed under house arrest until the President of Taiwan compensates SVG for the billions of dollars in fish tax that has not been paid.
It is unfair and discriminatory that Taiwan gets away with not paying hundreds of millions of dollars in tax, while our children go hungry, while our children live in households without mains water and electricity and while our children fail to get an education, because their family cannot afford books, uniforms and fees.
An SVG Green Party government would end this abuse of the Vincentian people by Gonsalves and Taiwan. We will cut ties with parasitic Taiwan and make ties with China.
A Green Party government would set up a joint venture tuna fishing and canning industry with China to bring in billions of dollars in fish tax to the SVG Treasury and build a fish processing factory in SVG to create thousands of new jobs in a billion-dollar tuna fish industry.