Seeking to bolster trade with India, Cuba and Canada, the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), successfully launched today, its Trade Facilitations Councils in the nation’s capital, Georgetown.
Attending the launching were the Business Minister, Dominic Gaskin; the President of the GCCI, Deodat Indar; Ambassadors and representatives from partnering nations; members of the Foreign Affairs Ministry; and representatives from the Guyana Office for Investment (Go-Invest).
Noting that attention is needed in ensuring the longevity and effectiveness of these trade relations, Indar explained that each relationship that Guyana seeks to develop, will have its own council. That is to say, a council for Guyana/India trade relations; a council overlooking the Guyana/Cuba relations; and finally, a council dedicated to the functioning of the Guyana/Canada trade collaboration.
The President explained that each body will comprise of representatives that will be drawn from several Guyana-based ministries including Business, Foreign Affairs, and Go-Invest.
Council members will also include a representative from the Guyana Bar Association; the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GSMA); and a representative from the guest country.
The businessman added that the councils will be independent and free to make their decisions. However, they will be required to report to the GCCI on a monthly basis.
Further to this, Indar assured the ambassadors and government officials, that the GCCI will ensure that these councils will fully serve their intended purpose.
“Like many (plans to improve trade) that end up in draws, these councils won’t. That’s not how we do things here at the Chamber. They (councils) will help us better our trade
Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin in his remarks, lauded the GCCI’s initiative; noting that the move to establish trade councils was the right one.
“This is very good. The Government of Guyana is supportive,” the state official said, adding that the collaborations are testament to that developing trade does not rest on the shoulders of one sector of society. The launch of these councils would be a spin-off of visits made last year by the GCCI to Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.
Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) were also signed between the GCCI and the Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of Cuba; the Federation of Indian Export Organisations; and the Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Industry Association (NEIA).
Last year, Cuba expressed great interest in securing medicine, rice and flour from Guyana. India on the other hand, was interested in Guyana’s agriculture and oil and gas sectors.