The Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) and the United Guyana Diaspora Global Network (UGDGN) on November 6, 2020, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaboratively assist Small and Micro Enterprises (SMEs) in the agriculture and agro-processing sector.
Through the MoU, The Diaspora Group will work with the GMSA to provide support to SMEs in the areas of financing, market expansion, capacity building and knowledge transfer. The MOU came off the heels of the GMSA-IDB agriculture webinar held in September 2020 at which the President of the Association, Wayne Forde and member Dr Kofi Dalrymple, participated and spoke on the Diaspora’s involvement in agriculture.
The GMSA said that it welcomes the involvement of UGDGN, especially since this is adjunct to the Government of Guyana’s recent commitment to engage the Guyanese Diaspora to assist in the development of Guyana. Government, recently committed that it will re-establish the Diaspora and Remigration Unit, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, to allow for a structured engagement with the Diaspora aimed at strengthening relations and dialogue and to foster national development.
According to President of the UGDGN, Wayne Forde, “The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the United Guyanese Diaspora Global Newark Corp and the Guyana Manufacturer Services Association affirms a commitment between the Government of Guyana and interested stakeholder in the diaspora to “build bridges for a brighter future for Guyana.”
Forde emphasized the need for collaboration and cooperation between the Guyanese diaspora and stakeholders in Guyana. The collaboration agreement will allow diaspora members to invest, partner, mentor, transfer knowledge, technology, and increase market expansion for members of the GMSA.
GMSA’s President Shyam Nokta, in welcoming the formalizing of the collaborative arrangement with UGDGN thanked the organization for their commitment to supporting national development and working with the Guyana private sector by helping the GMSA to connect with the network, knowledge base and expertise of overseas based Guyanese.
According to Nokta, “This partnership is coming at a time when the GMSA is accelerating its efforts to support SMEs, in particular in the agriculture and agro-processing sector. The COVID 19 pandemic has pushed us to move to the digital space and as part of our successful Uncapped Initiative, we have started the process to set up an online portal to help SMEs showcase their products and potential markets. Through this mechanism we can also work closely with the Diaspora on key areas identified under the MoU as well as explore a range of other possibilities of collaboration in other sectors. The GMSA remains committed to working closely with Guyanese at home and abroad and to supporting SMEs.”
The GMSA and UGDGN will convene a Joint Working Group in November to develop a Programme of Activities.