The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) on Thursday called on local banks to ensure greater access to financing for the private sector. Failure to do this it warned, would render many Guyanese businesses uncompetitive in the booming oil and gas industry.
The chamber said it is critical that local banks share possible hindrances, be it legislative, economic, social, or environmental, that restrict better access to finance for the local private sector so that solutions can be had with alacrity.
Although several members of Guyana’s private sector have publicly voiced their concerns about the issue, GCCI said banks have not been forthcoming with information.
In a brief statement it said, “Access to finance is one of the most critical issues facing the business community and the Chamber believes that the banks play a major role in mitigating the existing challenge.”
The city chamber also said the banks’ failure to respond to the concerns of the private sector leads to the assumption that the issue of access to finance may be a question of internal diffidence at their level as opposed to a national legislation or policy concern.
GCCI said the private sector needs to have access to multiple instruments of borrowing such as invoice factoring, accounts receivable financing, contract borrowing and movable property lending to increase its competitiveness in the oil and gas sector. If this matter persists, GCCI warned that the local private sector risks becoming unable to compete with regional and international counterparts.