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GuyExpo 2009

Start Date: October 1, 2009, 09:00
End Date: October 6, 2009, 19:00
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GuyExpo 2009 emphasises Public and Private Sectors working together
To improve the business environment
By Priya Nauth
GUYANA’s premier trade and investment exposition opened last evening with emphasis on the importance of the public and the private sector working together to further improve the business environment in Guyana.
The highly-anticipated GuyExpo 2009 at its traditional venue, the National Exhibition Centre at Sophia, Georgetown, under the theme ‘Promoting Business in a Low Carbon Environment”, runs until October 6.
Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Mr. Manniram Prashad welcoming the gathering to the most important event on the calendar of trade and investment activities in Guyana, promised that Guyexpo 2009 will be a far more enriching experience than previous ones.
Also welcoming the overseas visitors and investors, he said, “We have arranged this event to enable you to take full advantage of the renowned Guyanese hospitality and to experience the wide ranging skills of Guyanese industry. Kindly avail yourselves of the quality products and services being turned out by our producers - small, medium and large - and from all sectors of the economy.”
Noting that this is the 12th GuyExpo since its inception in 1995, he insisted that it has continuously expanded to become one of the premier trade and investment events in the CARICOM region.
He commended the dedication and drive displayed by the committee in executing this event and noted that GuyExpo embraces firms of all sizes and from all the administrative regions of this country, showcasing an even wider range of quality products and services than any of the preceding GuyExpos.
He said that the theme of GuyExpo supports the national and internationally acclaimed Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) which has gained much international recognition and support.
“Guyana has taken the lead in this mission and will continue to support and encourage its local producers and manufacturers through alliances, to preserve and protect our environment, whilst increasing the quality of goods made in Guyana to compete in the international market,” he assured.
He stated that the GuyExpo logo symbolises the vulnerability, susceptibility and delicateness of the rainforest emphasising, “It is our duty and responsibility as stakeholder groups – commercial, industrial, community and domestic – to preserve and protect the environment.”
Adding, “The future of the rainforests is in our hands. We all need to work together to build a low carbon economy where national development and combating climate change are complementary.”
He said that the private sector is recognised as the engine of growth and development and must adapt to the realities of being “models of low carbon development”.
“We as Guyanese must be energy sufficient, and we must take advantage of the investment opportunities in a low carbon environment,” minister Prashad stated.
He pointed out, “This event is a partnership between the Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce and the private sector of Guyana.”
Prashad said as the theme suggests, GuyExpo 2009 is a summons to action by manufacturers of goods and providers of services encompassing farmers, craftspersons, artists and Guyanese from all walks of life, committed to progress and to explore the vast opportunities for self-improvement and community development as the vehicle to propel Guyana onwards.
“Guyexpo 2009 presents participants with an opportunity to put in the public realm the results of their innate talents, innovations, enterprise and industry,” he stated.
He congratulated all the companies, noting, “We are encouraged by the fact that even more companies have chosen Guyexpo 2009 to launch new products.”
“This highlights the value and importance the private sector places on this premier event in their business strategy. Your participation in GuyExpo 2009 highlights the progress Guyana has made and reassures us all – both at home and abroad – that the private sector has the capacity to take advantage of the growth opportunities being created,” he exhorted.
He reminded that a mandate of his ministry is to promote the development of tourism, industry and commerce, and “has been championing the role of the private sector both domestic and foreign in taking up the expanding opportunities being continuously created.
“Being a resource-based country, we have reason to be highly optimistic in expanding and bringing new investments here…our macro-economic and financial framework remains stable,” he posited.
“We have been under the National Competitiveness Strategy (NCS) working assiduously in a new partnership with the private sector to push the horizon of investment opportunities,” he noted.
Alluding to the Berbice Bridge and the Ogle International Airport as examples of private/public partnership, he said these have induced new investments, generated jobs and provided quality services which were earlier not available, underscoring, “There are others in the making.”
“When it comes to improving the business environment – this government is serious in delivering services to you across the board,” Minister Prashad reassured
“It is recognition of the positive impact these changes are having on investment and trade that enabled Guyana to make an 11 point leap in the ranking of the World Bank ease of doing business index,” he stressed.
He said the government is “committed to continue on this course” and disclosed that Guyana has just become a member of Trade Point International and Trade Point Georgetown should be operational by the end of this year.
Noting that the physical arrangements for this year’s activity surpasses all previous efforts, he reiterated, “We should not forget the overriding purpose of trade fairs and in this regard, I urge you to get on with new commercial opportunities”.
Chairman of the Private Sector Commission (PSC) Captain Gerry Gouveia said the private sector looks to not only showcasing its products and services, but making new friends and partners.
Genuine partnership
“We, the members of the PSC look forward to the many business opportunities that Guyexpo makes available to us every year,” he said and maintained that the PSC of Guyana welcomes with “open arms foreign investors”.
Taking note of the importance of working together in good faith in the interest of the country, he observed that each year GuyExpo becomes better and more refined.
“As we prepare to face the global challenges, the private sector is heartened by the genuine partnership that exists between the public and the private sector,” he expressed.
He noted that the public and private sectors work together in all spheres of society, particularly in the Competitiveness Strategy, which is owned equally by the government and private sector and other members of civil society.
“We work genuinely together identifying the issues of competitiveness that would make us competitive on the international scene,” Captain Gouveia stated.
He agreed that the theme of GuyExpo is “most fitting at this time” since climate change is affecting all of us.
“And while we may want to put the blame squarely on the doorsteps of the developed world, here and now we have a responsibility as well. All businesses, you have to do your business with a high level of corporate social responsibility,” he called.
“We have to embrace good and responsible environmental practices; it is our corporate social responsibility to minimise the emission of dangerous gases. We have to take care of our environment,” he went on.
Repeating that changes need to be made as “we embrace the future” in the interest of the environment, he stated that the private sector is aware of the new challenges and the way it needs to do business.
Congratulating the minister and his team for putting together the event, he stated, “The PSC looks forward with excitement to the future of Guyana…we look forward to working together in good faith and in good partnership with all stakeholders,” he emphasised.
The major trade show which was inaugurated in 1995 aims to create the enabling environment for businesses to develop and grow by advertising locally produced goods and services to local and foreign investors.
It has since grown vastly in attendance, participation and scope and has become a national calendar event, attracting interest from the Caribbean and further a field.
Among those present were Prime Minister Samuel Hinds; Ministers of Government; Members of the Diplomatic Corps.
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