Guyana’s Private Sector Commission (PSC) on Thursday re-elected Paul Cheong as Chair, and he already has big plans for the countrywide business service organisation.
A major part of that is pushing for better access to finance for businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises.
“We will continue to engage stakeholders on a wide range of issues including access to finance for small businesses, especially those operating in the oil and gas industry,” the PSC Chair outlined.
Access to financing for business is topical, with the rapid development of oil and gas in Guyana.
One Guyanese economist, Dr. Natasha Gaskin-Peters said it is the proverbial brick wall for businesses wanting to access oil sector contracts.
To alleviate this, businesses have been encouraged to pursue partnerships with larger, established companies to make themselves viable to compete for such contracts.
And like President Irfaan Ali, Cheong said that the PSC has long encouraged its members to follow that route, especially with the Local Content Policy in place.
“We, at the Private Sector Commission, continued efforts to promote a culture of collaboration and joint ventures to access larger investment opportunities,” Cheong said. “We recognize that building partnerships is crucial in increasing our knowledge, expertise and resources to make better products and reach a greater audience and in building these partnerships, our local businesses will remain relevant rather than operate in isolation, enabling the achievements of our longer-term goals.”
Moving forward, Cheong said that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is planned with the Chinese Chamber of International Commerce (CCOIC) to pursue partnerships.
Similarly, the Commission is working with the Bilateral Chamber of Commerce, Houston, Texas through a MOU that could see the strengthening of business relationships between the private sector of Guyana and the US.
Meanwhile, with Cheong’s re-election as the PSC Chair, the Commission also re-elected Ramesh Dookhoo as Honorary Secretary and Komal Singh as Treasurer; Ryan Alexander was elected the Vice-Chairman.
President of the Guyana Oil & Gas Energy Chamber (GOGEC), Manniram Prashad was also elected to serve as the PSC’s Corporate Coordinator.