‘Corruption is a tax on citizens’ says Chamber President

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Downtown Georgetown, Guyana.

During the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (GCCI) inaugural Business Development Forum on Friday, July 20, Guyanese businesses were urged to position themselves to benefit from the Oil and Gas (O&G) value chain.

Deodat Indar, President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Addressing the opening ceremony at the Savannah Suite, Pegasus Hotel, President of the GCCI, Deodat Indar reminded the participating businesses the emerging petroleum industry is another business opportunity that they can migrate into by developing and improving their businesses.

“With the oil and gas development, I hope that everybody in the room will deliver into new markets which are the oil and gas business,” he stated.

He went on to say that “Guyana is on a crossroad where you have an incoming sector and most of the requirement for the incoming sector is standards. The first thing they talk about is HSE standards…which is Health and Safety standard and Environment standards,” later adding that “the second one is your compliance issue and then your internal standards like ISO.”

As Guyanese businesses, Indar said that “we all have to move in that direction of standardization,” but warned that standardization also carries investment cost.

The GCCI President also reminded of the importance of transparency and corruption-free practices in business. “The other one is strengthening institutions against corruption and I will say something small on this. Corruption is a tax on all of the citizens of Guyana. We must do a day’s work for an honest day’s wage,” he posited, sharing that stability is also important in attracting investors.

His sentiments were reiterated by Country Representative of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Sophie Makonnen, who said: “the question is now ‘how will you, the Private Sector and Small businesses manage that crossroad, and what should be your goal to navigate it?’.”

She went on to express that the Private Sector has a crucial role to play in “successfully crossing that road into growth and prosperity.”  The IDB official also shared her view that there are different value chains that will be impacted, “some of them more positive than others…some of them are more ready than others.”