Guyana’s President, David Granger has called on the country’s private sector to avoid the dangers of insularity, while pointing out that his government intends to continue pursuing regional economic cooperation.
Referring to the private sector’s pivotal role in fostering economic cooperation across the region, Mr Granger stated, “The private sector, to fulfill this role, should aim at increasing international trade and avoiding the dangers of insularity.”
He called on the private sector to focus on increasing investment, seeking to be more innovative in pursing new markets and making Guyana’s goods and services more competitive in the international arena.
President Granger’s comments came at the opening of the Guyana Trade and Investment Exhibition (GuyTIE) on Thursday and closely followed the signing of a controversial Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for energy cooperation between Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago (T&T).
Sections of Guyana’s private sector have publicly expressed their reservations about the MoU, contending that any arrangement that allows businesses from T&T to benefit from opportunities in Guyana’s oil and gas industry must be carefully considered, particularly in the absence of a Local Content framework in the sector.
The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) has maintained that any agreement with T&T in the absence of a Local Content policy or legislation is potentially dangerous and can have far-reaching negative effects on the business community and the country.
President Granger also disclosed during his address on Thursday that Guyana is preparing to conclude a framework agreement for economic cooperation with Barbados.
He said Guyana is seeing a surge of a rising tide that will deliver transformative economic change with the world class discoveries of petroleum, which will unleash unprecedented business opportunities in the country.
The President emphasized that revenues from the exploitation of Guyana’s oil and gas reserves will catalyze the nation’s economic growth, increase employment, propel innovation, intensify technology transfer and improve workforce productivity.
With Guyana poised to become the Caribbean’s foremost investment destination, the President exhorted the country’s private sector to build capacity and establish strategic partnerships in order to exploit new opportunities in the emerging oil and gas sector.
He indicated that he had a clear vision of Guyana’s future in the Caribbean and the Caribbean’s future in Guyana, and he asserted, “Our economic interests are intertwined with those in the region.”
The President pointed to the need for intensified collaboration between local, regional and international firms to grasp opportunities that can provide a platform for global market penetration.