Guyana launches trade facilitation road map ahead of first oil

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Carl Greenidge, Guyana’s Foreign Secretary

With the advent of oil and gas there has been growing interest in the South American country of Guyana and authorities are moving to capitalise on this with the launch of a trade facilitation road map 2019- 2024.

The road map is expected to boost the country’s export competitiveness and attractiveness to investors.

Speaking at the launch of the road map on September 6 at the Ramada Princess Hotel at Providence, East Bank Demerara, Guyana, Foreign Secretary, Carl Greenidge said, “Improving our attractiveness to investors is very important as we work to develop our oil and gas sector.”

He explained that this initiative will also aid in sustaining greater economic growth, while ensuring a smoother flow of trade activities and eventually trade reforms.

Greenidge added that, “If you are to benefit in a meaningful way from the effect or spillover of growing international trade, then you have to be in a position to ensure that goods enter and leave your economy….in a manner that does not impose unnecessary burdens by way of administrative red tape…because delay is a source of cost.”

Through implementation of the road map, the trade processing time is expected to reduce by 50 percent by 2020, while reducing transaction cost by 20 %.

“The agreement in itself provides provisions for expediting movement for the clearance of goods in transit. It also sets out measures for the effective cooperation between customs and other regulatory agencies dealing with trade,” the Foreign Secretary added.

He noted that there will be a reduction in the time and resources expended by the private sector, facilitation of smooth and seamless operations, which is key to Guyana’s economic transformation, and an added incentive to investors.

Guyana ratified the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) on November 30, 2015 and established a National Committee on Trade Facilitation (NCTF) on April 9, 2015 to oversee the implementation of the Agreement, which was also launched on Friday.

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