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News related to the Ministry of Business

Ministry of Business contributes to Agriculture Sectors

Agriculture Month 2017 is being celebrated under the theme: Food Security and Hinterland Development – Our National Priority, and is aimed at stimulating greater food security; increasing food production and productivity and shifting Guyana’s agricultural base inland.

The Ministry of Business supports this vision. Against the backdrop of climate change which poses a constant threat to our ability to ensure that at all times all of our people have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food, it is necessary to explore other avenues where food production faces less of a threat and at the same time where we can make progress in ensuring economic inclusivity of our hinterland regions.

The agriculture sector has historically played a significant role in Guyana’s development, but an even greater role is envisaged. A number of factors will influence the growth of the sector, some of which are: more efficient methods of production, diversification of crops, value-added productivity and greater local consumption of locally produced foods (which will help to reduce our food import bill).

The Ministry of Business contributes to the buoyancy of the agriculture sectors in a number of ways, some of which are:

The National Codex Committee: This body is coordinated through the Guyana National Bureau of Standards and among its functions, advises the Government on the implementation of Codex standards and coordinates the harmonization of national food standards with international recommendations. Through the adherence to quality standards our local producers are able to trade across borders much easier.

The National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) for Economic Diversification & Trade Promotion Project will see enhancement of Guyana’s National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) as well as the development of the National Export and Investment Promotion strategy. The thrust of this project is to improve the compliance of products for local and export markets, while at the same time supporting growth, diversification and expansion of the economy.

Assisting small Agro-process -The Department of Commerce of the Ministry of Business in collaboration with the New Guyana Marketing Corporation has been working with agro-processors to make them export ready by providing targeted interventions. The department has conducted a number of surveys to identify agro-processors with significant growth potential to work with.

Business Incubators– will become a characteristic of the new Industrial estates being developed by the Ministry of Business.  The two new estates currently being developed will see small agro-processors in Lethem and Berbice being prioritized to participate in the incubator programmes.

Training- There have been a series of Exporter Training Sessions aimed at assisting exporters of traditional and non-traditional products to understand the business and marketing aspects of crop farming and to bring their products to export readiness.

Support for Regional Exhibitions– These consumer based events help to put each region’s agriculture sector in the limelight- the Ministry of Business encourages and supports these expos. We are partnering with the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association to host Uncapped Agro-processors Exhibition and market from October 27-29.

Promoting Agro-Tourism- During last year the Ministry hosted the inaugural coconut festival which sought to highlight the opportunities for Guyana to expand the agriculture sector into other areas.

COMPONENT COORDINATOR  VACANCY

MINISTRY OF BUSINESS 

COMPONENT COORDINATOR  VACANCY

TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR COMPONENT COORDINATOR (GO-Invest)

1. BACKGROUND
The Government of Guyana, supported by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), is implementing a program for improving the National Quality Infrastructure in Guyana (NQI), Enhancing the National Quality Infrastructure for Economic Diversification and Trade Promotion.
The program’s main objective is to support economic diversification and exports through the enhancement of the NQI and through a National Export and Investment Promotion Strategy. Specific objectives are: (i) to enhance the capacity of the NQI; (ii) to improve facilities for the NQI; and (iii) to enhance the capability of export and investment promotion.
In order to strengthen the institutional framework to facilitate quality improvements1, activities will be conducted in two fronts (supply and demand related): through the enhancement of the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) and through a National Export and Investment Promotion Strategy. The program will be implemented in three sub components. In particular, the specific components of the intervention are:
Component I. Modernization of the Institutional Framework for the NQI (US$615,000). The component will support the capacity building of the stakeholders of the NQI, in particular the GNBS, by strengthening the areas of technical regulations, compliance, conformity, accreditation and training, and capacity building of public and private stakeholders. The governance structure of the NQI will be streamlined to include the needs of private sector with priority given to non-traditional exporters and a network of laboratories will be created in order to promote the most efficient use of the current facilities. In addition, the network of laboratories under the GNBS will create a monitoring and evaluation system, in which data of the users of the NQI will be collected. This component will finance: (i) activities to support the accreditation process of existing laboratories; (ii) training and capacity building for laboratories in the network and for the GNBS; (iii) creation and operation of a network of laboratories; (iv) capacity building activities on SMEs and standards (v) the development of a strategic plan for the GNBS that aligns with both the regional and national policy framework; and (v) awareness campaigns on the use of standards and quality.

Component II: Improving Laboratory Facilities and Equipment (US$5,794,500). The objective of this component is to improve facilities for the NQI. This component will finance specifically: (i) architecture and engineering designs of the new laboratory facility for the GNBS, including “green building” provisions; (ii) building of the new facility (the facility will house metrology, testing, legal metrology and office and conference facilities); (iii) required equipment for the adequate functioning of the GNBS; (iv) maintenance contracts; (v) specific support to the main laboratories related to the export/import processes under the MoH and MoB filling specific gaps in those laboratories; and (vi) a sustainability plan (to guarantee the sustainability of the investment, the development of the facilities will be concentrated in the core functions of the GNBS – metrology, calibration and testing – and will provide specific support to the Food and Drug and Agriculture facilities related to export promotion). Additional requirements, derived from quality value chain analysis that will be conducted on selected sectors and the quality bottlenecks, as part of the activities of Component III will be addressed by this component as
well.

Component III: Implementing the National Export and Investment Strategy (US$1,160,000). In order to
enhance the capability of export and investment promotion, this component will support: (i) technical
assistance to design and implement a trade and investment promotion strategy, including mapping
major value chains; and (ii) technical assistance for the strengthening of Go Invest and its ability to
promote exports and attract foreign direct investment, especially in the sectors that will need the
operation of modern certified lab facilities that are required for accessing international markets.
Program implementation will be the responsibility of The Ministry of Business; it will be managed by a
program executing unit.

II. CONSULTANCY OBJECTIVES
The Component Coordinator (CC), under the supervision and guidance of the GO-Invest and National
Quality Infrastructure Project (NQI), will be responsible for the co-ordination of the project and
production of the outputs/products, reporting directly to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GO-Invest,
Project Manager (NQI)and presenting these outputs/products to the CEO, Project Manager (NQI) and
copy to the GO-Invest Project Steering Committee (PSC).

III. CHARACTERISTICS OF THE CONSULTANCY
 Type of Consultancy: Individual
 Contract Duration: The duration of the Consultancy is 12 months renewable based on
performance.
 Post of Duty: Guyana Office for Investment (Georgetown).
 Qualifications & Experience:
Qualifications:
-Bachelors of Science Degree in the Economics, Public Policy, Management, Project Management or a
related field. Master’s Degree is preferred.
-Training in Strategic Planning
Experience:
-At least 5 years’ experience in export and investment promotion.
-At least 5 years’ experience in the management and execution of projects of a similar nature.
-Minimum of 2 years related experience in public sector projects funded by International Financial
Institutions.
–Work experience in the development of strategic plans.
-Relevant experience in the following areas: programme and project analysis and design, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and reporting
Competencies
Languages: Proficiency in English is required. Additionally, working knowledge of Spanish would be an asset.
Skills:
 Strategic Thinking: Ability to formulate objectives and set priorities and implement plans consistent with the long-term interests of the project, capitalizing on opportunities and managing risks
 Results-Orientation: Ability to meet project goals and stakeholder expectation that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analysing problems and calculating risks
 Planning and Execution: Capacity to translate strategic goals and priorities into realistic and flexible plans and project, optimizing the use of resources, monitoring implementation of plans to ensure that key results are achieved and delegating effectively
 Leading People: Competence to lead people toward meeting the project’s goals
 Building Coalitions: Ability to build coalitions internally and with other international organizations, state and local governments, non-profit and private sector organizations to achieve common goals
 Software: Microsoft Office Suite

IV SCOPE OF SERVICES
The CC will have the following key responsibilities:
 Prepares annual work plan and budget in collaboration with the Project Execution Unit (PEU) and present to the CEO of GO -Invest and the Steering Committee
 Prepares terms of reference for agreed activities and conducts technical supervision and coordination among different stakeholders regarding the consultancies.
 Provides day-to-day direction and provides inputs into project planning and implementation processes;
 Advises the CEO on project implementation, including any modification or refinement to achieve the project’s goals;
 Conducts field visits, as required, to assist in the verification of project outputs;
 Prepares all required reports and other outputs and ensures their timely delivery
 Liaises among the IDB, GO-Invest, PEU and other relevant national partner agencies and stakeholders;
 Develops the agenda for the GO-Invest Steering Committee meetings, prepares all technical background documentation in consultation with other partners;
 Acts as Technical Secretary for internal Steering Committee meetings;
 Organizes and facilitates component evaluation exercises;
 Undertakes any other activity that may be necessary for the effective management of the component; and
 Advises potential value chains and specific sectors for closer examination under the Project.

V REPORTING & PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS
The Consultant will submit monthly performance reports to show satisfactory fulfilment of activities and results as per this terms of reference.
 Coordination of day-to-day project activities;
 Timely execution of the project components and activities;
 Consolidation of project reports, including technical, environmental and financial progress reports;
 Ensuring component quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC);
 Develop and establish a network for Communications/coordination with the IDB and Project Executing Unit, Executing Agencies;
 Develop Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for monitoring and evaluation (M&E) requirements;
 Mid-Term and Terminal Evaluation Reports;
 Completed Activity Plans;
 Completed Project Action Plan;
 Development of Terms of References for various consultants as required under the Enhancement of the National Export and Investment Strategy component of GY-L1059; and
 Completed Project Results Matrix for the Component

VI PAYMENT
The consultant will be paid a monthly agreed sum that is within a remuneration range specified in relevant policies approved by the MOF for project staff.

VII. SUPERVISION & REPORTING
The consultant will report directly to the CEO of GO-Invest and the Project Manager (NQI)

Application should be accompanied by a detailed Curriculum Vitae and names of Two (2) referees with the title of the job applied for clearly marked on the envelope, followed by “ENHANCING THE NATIONAL QUALITY INFRASTRUCTURE FOR ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION AND TRADE PROMOTION PROJECT” and should be addressed to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Business, 229 South Road, Lacytown, Georgetown not later than Friday 21st July, 2017 or sent to info@minbusiness.gov.gy

COMPONENT COORDINATOR (GNBS) VACANCY

MINISTRY OF BUSINESS

VACANCY

TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR COMPONENT COORDINATOR (GNBS)

1. BACKGROUND
The Government of Guyana, supported by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), is implementing a program for improving the National Quality Infrastructure in Guyana (NQI), Enhancing the National Quality Infrastructure for Economic Diversification and Trade Promotion.

The program’s main objective is to support economic diversification and exports through the enhancement of the NQI and through a National Export and Investment Promotion Strategy. Specific objectives are: (i) to enhance the capacity of the NQI; (ii) to improve facilities for the NQI; and (iii) to enhance the capability of export and investment promotion.
In order to strengthen the institutional framework to facilitate quality improvements1, activities will be conducted in two fronts (supply and demand related): through the enhancement of the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) and through a National Export and Investment Promotion Strategy. The program will be implemented in three sub components. In particular, the specific components of the intervention are:
Component I. Modernization of the Institutional Framework for the NQI (US$615,000). The component will support the capacity building of the stakeholders of the NQI, in particular the GNBS, by strengthening the areas of technical regulations, compliance, conformity, accreditation and training, and capacity building of public and private stakeholders. The governance structure of the NQI will be streamlined to include the needs of private sector with priority given to non-traditional exporters and a network of laboratories will be created in order to promote the most efficient use of the current facilities. In addition, the network of laboratories under the GNBS will create a monitoring and evaluation system, in which data of the users of the NQI will be collected. This component will finance: (i) activities to support the accreditation process of existing laboratories; (ii) training and capacity building for laboratories in the network and for the GNBS; (iii) creation and operation of a network of laboratories; (iv) capacity building activities on SMEs and standards (v) the development of a strategic plan for the GNBS that aligns with both the regional and national policy framework; and (v) awareness campaigns on the use of standards and quality.

Component II: Improving Laboratory Facilities and Equipment (US$5,794,500). The objective of this component is to improve facilities for the NQI. This component will finance specifically: (i) architecture and engineering designs of the new laboratory facility for the GNBS, including “green building” provisions; (ii) building of the new facility (the facility will house metrology, testing, legal metrology and office and conference facilities); (iii) required equipment for the adequate functioning of the GNBS; (iv) maintenance contracts; (v) specific support to the main laboratories related to the export/import processes under the MoPH and MoB filling specific gaps in those laboratories; and (vi) a sustainability plan (to guarantee the sustainability of the investment, the development of the facilities will be concentrated in the core functions of the GNBS – metrology, calibration and testing – and will provide specific support to the Food and Drug and Agriculture facilities related to export promotion). Additional requirements, derived from quality value chain analysis that will be conducted on selected sectors an
the quality bottlenecks, as part of the activities of Component III will be addressed by this component as
well.

Component III: Implementing the National Export and Investment Strategy (US$1,160,000). In order to
enhance the capability of export and investment promotion, this component will support: (i) technical
assistance to design and implement a trade and investment promotion strategy, including mapping
major value chains; and (ii) technical assistance for the strengthening of Go Invest and its ability to
promote exports and attract foreign direct investment, especially in the sectors that will need the
operation of modern certified lab facilities that are required for accessing international markets.
Program implementation will be the responsibility of The Ministry of Business; it will be managed by a
program executing unit.

II. CONSULTANCY OBJECTIVES
The Component Coordinator (CC), under the supervision and guidance of the GNBS and National Quality
Infrastructure Project (NQI), will be responsible for the co-ordination of the project and production of
the outputs/products, reporting directly to the Executive Director (ED) of GNBS, Project Manager (NQI)
and presenting these outputs/products to the ED, Project Manager (NQI) and copy to the GNBS Project
Steering Committee (PSC).

III. CHARACTERISTICS OF THE CONSULTANCY
 Type of Consultancy: Individual
 Contract Duration: The duration of the Consultancy is 12 months renewable based on
performance.
 Post of Duty: Guyana National Bureau of Standards.
 Qualifications & Experience:
Qualifications:
-Bachelors of Science Degree in the Natural Sciences, Project Management or a related field. Master’s
Degree is preferred.
-Training in the areas of Standardisation, Laboratory Management or Quality Management Systems
-Knowledge of National Quality Infrastructure requirements and its components (Standards, Metrology,
Conformity Assessment and Accreditation)
-Training in auditing of management systems including laboratories will be an asset
-Knowledge of the requirements and implementation of the ISO/IEC 17025 standard
-Knowledge in the operations of the National Standards Bodies
-Training in Strategic Planning
-Knowledge of Accreditation and the requirements for the accreditation of conformity assessment bodies.
-Knowledge of international food safety requirements for food and agriculture products will be an asset.
Experience:
-At least 5 years’ experience working in the fields of Standardisation, Laboratory Management or Quality Management Systems.
-At least 2 years’ working experience in testing laboratories and/or in auditing l laboratories.
-At least 5 years’ experience in the management or supervision of projects financed by International Financial Institutions (IFIs).
-Work experience in the development of laboratory management systems.
-Work experience in the development of laboratory networks.
–Work experience in the development of strategic plans.
-relevant experience in the following areas: programme and project analysis and design, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and reporting

Competencies
Languages: Proficiency in English is required.
Skills:
 Strategic Thinking: Ability to formulate objectives and set priorities and implement plans consistent with the long-term interests of the project, capitalizing on opportunities and managing risks
 Results-Orientation: Ability to meet project goals and stakeholder expectation that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analysing problems and calculating risks
 Planning and Execution: Capacity to translate strategic goals and priorities into realistic and flexible plans and project, optimizing the use of resources, monitoring implementation of plans to ensure that key results are achieved and delegating effectively
 Leading People: Competence to lead people toward meeting the project’s goals
 Building Coalitions: Ability to build coalitions internally and with other international organizations, state and local governments, non-profit and private sector organizations to achieve common goals
 Software: Microsoft Office Suite

IV. SCOPE OF SERVICES
The CC will have the following key responsibilities:
 Prepares annual work plan and budget in collaboration with the Project Execution Unit (PEU) and present to the ED, GNBS and the Steering Committee
 Prepares terms of reference for agreed activities and conducts technical supervision and coordination among different stakeholders regarding the consultancies.
 Provides day-to-day direction and provides inputs into project planning and implementation processes;
 Advises the ED, GNBS on project implementation, including any modification or refinement to achieve the project’s goals;
 Conducts field visits, as required, to assist in the verification of project outputs;
 Prepares all required reports and other outputs and ensures their timely delivery
 Liaises among the IDB, GNBS, PEU and other relevant national partner agencies and stakeholders;
 Develops the agenda for the GNBS Steering Committee meetings, prepares all technical background documentation in consultation with other partners;
 Acts as Technical Secretary for internal Steering Committee meetings;
 Organizes and facilitates component evaluation exercises;
 Undertakes any other activity that may be necessary for the effective management of the component; and
 Advises potential value chains and specific sectors for closer examination under the Project.

V. REPORTING & PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS
The Consultant will submit monthly performance reports to show satisfactory fulfilment of activities and results as per these terms of reference.
 Coordination of day-to-day project activities;
 Timely execution of the project components and activities;
 Consolidation of project reports, including technical, environmental and financial progress reports;
 Ensuring component quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC);
 Develop and establish a network for Communications/coordination with the IDB and Project Executing Unit, Executing Agencies;
 Develop Standard Operation Procedures (SOP) for monitoring and evaluation (M&E) requirements;
 Mid-Term and Terminal Evaluation Reports;
 Completed Activity Plans;
 Completed Project Action Plan;
 Development of Terms of References for various consultants as required under the Enhancement of the National Export and Investment Strategy component of GY-L1059; and
 Completed Project Results Matrix for the Component

VI. PAYMENT
The consultant will be paid a monthly agreed sum that is within a remuneration range specified in relevant policies approved by the MOF for project staff.

VII. SUPERVISION & REPORTING
The consultant will report directly to the Executive Director (ED) of GNBS and the Project Manager (NQI)

Application should be accompanied by a detailed Curriculum Vitae and names of Two (2) referees with the title of the job applied for clearly marked on the envelope, followed by “ENHANCING THE NATIONAL QUALITY INFRASTRUCTURE FOR ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION AND TRADE PROMOTION PROJECT” and should be addressed to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Business, 229 South Road, Lacytown, Georgetown not later than Friday 21st July, 2017 or sent to info@minbusiness.gov.gy

Ministry of Business, Mahdia Chamber of Commerce commit to fully supporting Region 8 Agricultural – Commercial Exhibition during outreach

The Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin and a team from the Ministry of Business, which included GO-Invest CEO Owen Verwey, visited Region 8. The two-day visit (June 23-24, 2017) to Mahdia included discussions with its administration and business community and a commitment to supporting the planned Regional Agricultural – Commercial Exhibition as well as a firsthand look at the former Tumatumari Hydro Project’ which is expected to be rehabilitated to provide clean, renewable energy to Mahdia in keeping with Guyana’s Green State agenda.

Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin began his visit with a meeting with the Chairman and some of the members of the Regional Democratic Council (RDC). Discussions centered on business and tourism in the Region.

The issues covered included the upcoming Regional Agricultural Commercial Exhibition (RACE), making Mahdia a sustainable economic hub for the region, an upcoming tourism workshop, the economic impact of ongoing and planned infrastructural development, and realising the value that Guyana’s Green State image can add to economic activity in the Region.

Minister Gaskin encouraged the RDC to help identify investment projects for the region based on Regional priorities and offered his Ministry’s support in developing, preparing and promoting those projects for potential investors.

Regional Chairman Bonaventure Fredericks stated that agriculture is being discussed with a view to putting forward a viable plan for the sector in the Region. The Regional Executive Officer (REO) Gavin Gounga noted the potential of the Region to grow its own food and its experiment with Irish Potato and Hill Rice. He said that other crops that could be cultivated in the sub-region include tomato, turmeric, and cabbage.

Minister Gaskin outlined the importance of the newly formed Mahdia Chamber of Commerce (MCC) to the Region’s economic development. Both the Ministry of Business and the MCC have pledged full support for the upcoming Regional Agricultural Commercial Exhibition (RACE) and their commitment to ensuring its success. Chief Executive Officer of GO-Invest Mr. Owen Verwey was able to address a number of issues related to business and investment.

Members of the Chamber of Commerce highlighted, as one of the Region’s major issues, the need for training in tourism management if the Region’s potential is to be realized, and also emphasized the need for affordable electricity supply to businesses which would enable them to operate more efficiently and competitively.

Members stated that consideration should also be placed on businesses being able to get their business registration and tax compliance without having to travel to the Essequibo Coast or Georgetown as is currently required.

Minister Gaskin informed members that the Department of Tourism within the Ministry of Business would be visiting Mahdia in July to hold a tourism workshop with local stakeholders. This is expected to increase involvement of regional stakeholders in the development of tourism in their communities.

The Minister also underscored Government’s commitment to a Green State development pathway and explained how the Region can benefit from a global value system that places a high emphasis on protecting the environment. He suggested that the Green State could add a premium to products from the region which could offset the high cost of transportation that producers face. He also stressed the economic impact that the government’s infrastructure development programme will have on Mahdia as better roads are built in and around the community. The paving of the Linden to Mabura road, he said would greatly improve life in the community.

Minister Gaskin pointed out that the Tumatumari Hydro Project had the potential to provide affordable renewable to the entire community and that this was in keeping with Guyana’s green economic pathway. He later visited the site of the project and got a first-hand look at what was left of its physical infrastructure.

The visit concluded with a ‘walk about’ in the commercial centre of Mahdia where a network of paved roads is in the final stages of construction and has already brought much relief to local commuters. The team made a courtesy call on the students of the Mahdia Secondary School at its dormitories where GO-Invest CEO Mr. Owen Verwey donated a number of footballs to the students.

CEDA assisting Government and Private Sector to plan new business-to-business event for 2018

(Ministry of Business/June 15/2017/Georgetown/Guyana) The inaugural meeting of the Steering Committee for what will be a major biennial business-to-business engagement in 2018 was held yesterday in the Boardroom of the Ministry of Business.

The idea for the initiative emerged from consultations on the future of GUYEXPO.

Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA) had agreed to provide technical assistance to the Ministry of Business to restructure GUYEXPO. In February 2017, CEDA’s competitiveness and Innovation Manager along with representatives from Jamaica Investment Promotions (JAMPRO), the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Commerce visited Guyana and conducted a two-day workshop with the GUYEXPO planning committee that included representatives from the Ministry of Business, the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) and Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI).

CEDA and the Ministry also had consultations with Local business leaders in March 2017, arising out of those consultations, it was agreed that a new event that is purposeful and focused on business to business engagements was needed. Hence the concept for the business to business event was developed.

The event which is yet to be officially named, is geared to providing sustainable markets for export-ready products; providing opportunities for foreign companies to partner with local companies; and also providing opportunities for green field ventures among other outcomes.

The event is expected to contribute positively to export earnings for Guyana, build capacity of local businesses and aid general growth and development of the business sector.

Its objectives are to promote packaged investment opportunities for Foreign Direct Investments (FDI); link export-ready firms to export-markets; create opportunities for foreign investors to partner with local businesses; and to highlight Guyana as a good place to do business.

GUYEXPO, which was introduced in 1995, was initially under consideration to be redesigned but recommendations coming out of the consultations were for GUYEXPO to maintain its current business-to-consumer format since it was now an established brand. However, given the emphasis on export-promotion, it is unlikely that GUYEXPO will be held this year.

The Steering Committee includes: CEO GO-INVEST, Owen Verwey ( Chairman), Representatives of CEDA, Coordinator of the National Exhibition Center, Tameca Sukdeo-Singh (Coordinator), CEO Small Business Bureau, Lowell Porter, First Vice President, Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association, Ramsey Ali, Director, Guyana Tourism Authority, Indranauth Singh, Junior Vice Chairman Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry Timothy Tucker, and Vice Chairman of the Private Sector Commission, Desmond Sears.

‘Guyana has the ability to sustain international companies’

Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin, Wednesday, June 7, 2017, was the Keynote Speaker at the Launching of Shell Fuel Save, Guyana Marriott Hotel. Minister Gaskin spoke to several issues including the need for businesses to constantly improve, investing in research and development, and the importance of authorized distributorships. He also addressed Guyana’s improved customer services; our ability to sustain international companies; and Guyana’s Green State Development Strategy.

Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin said in his remarks, “For consumers it’s good to have choices and businesses must provide those choices. In business we must seek to constantly improve – what we do, as well as the quality of, whatever product or service we provide. And it is through this constant quest for improvement on the part of businesses that even consumers of fairly standard products, like paint or gas, are provided with precisely formulated new varieties to suit their requirements or preferences.”

“Smart businesses invest in research and development in order to stay ahead of their competitors through new and better products and other innovations. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, and if you don’t have new or improved products on the market you will eventually start to lose your share of the market,” he stated.

The Minister of Business emphasized that, “With this and other SOL products customers also have the benefit of an authorized distribution system which allows for accountability and traceability, and guarantees that the products reaching the consumer are genuine and conform to set standards and specifications.”

He continued, “There are too many products imported into Guyana today that are not acquired through authorized distributorships and are therefore not backed by the quality assurances and after sales support of such a system, leaving consumers unprotected in the event of any defects”.

He noted as well, “SOL now has a presence in about two dozen countries and I am sure it has different experiences in each of these countries. Reputable international companies must feel at home operating in Guyana and must be able to do so successfully.”

“Guyana’s ability to sustain international companies is a reflection of our readiness to do business with the rest of the world and the economic opportunities that exist here,” he said.

Minister Gaskin added that, “Guyana is entering a new economic era that will expose us to international norms and standards in the world of business. Guyana is expected to be producing oil by 2020. This is causing a lot of excitement both in and out of Guyana. It is also placing Guyana in the spotlight and this means that we can no longer do as we please without consequences. What happens in Guyana no longer stays in Guyana and what happens here in business is being observed far and wide. We can use this as an opportunity to showcase our country in a positive light to potential investors and partners.”

Minister Gaskin also emphasized the importance of investors understanding the long-term vision for Guyana, and explained that “the Green State Development Strategy is currently a framework that builds on Guyana’s commitments made under the Paris Climate Agreement.  It identifies a green pathway for Guyana’s development and prioritizes the well-being of our environment and of our people for generations to come.”

He further noted that “with our small population and large areas of attractive and undisturbed natural habitats there is every possibility that our most valuable resource will always be our well preserved natural environment – as long as we don’t destroy it”

The Minister concluded his remarks by suggesting that “in the same way that Shell has invested its resources into developing this new product, we in Guyana need to use our most innovative and enterprising minds and spirits to find non-destructive ways to generate sustainable economic benefits from our natural habitats.”

Ministry of Business representatives for EXPO 2017 in Astana

(Ministry of Business/June 5/2017/Georgetown/Guyana) Guyana’s participation in Expo 2017 Astana is one step closer to realization with the departure of two representatives of the Department of Tourism of the Ministry of Business to oversee Guyana’s booth from June 10th to September 10th, 2017.

Senior Tourism Officer, Ms. Sanchia Persaud, National Coordinator for the EXPO, along with Ms. Chevon Lim, the Stand Manager left Guyana last Saturday (June 3rd) for Astana, Kazakhstan. There they will manage the Guyana Booth where a variety of Guyanese products and services are expected to be on display over the next three months.

Additionally, a number of local artistes are expected to join them in August to be part of a cultural showcase.

EXPO 2017 is being organised under the theme ‘Future Energy’. This, along with the three subthemes – Reducing CO2 Emissions, Living Energy Efficiency, and Energy for All – will allow the Expo to present the state of energy today and to showcase sustainable solutions and innovative technologies.

EXPO 2017 Astana organisers expect over 5 million visitors to attend the event and hope to gather over 100 official participants.

Kazakhstan was elected by the member states of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) to host Expo 2017 during the organization’s General Assembly in November of 2012, and Expo 2017 Astana was formally recognised by the General Assembly in June 2014.

“Business training is important; do not be intimidated by technology” – Minister Gaskin tells Financial Literacy and Small Business Training Programme grads

Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin with graduands, representatives of the Ministry of Education including Director of Youth Melissa Carmichael and Presidential Advisor on Youth Empowerment, Aubrey Norton.

Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin on Thursday, June 1, 2017 delivered the Charge and Closing Remarks to the graduating class of the Financial Literacy and Small Business Training Programme facilitated by Office of the Presidential Advisor on Youth Empowerment, at the National Racquet Centre- Woolford Avenue. He encouraged students to understand a business’ functions, the basic calculations necessary, the need to pay taxes and understand operating expenses, budgeting and the limitless possibilities of technology.

Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin told students, “Anything to do with business is important – including training; you need to understand the financial aspects of running a business, how to plan and know some basic calculations that tell you what your profit is.”

He told students that linked to profit is knowing how much taxes to pay. “I hope that in this training you were taught about taxes and the importance of paying taxes on time and the importance of filing tax returns,” Minister Gaskin said.

Minister Gaskin told those gathered profits are also linked to how much money you can afford to take out of a business. “If you draw out more than your profits then you will end up not being able to meet your operating expenses; be in debt or unable to produce. Work with budgets in your business.”

He stated that student need to have an idea of what kind of business they wanted to get into, spending some time exploring options.

Additionally, Minister Gaskin pointed to how internationally technology start-ups are leading the way but here in Guyana this is not yet a common choice for young entrepreneurs. “I would say to you that this is an area with limitless possibilities,” he stated. “Do not be intimidated by technology, find a way to apply technology to what you do in business. And I can’t think of any business that you can’t improve through the use of technology,” Minister Gaskin told students.

Minister Gaskin stated that technology had led to precision agriculture where data analysis let farmers be more precise, reducing expenses and allowing them to be competitive. He said students should innovate through developing apps. “Writing apps is an area of business for which there is a lot of scope in Guyana. Many apps are simple and easy to use. You can find an app to help you create a business plan, financial projections, balance accounts or to calculate monthly repayments on loans.”

He told students, “My message to you today is simple. You’ve successfully completed the first step of a journey that can take you places beyond your wildest dreams. You now have to take the second and third steps to put you on the right path. Today’s world is technology driven and if you want your journey towards success to be a smooth one you have to learn and embrace modern technology from now.”

Additionally, Minister Gasking stated, “Start getting your ideas crystallized and documented so you can share them whenever the opportunity arises. You never know when an opportunity may arise for you to share your business proposal with someone who may be in a position to help you, make sure you’re always prepared.”

“Congratulations on successfully completing your training. Our government will continue to place great emphasis on ensuring that our young people are equipped with the skills needed for economic empowerment. And this is just another manifestation of that commitment,” Minister Gaskin told students.

The event saw 25 young students graduate who came from several regions across Guyana and underscored Government’s commitment to empowering young people through education and training.

 

Guyana’s 51st Independence Anniversary, Diaspora Direct Event, High Commission of Guyana, London

PRESS RELEASE

Guyana is on the cusp of a major economic transformation, to provide opportunities for the socio-economic advancement of our people.

(Ministry of Business/May28/2017 / Georgetown/Guyana) On Friday May 26th, 6 pm, Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin, delivered remarks in celebration of Guyana’s 51st Independence Anniversary as part of a Diaspora Direct Event at the High Commission of Guyana, London. Minister Gaskin while giving best wishes on behalf of the Government of Guyana spoke to the challenge organizing the Diaspora community and managing its expectations; the realities of governing and the advances of the Government on several fronts; commenting also on the Manchester Attack in Britain.

The Minister stated, “Guyana is on the cusp of a major economic transformation which is expected to provide opportunities for the socio-economic advancement of our people. It is what has to happen if we’re serious about the development of our country.”

He acknowledged that Guyanese who live in the United Kingdom have a lot to offer Guyana. “Our Government has developed a Diaspora Engagement Strategy aimed at ensuring that Guyanese outside of Guyana have an opportunity to contribute to the development of our country.”

Minister Gaskin said that, “The challenges we face are not unlike those faced by most countries in the world. There is poverty, there is inequality, and there is poor education and health care. This is what we inherited and this is what we are fixing.”

He said doing business in Guyana has been a major challenge. However, he added “The Ministry of Business has sought assistance from the World Bank and is currently working on an action plan to improve the ease of doing business in Guyana. Significant improvements are expected over the coming years.”

“In spite of many challenges, Guyana’s economy is still growing. Last year it grew by 3.3% which is impressive when compared to all our neighbouring economies: Venezuela – experiencing severe economic depression; Brazil – experiencing negative economic growth for a second year running; Trinidad – experiencing negative growth also; and Barbados – its economy grew by less than one percent last year,” Minister Gaskin emphasized.

He also noted that with the discovery of oil, “We are receiving a level of attention that we are not accustomed to and this is not necessarily a bad thing”. He reminded the audience that Guyana has for a long time been ignored by the international business community and not given much consideration as an investment destination, adding that “we have a chance to change this and to transform our country into one that is ready to do business with the rest of the world”

The Minister also stressed the dangers of over reliance on a single sector to drive Guyana’s economic growth. Pointing to the value-added sectors such as agro-processing, forestry products, pharmaceuticals, tourism, business process outsourcing and – infrastructure development, he identified these as areas that “needed to be kick-started if we are to diversify our foreign earnings and create sustainable economic growth and employment”.

Minister Gaskin stated, “Guyana has what it takes to produce food on a large scale; Guyana has what it takes to emerge as a top eco-tourism destination. Guyana has what it takes to provide various business services that meet global requirements. Guyana has raw materials that can be processed at home.”

On Guyana’s infrastructure plans the Minister disclosed that “our investments in infrastructure are also expected to increase national competitiveness. The road from Lethem to the Atlantic Coast will become a reality. Already a section from Linden to Mabura is being paved and a bridge over the Essequibo will connect that road to the final stretch to Lethem, providing an alternate route to the Atlantic for Brazilian businesses”.

“A new bridge will be built across the Demerara River, to take off the heavy traffic that can no longer be efficiently handled by the current bridge; new roads will link the East Bank Demerara to the East Coast of Demerara and link Parika to Linden via the East Bank of the Essequibo River. So there will be the opening up of new lands which will see development of new agricultural, industrial and residential areas”.

Additionally, Minister Gaskin stressed the importance of ensuring that the natural wealth that Guyanese who are alive today would have inherited is passed down to subsequent generations. “The conservation and preservation of our natural habitats – rainforests, wetlands, and savannahs is therefore an obligation that we take seriously and Guyana has maw several notable commitments in this regard. An additional two million hectares have been committed for conservation and Guyana has committed to the use of renewable energy sources for the generation of 100% of its electricity needs by the year 2025. We are currently exploring the use of some form of sovereign wealth fund to guarantee the wellbeing of future generations of Guyanese.”

He also told those present that despite daily reports of crime in Guyana, the rate of most forms of serious crimes were down when compared to previous years and that so far for 2017 the downward trajectory was continuing. He however cautioned that the level of crime was still an area that needed attention and assured the audience that it was receiving high attention.

Public Advisory to Poultry Importers

The Guyana Livestock Development Authority has advised that the importation of poultry originating from the United States of America is temporarily suspended. This is due to the prevalence of a Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in some parts of the USA, which poses significant health risks to Guyana.

The situation continues to be monitored by the GLDA who will advise further. The Ministry of Business will also continue to update Importers with regards to this issue as more information becomes available.

Nicola Namdeo
Director of Commerce