Statement by Ministry of Business on the issuing of import licenses for frozen chicken.

Following a number of misleading reports in the local media, the most recent contained in an editorial appearing in the Guyana Times

edition of October 22nd 2016, the Ministry of Business wishes to inform the public that consultations were held with industry stakeholders prior to issuing any import licenses to chicken importers for 2016.

These consultations resulted in a meeting being held in the Boardroom of the Ministry of Business on January 8th 2016 at 13:30 hrs, in which it was agreed that import licenses for frozen chicken would be issued in two batches for the year 2016, one for the first half and another for the second half of the year. It was also agreed during that meeting that licenses would be issued for the importation of 950,000 pounds of chicken for the first half of 2016.

The Department of Commerce of the Ministry of Business is responsible for issuing import and export licenses for a number of items including frozen chicken. The following excerpt from the above mentioned Guyana Times editorial is inconsistent with what actually took place and therefore misleading:
Based on some prior investigation, we understand that the responsible Governmental officials only met with the local producers after the licences had been issued. Some local producers have queried exactly how 19 companies were granted licenses by the Government without any consultation with the local industry.
 
The Ministry of Business is fully supportive of Guyana’s productive industries. The purpose of this release is simply to correct the misleading information contained in the editorial. The Ministry is not seeking to dispute the reasons listed in the editorial for why it is not in the national interest to import large quantities of frozen chicken into Guyana.
 
A list of names of those who attended the January 8th meeting of industry stakeholders is available from the Ministry.