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The Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) Ltd. on Friday hosted a business luncheon at the Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, Georgetown, during which the importance of increasing the competitiveness of local businesses was emphasised.
Discussions focused on the theme ‘Plans for Improving Public Infrastructure for Guyana’s Oil and Gas Economy.’
According to a GMSA press release, in brief remarks, Past President of the Association, Mr. Ramesh Dookhoo urged local manufacturers and other stakeholders to work together to strengthen their businesses, given the transformation taking place not only in Guyana, but internationally.
He also highlighted the need for them to work in tandem with the Government. “The Government is working at lightning speed…everything is happening quickly. We in the private sector need to start running alongside the Government of Guyana with a similar speed,” he noted.
GMSA’s President, Mr. Rafeek Khan, in his address focused on three main areas: competitiveness, sustainability and prioritising development.
He said the Government’s enthusiasm towards infrastructure development across Guyana is duly recognised by the Association, as well as the removal of Value Added Tax (VAT) on hinterland travel, which Mr. Khan said provided relief for small businesses and commuters.
The GMSA President said while Guyana is blessed with an abundance of natural resources, accessibility to these resources and the burdensome logistics costs pose numerous challenges for businesses.
“As we aim towards sustainable development in the wake of climate change, it is imperative that we build to last and we prioritise in areas that positively affect competitiveness,” he emphasised.
Mr. Khan underscored the importance of exporting local products; however, he pointed out the need for competitiveness to attract international buyers.
“Our new-found oil and gas sector has ushered in prosperity which we anticipate will build capacity sooner rather than later. We in the private sector look forward to supporting the decision makers in their policies and programmes for transformation,” the GMSA President said.
Guest speaker, Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Hon. Deodat Indar, referenced a number of transformative infrastructure projects being undertaken by the Government, which he said will create an enabling business environment. He highlighted the new Demerara Harbour Bridge, the Delconte Road, the deep water port across the Corentyne River, Kurupukari Bridge, the Mandela Road project, the energy-mix project among others.
The Minister also fielded questions from stakeholders as it relates to the Administration’s development plans across the country.
Government officials, members of the local, regional and international private sector, media representatives and other stakeholders were in attendance.