President opens 8th Berbice Expo
By Leon Suseran
President Donald Ramotar declared the 8th Annual Berbice Exposition and Trade Fair open last evening at Albion, Corentyne. The Ministry of Tourism’s calendar event is planned annually by the Central Corentyne Chamber of Commerce (CCCC) and provides a unique but essential opportunity to attract investments and expand market opportunities for businesses in Berbice. The theme for this year is ‘Showcasing opportunities; fulfilling our potential’.
The heavy rainfall during the past couple of days in Berbice did not affect the opening ceremony of the programme which was attended by Minister of Tourism, Irfaan Ali and Clinton Williams, Immediate Past President of the Guyana Manufacturing Association among others.
President Ramotar noted that the Berbice Expo “has become a very important item on the agenda”, and that Berbice—popularly referred to as the ‘Ancient County’— “is not ancient from point of view of social and economic development”
“We [in Guyana] have been working in conditions not ideal, to work in an international environment that has been difficult”, the Guyanese leader said, referring to the economic crises that have affected numerous economies.
He praised good management and governance in Guyana as “sparing the people that type of hurt”. Two weeks ago, he recalled an International Monetary Fund (IMF) team “came here to examine how our economy was doing…they were high in praise for the management in economy which grew more than 5 per cent last year and this year rapidly”.
Region 6 Chairman, David Armogan mentioned the “construction boom in his part of the country”.
“New businesses are being established to cater for the growing demands for goods and services…and the commercial sector is also expanding with construction of new malls in Berbice.”
The new Industrial Site at Belvedere, Corentyne, he said, is opened and ready for business and investors.
“Electricity is a major component of total cost, [and] it’s important that we complete the Amaila Falls project that government has started and the opposition has rejected.”
Armogan also bemoaned the poor condition of the Number 63 Beach and urged that something be done about this.
The exposition will run through Monday and will have various distributors, manufacturers and retailers selling items and showcasing what Berbice has to offer in terms of raw materials, goods and services. Presentations and prizes were also made by Mr Ramotar to the Berbice National Grade Six Assessment top performers and brief remarks were made by President of CCCC, Leekah Rambrich. The National Steel Orchestra as well as the Guyana Police Force band serenaded the audience.