The business community was well represented at the Le Meridien Pegasus Hotel, on Wednesday evening, as members turned up to commemorate the launching of the second edition of “Guyana Business, An Investor’s Guide To Doing Business In Guyana” by the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI).
Komal Ramnauth, President of the GCCI, while addressing the audience at the launching ceremony said, “This edition of the magazine is even better than the first and it can only get better”.
Ramnauth elaborated on initiatives which were currently being undertaken by the GCCI. He explained that while the entire country is gearing up for the 2011 National and Regional Elections, as part of the Chamber’s commitment to social responsibility, the GCCI and the USAID-GEP, have been collaboration on a ‘Citizens Awareness Programme’.
Kaieteur News was informed that this programme seeks to raise awareness and promote positive attitudes and approaches to handling any differences that arise during elections so that there would be non-violent resolution of any disputes.
The GCCI’s President emphasised the programme’s importance. “You would appreciate the importance of this, as the cost to every household and the country as a whole is staggering when there is corruption of the economy and damage to national infrastructure and business property”.
Ramnauth added that the GCCI has been hosting stakeholder dialogues with civil society, political parties, regional Chambers of Commerce, and with the media. The basis of this consultation phase is to identify critical issues, as the GCCI hopes to move this to the public stage in the coming months.
The gathering was enlightened with information about more works being executed by the GCCI as its President explained that the GCCI has also embarked on a comprehensive membership drive to bring in more partners as it continues with its Corporate Social Responsibility Programme.
This newspaper understands that aside from this, the GCCI also tries to respond to ‘situations of need’, as they have already donated towards the Pakistan Relief Fund, victims of the Easter Monday’s fire in Kingston, Georgetown, and are currently working towards assisting the victims of flooding in Lethem (Region Nine).
Ramnauth added, “All of the Chamber’s work is being done in recognition that business needs a strong and enabling society in which to thrive. The well being of Guyana’s businesses cannot be divorced from the well being of its people, regardless of where they live, and the well being of the country as a whole:”
Ramesh Dookhoo, Chairman of the Private Sector Commission (PSC), at
the function stated that the first edition of the book which was a valuable publication, was also an initiative well worth emulating. Many investors (both existing and potential), were able to “glean much vital information” from the publication.
He said that the publication also fills a void which exists in Guyana and this void causes many foreign investors to rely on information from international agencies which are not always correct.
The GCCI was praised for its goal in satisfying an essential need by the business community that is one to project their thoughts and voices above and beyond the “national fray that takes place daily”.
Kaieteur News was further told that GOINVEST had prepared an “admirable guide for investors” which is available on its website, though the information contained, is considered to be “somewhat dated”.
The “Guyana Business” provides a comprehensive guide to investors and lists the relevant legislation, tax rates and other information that they would need, while some of the information is also of use to local investors who may not be au fait with all the relevant legislation and taxes that they may need to know about.
Dookhoo said that ‘GOINVEST reports that in 2010 it facilitated a record 300 investment agreements. A further 228 companies were granted for concessions. “Guyana was also the only Caribbean country which did not experience a decline in foreign investment in 2010.”
He expressed the need that much more needs to be done to realise the true potential of Guyana’s private sector and stated “all our private sector organisations are committed to the cause”.
“The continuation of the publication, Guyana Business, must be seen as a vehicle for the dissemination of information for and by the private sector and one which will contribute to the expansion of the economy and the improvement of the business climate in Guyana”.
Also delivering brief remarks at the launching ceremony were Clinton Urlin, Jnr. Vice-President (GCCI); Gerald Gouveia, Chairman, Security & Governance Committee (Private Sector Commission); and Lokesh Singh, Publisher of the Business Guyana Magazine.
The guest speaker at the event was Giancarlo Ariza, Guyana Country Manager, REPSOL, who gave an overview of the contributions of his company and the works being carried out (projects) for the development of Guyana and how they will benefit the entire business community.
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