Minister of Tourism, Manniram Prashad officially launched the seventh Annual Berbice Expo and Trade Fair on Friday at the Albion Estate Senior Staff Club. The event, this year, will be held under the theme “Promoting Agro Businesses and Tourism”.
Coordinator of the event, Tejpaul Adjodha, said that the premier exposition and trade event in Berbice will be held from July 22 to July 25 at the Albion Community Centre Ground.
Last year, the event was held at the Canje Ground and was affected by a wet, soggy ground as a result of heavy rainfall.
Adjodha outlined some rules that will be enforced at this year’s event. No vehicles will be allowed into the ground; there will be no bottles allowed in the ground.
Booths at the Expo range from $20,000 to $45,000 for pre- fabricated booths. There will be live nightly entertainment as well as stand-up comedy. The coordinator said that security will be at a premium.The event is already 75 per cent booked.
The organizers thanked the General Manager of Albion Estate for making available the ground for use, even though the management of the estate had made an announcement barring all social activities from the ground, since the ground was being destroyed.
President of the Central Corentyne Chambers of Commerce, businessman Imran Hamid, lauded the team work between the Chambers of Commerce, the Government of Guyana and the Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce.
He called on corporate Guyana to join the exhibition which promises to be bigger than before.
He recalled that the funds from the Berbice Expo 2010 were used in meaningful ways, such establishing a fire station at Rose Hall Town, rehabilitating the Felix Austin Police College, building a sanitary block at the Albion Sports Complex as well as a contributing to the family of a policeman who was killed while on duty last year.
Minister of Tourism, Manniram Prashad, in his feature address, challenged the other Chambers of Commerce in the country to have similar events.
“I can safely say that after GuyExpo, Berbice Expo is the next best organized expo in the entire Guyana,” he said.
Prashad said that Berbice is becoming a centerpiece of attraction in Guyana. He said that a lot of persons are re-migrating to the country and region.
“More businesses are growing. People are coming from Suriname into Berbice to partake in our events. We see that at every Main Big Lime. Also, we’re seeing that in investment, just as what they are doing in Brazil,” he said.
He alluded to ‘Little Brazil’ on Robb Street in Georgetown where over three blocks have been occupied by only Brazilians.
“Surinamese are coming into Guyana to buy foodstuff to take back home. The Brazilians are all over in Lethem in mining; they’re into Guyana. Trinidadians are here, buying properties like crazy.
“Every Friday afternoon, there is a flight that comes from Barbados and Barbadians shop in Guyana. They buy shoes; they buy clothes. They go back to Barbados and pay duties and still sell them cheaper to Barbadians,” Prashad stated.
He said that according to a survey, there are over 100 Bajans every week doing business in Guyana. He also stated that people in Guyana and the Caribbean look forward to Berbice Expo every year.
The Minister added that the idea of the expo is not only to sell and make money but to build contacts and access newer markets as well as showcasing the standards of products Guyana has to offer.
“That is how you measure the success of the Expo. You want to make sure the business people here, what they exhibit are of a high standard and they can get people to purchase”.
Various businessmen who are sponsoring the event this year, include Manager of Edward B. Beharry and Co Ltd, Hashim Ali and Mr Jaillall, the Manager of CIDI Thrill Soft drink Company. They were also present at the launch.
A huge sponsorship cheque was presented by Republic Bank Manager of Rose Hall Town, Mr Mc Donald to the President of the Central Corentyne Chambers of Commerce towards the event.
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