Despite being urged by the government, ‘to go public’ for transparency purposes, the response from the private sector has been poor, says the Head-of-State, Bharrat Jagdeo.
President Jagdeo stated, “We have been trying to encourage more companies going public because public companies have to be more transparent in the conduct of their affairs. But we have not been able to see major changes in this direction.”
He was at the time addressing the opening ceremony for deliberations on the National Competitiveness Strategy attended by representatives of the private sector, public sector and other key stakeholders, on Thursday. The event was held at the Guyana International Conference Centre, Pattensen.
President Jagdeo pointed out that some of the public companies in Guyana have managed their affairs better than private companies. He stressed that in a modern environment, this cannot continue.
“It’s not just good governance in Government that is essential but good corporate governance is important to lend confidence to the overall system- the system that we are trying to build in Guyana,” he stated.
It was noted that this sends a strong signal to the world that Guyana is responsible and prepared to manage its affairs in the public light or private matters transparent.
He also appealed to the private sector to remain open to capital from aboard, with reference to the local private sector.
The president said that sometimes during interactions with people some of the most negative positions on foreign capital come from the private sector. He noted that one would think it would come from the Government for ideological reasons.
“I ask you to see this country with its infinite resources and possibilities as ours, and that we need to benefit from it,” President Jagdeo stressed.
He noted that resources potential cannot be unlocked with Guyana’s capital base since its too shallow and expertise available. Therefore, the country has to remain open to capital and expertise from abroad and to the transfer of technology.
The Head-of-State said that if Guyana succeeds in doing that, the country will also grow in the process.
He said that Government has to ensure that when the capital comes to the country, Guyana gets a fair share of the wealth that is created through taxation and other means.
“If not we will continue to talk about the possibilities that exist here and…100 well intentioned small companies in Guyana will sit on wonderful viable projects. They will never be able to develop them, because they are not opened to equity participation from abroad or other form of financing that is so vital for development.”
He urged that companies must see themselves as part of a growing Guyana and not try to keep the markets locked. It was revealed that some of the biggest lobbying comes from the private sector to keep markets closed in specific areas, based on their own interest. This he emphasised cannot happen because Guyana needs to protect its production.
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