“We have to prepare for this eventually and carefully plan to prevent possibly serious negative effects on the traditional sectors.”
By Gary Eleazar
Head of State Donald Ramotar during his address in the recent opening of Guyana’s 10th Parliament
displayed an astute sense of awareness as it relates to the challenges associated with the discovery of crude oil and accordingly warned the nation.
“There is high optimism that we are on the verge of discovering petroleum.”
He noted also that Guyana has been listed by some experts as having the potential of becoming a major player in this sector in the world.
The President did warn however that, “we have to prepare for this eventually and carefully plan to prevent possibly serious negative effects on the traditional sectors.”
Ramotar said that Guyana must learn from the experiences of other countries that have passed through that stage already.
Speaking on the need to have Guyana remain competitive in other sectors even with the imminent discovery of oil, the Head of State said, “If our goods and services are going to be globally competitive we must reduce transport costs and improve market access for our exports.”
He stressed that this is why a deep water harbour and a road and bridge link to Brazil and Suriname respectively, are all very important projects.
“These projects will allow us to become a major hub for the movement of goods between South America and the North while reducing transport costs and providing easier and freer access to larger markets for our producers…In the process, increased services and more employment would be created.”
The President urged all to support the local sectors, industries and firms with potential to produce globally competitive goods and services.
“We must not rule out any form of organization of production of goods and services…We will embrace large and small companies, public and privately owned firms…All have advantages.”
Ramotar, who is a trained economist, told the Parliament that small businesses are known to sustain growth and many of our large firms possess the managerial expertise, skilled workforce and access to resources with which to venture deeper into regional and global markets.
The President also called for an embracing Information Communication Technology (ICT) saying that new technologies are driving growth, inventiveness and innovation and integrates Guyana with a larger economic space that is spawned by globalization.
He said that this will allow the country to develop new services, and do things better, faster and cheaper, while creating thousands of much- needed jobs for our people.
“Sustaining the growth of our economy requires that we continue to court investments both local and foreign and catalyzing entrepreneurship and new innovative endeavours…Only through such measures can we create a modern, competitive economy that produces world class goods and services.”
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