Sep 30, 2013 News
– Planning committee Co-Chairman
Although the number of international exhibitors has more than doubled from last year’s GuyExpo, Co-Chairman Planning Committee is insisting that GuyExpo “is still we own”.
Derrick Cummings, who has co-chaired Guyana’s premiere trade fair and exposition for the past six years, told Kaieteur News that GuyExpo is beyond an annual exhibition. He explained that the day before GuyExpo opens, a business and investment forum will be held, which will allow local and international companies to discuss ways in which links can be made and developed.
“To think that the people are coming here to sell only is not true. What they are coming for, is to display their products and perhaps invest, and have joint ventures with the local companies,” Cummings said.
He stressed that such links are necessary, since we (businesses in Guyana) need the international technology.
Cummings also said that some companies are here mainly to be a part of the business forum, and will not be exhibiting products at GuyExpo.
“That shows how important people see Guyana as an investment market. There must be something that people are seeing because for example, St. Vincent and the Grenadines is sending their top investment government people. Other agencies are also coming to be a part of the forum, and also see if they can make linkages to match with local businesses…so we must see the foreigners in a wider context than just people coming to exhibit,” Cummings said.
He noted too that there will be time allotted for international exhibitors to buy from local booths at GuyExpo.
“A few hours before we open the gates every day, there will be ‘Buyers Time’, where foreigners can have their chance to buy something from the local companies.”
When asked about whether the international companies will have the chance to dominate the local market, Cummings said that “of course they will want to sell what they can sell, and look at markets, but we ain’t got no kind of a big market for people to feel that here is a place that they can market a lot of things, because our population small.”
Chinese have a knack for selling their items at a very cheap cost, and the majority of the international exhibitors will be coming from China. A whopping 14 companies will be occupying 25 booths in the International Pavilion.
However, Cummings assured that the international companies will not be bringing anything that is manufactured locally.
“There will also be local businesses selling imported products; so in that regard, the consumers are the ones who will be benefiting. But no, the Chinese or the other international companies are not bringing anything that is being manufactured here in Guyana,” Cummings said.
He explained also that companies coming to sell will not be granted duty free concessions on their products.
GuyExpo 2013 will be held from October 3rd October 6, under the theme ‘Advancing Productivity through Innovation, Modernization, and Expansion.’
Although GuyExpo was initially about exhibiting Guyana’s prestigious agriculture, it has evolved to the extent where agriculture is now given less precedence.
Cummings explained that this is so since Agriculture has a number of other specifically dedicated forums such as Agriculture Week and others.
He added though, that agro-processing is a priority at this year’s GuyExpo, noting that it is the hope of the Planning Committee that Guyana will benefit from the technology of the other countries, in developing the agro-processing sector, especially in the much critical area of packaging and labeling.
Come next month, the Sophia Exhibition Centre will come alive with displays of Technology, Manufacturing, Services, Tourism, Games, Confectionery, Furniture, Arts and Craft, Processed Food, Clothing, Costume Jewellery, Fashion and Design, Food and Beverage, Franchise, Horticulture, Photography and International Companies.
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