Oct 03, 2013 News
GuyExpo will be opening today. This year’s exposition will see greater participation from local and international exhibitors, geared towards achieving the theme “Advancing Productivity through, Innovation, Modernization and Expansion.”
Protocol Manager of GuyExpo’s Planning Committee Olwyn Chester in an interview with Kaieteur News expressed that this year’s Expo will see a 100 per cent increase in international booths, “from 36 last year to 72 this year”. It is his view that the increase of foreign exhibitors will see grater bilateral and cohesive trade among Guyanese and the international parties on board.
Chester, speaking on the International exhibitors entering Guyana, posited that eight foreign countries will be showcasing within the exhibition. Those countries are United States of America, China, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia, India, Argentina, Suriname, and Nepal (yet to be confirmed).
He added that St. Lucia will be representing the Windward Island Countries, which includes Dominica, Martinique, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada. He also said that delegations will be coming from Brazil and Barbados, so technically, fourteen countries will be participating in GuyExpo.
Speaking to the accommodation procedures, Chester explained that officials from the respective countries participating would have visited the GuyExpo website and made reservations with the hotels listed there, those facilities he said are collaborating with the Ministry of Tourism and have developed a “GuyExpo package with preferential rates and airport transfers” for the foreign participants.
As it pertains to the products and goods coming into the country to be exhibited, Chester mentioned that “goods coming in to be sold will be imported with full duty and taxes, however those countries that are bringing products for the sole purpose of just exhibiting their products without selling them, will be provided with tax exemptions.
He further noted that in the event that an international exhibitor does not get all his/her products sold, then that company may be entitled to a rebate on returning home with items which the company could not sell.
Chester explained that the international exhibitors’ booths are being sold for US $500 each and provisions have been put in place by the GuyExpo Hospitality team, for volunteers to be assigned to specific booths and provide feedback from exhibitors if assistance is needed or in the case of an emergency.
The perception among many locals is that GuyExpo is no longer about putting local businesses on the map, but has become a foreign based exhibition in which overseas countries flood Guyana’s market with cheaper goods than what is produced and exhibited locally, thus unfairly competing with local businesses
However the Co-Chairman of the GuyExpo’s planning Committee Derrick Cummings, expounded that GuyExpo is beyond an annual exhibition. He explained that this morning, a business and investment forum will be held, which will allow local and international companies to discuss ways in which links can be made between local and international companies. “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.
Cummings assured that the international companies will not be bringing anything that is manufactured locally.
GuyExpo will be officially launched at 06:00 hrs today and will start accommodating patrons by 07:00 hrs pm. The Expo will conclude on Sunday the 3rd at midnight.
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