Focus is being placed on setting up a framework that could see professional musicians, architects and attorneys compete for service contracts in European markets.
In a recent interview with the Government Information Agency (GINA), Minister of Foreign Affairs and Vice President, Carl Greenidge, noted that Guyana has to change its outlook.
“We have to look at a range of services…not old time low level or low income…but services that are knowledge intensive…that is an area that has to be exploited,” Greenidge said.
Guyana had sought the assistance of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to conduct a study on future opportunities that exist internationally.
The findings identified the provision of knowledge based services as one area to be explored.
Efforts are now being made to implement the findings of the study which could see professional musicians, architects and attorneys gaining entry into the European market.
New opportunities were opened up for Guyana by the European Union due to the fact that sugar from Guyana and the Caribbean no longer enjoys preferential treatment into the European market.
Additionally, access to the rice market was curtailed by way of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
According to Greenidge, Guyana has a range of local services that could support the music industry, theatre and masquerade. He said that this gives rise to interesting dimensions in the arts that can be exposed and can equally compete with overseas talent.
“This can bring in revenue both for the artistes and Guyana…We can take advantage of a high income market in Europe…The impact of South African theatre in the British market should not be underestimated,” Greenidge explained.
He added that when you have musical artistes entering a market there are a range of support services such as multimedia, electronic, photography and other talent that goes with it.
Efforts are being made to provide a framework where these service oriented professionals can be endorsed by a Caribbean or CARIFORUM wide certificate which can be presented as evidence of their authenticity. This would provide them with easier access to enter the European market to take advantage of contracts to perform.
“This is income for Guyana and the Caribbean… there are economic opportunities for utilizing skills that are so expensively acquired such as communications skills…You’re not going to pick up an architect and compete for a billion dollar project but they themselves can find the level at which they can compete and so take advantage of the opportunities,” Greenidge explained.
Access to compete in the European market is much easier when compared to obtaining entry into the United States market. While it is hoped that Guyana and the Caribbean enjoy a sympathetic year with the opening up of the Canadian market, the Region has to do significantly more to take advantage of what is being made available to them.
“The agreement and negotiations of a trade agreement with the Canadians fell through last year with Canada accusing us (the Caribbean) of not being ambitious in relation to that particular arena,” Minister Greenidge pointed out.
The government upon taking office, embarked on a course to improve relations, aggressively, both with its neighbours in South America and further afield. The fruit of those relations will see varying aspects of the country’s economy benefitting from exposure to international markets. (GINA)
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