There has been much talk about a slowdown in the economic performance of private businesses
within the last 14 months. In an interview with Kaieteur News, President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Vishnu Doerga, has confirmed that there has been a slowdown in the performance of businesses. He suggested that the private sector focus on branching out into new economic activities and expanding existing industries.
He said that three of the areas which are currently being looked at are agro-processing, Arts and Craft and Music. He said that currently there is work being done in the area of agro-processing to help businesses exploit the benefits of that industry.
According to Doerga, what is happening is that persons are tapping into these industries but are not producing commodities in compliance with international standards. He said at the moment, there is a team looking into the processing and marketing of sauces, for example pepper sauce and tomato sauce.
He opined that manufacturers need to improve the value added products which they sell on the local and international market so as to gain greater revenue. He admitted that undoubtedly this adaptation to the international requirements will not happen overnight.
Additionally, Doerga believes that greater investment needs to be made in the area of Information Technology. He said this area suffers from many weaknesses; one of which is the unattractive manner in which the industry is presented to the young population.
The GCCI Head said further that the access to the opportunities by youths to the IT sector is essentially hindered. He mentioned that Telemarketing has become quite popular in Guyana and employs a large number of people. Despite this, he said that the salary packages offered for these jobs may not be to the liking of Guyanese.
He added that more needs to be done in the area of professional services. Doerga believes that with the oil find and the impending operations which are to begin, there will be need for local professionals to take up employment in that sector.
Doerga urged for current and prospective business entrepreneurs to strongly consider the possibilities which the petroleum industry can bring to Guyana. He said that preparations need to start from now if benefits are to be reaped.
The Chairman also mentioned that companies have reported on instances whereby their fellow entrepreneurs have been involved in unfair practices against them. Doerga stressed that any company which believes it is being unfairly treated should make a report soonest to the relevant authorities for an investigation to be conducted.
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