Oct 03, 2016 News
– believes music industry can contribute $300M to nation’s GDP
The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce will be pushing for the enforcement of copyright and intellectual property rights for what it feels is the potentially lucrative creative arts sector in Guyana.
They want to focus particularly on the music industry, which they believe can add some $300M annually to the nation’s coffers.
President of GCCI Vishnu Doerga said at the GCCI’s monthly press conference that his organisation has taken part in discussions surrounding the drafts for intellectual property legislation. “As a chamber, it is also in our competitiveness manifesto that without the establishment of modern IP legislation it will always be difficult for artistes of Guyana to develop and protect their material.”
Due to the lack of proper intellectual property in Guyana, Doerga said that persons travel overseas to territories like Barbados to capitalise on the copyright enforcement in those states.
“We will continue to call for this legislation to be enacted as soon as possible and movement has been made in that direction and can be one of the updates which we can provide at a subsequent news conference.”
Doerga said that the Caribbean Development Bank project which the GCCI is embarking on will work to benefit artistes and creative personnel since it will target capacity building for individuals.
He said that in doing this, persons will create intellectual property of substance which is worth protecting so that the creators can earn the income that they are after.
However, according to the coordinator of the CDB project, Deslyn Griffith, Guyana needs to up its game in terms of the quality of products they create. She said that branding is important, but too much emphasis is placed on branding everything Guyanese when targeting the global market.
“We’ve got a self-thing in Guyana that’s going on. If you look at the products let’s say in the agro-processors, we name the products after ourselves, we name it Deslyn’s pepper sauce, we name it Vishnu’s Achar, nobody in the international world cares who is Deslyn or Vishnu.”
Griffith said that the same attitude is carried over into the music industry. “The artistes when they sing, everybody has to say Guyana, where my GT Posse and all these kinds of things.”
She said that if those products are going to be exported to persons in Europe or Asia those consumers will have little to no interest about what is ‘Guyanese’ in the song.
The coordinator said that the common trend now in Guyana is that persons have come to accept that locals are not going to buy original CDs but rather resort to buying from the push cart vendors.
Griffith said that there needs to be an upgrade in the music industry since it has the potential to be an industry which contributes $300M to the country’s Gross Domestic Product annually.
She said that persons need to tailor their products to suit the international markets if they intend to capitalise on their art. This she said will play a critical role as the GCCI rolls out the CDB funded project.
According to the GCCI president, the funds to be expended are US$226,199. However this money would not be given as hard cash to those in the music industry, crafts and agro-processing.
The Chamber, through the project will engage in helping persons who wish to take their ideas and businesses to the next level by showing them what is required and how to meet those requirements.
As it relates to agro-processing, the secretary of the GCCI Allison Butters-Grant said that entrepreneurs will be assisted to ensure their products meet international standards so as to sit on the shelves of globally ranked supermarkets. This will entail work on market research as well. The venture is expected to assist at least 15 projects over a three year period.
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