A host of companies from Trinidad and Tobago congregated at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, yesterday, where the Energy Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago hosted the second Guyana Safety Forum. What was supposed to be a Guyana Safety forum turned out to be a T&T Business Expo.
The theme of the forum “Building a robust safety culture for private sector development” saw discussions centered on Safety and Business Performance, Contractor Safety Management with specific reference to meeting requirements for the oil and gas sector, and Training and Assessment of HSE professionals.
Certain important oil sector stakeholders were represented at this forum, including ExxonMobil, Massy Gas Products (Guyana), Saipem, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Ministry of Social Protection.
The objective of the forum was the importance of facilitating a safety culture for the development of the energy sector, but it turned out to be an avenue for various Trinidadian companies to showcase the products and services they would like to provide local markets.
The two sponsors of the event were Kenson Group of Companies, a consortium acting as a service contractor to oil and gas companies in the Trinidadian energy sector; and First Citizens Bank, a Trinidadian financial institution which has even set up office in Barbados and Costa Rica.
Kenson’s Production Engineer, Ashley Chin Aleong, presented on Kenson’s ability to maintain a competitive advantage in an HSE environment. She made cases for the companies under the Kenson group, and their ability to provide manpower services for the energy sector.
First Citizens’ Senior Account Manager, Nadine Paul, made a presentation early on. She noted the buzz around Guyana’s rapidly developing oil sector.
She waxed about Guyana’s potential to become one of the highest reserve per capita economies in the world, and took the opportunity to state that the discoveries represent an opportunity for, not just Guyana, but the entire Caribbean.
To that end, she took the time to stress that the First Citizens Bank is very pleased to offer its support. She stated that the institution is committed to investing in bankable projects in the region and commended the bank’s work to effectively analyse and manage risk within the energy sector.
“Why not approach us for a conversation that can mark the beginning of an excellent banking relationship?” Paul asked the audience.
Kaieteur News also spoke with representatives of several companies that set up booths at the Centre. These included Caribbean Tower Cranes Limited, Caribbean Safety Products Limited, HHSL Safety Systems Limited and the Hummingbird Group, IWES Limited, and Oshes Limited.
Some of those companies have already set up shop in Guyana, and others have expressed the intention to do so in the very near future.
Several local commentators have questioned whether Guyana, in its definition of a local company pursuant to the establishment of local content policy and legislation, should include as equals, workers and businesses from other CARICOM nations.
Former President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Deodat Indar, had told Kaieteur News that the Chamber submitted very specific criteria to Government that it should use to distinguish between Guyanese and foreign companies.
The four criteria it had submitted, according to Indar, are that the body’s head office should be in Guyana; that 70 percent of its workers should be Guyanese; that its board meetings should be kept in Guyana; and that 51 percent of its ordinary share capital should be held in Guyana.
Indar had said that Guyana should not focus on following the Treaty of Chaguaramas in its entirety.
The Energy Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago, on the other hand, is a staunch advocate for the swift advancement of the CARICOM single market and economy (CSME), purporting that the regional private sector has always been a major driver of regional integration.
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