Mar 04, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – The Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) virtually on March 2, 2021, during which the President’s and Audited Financial Reports were presented to its membership and the new Board of Directors was elected. Outgoing President of the GMSA, Mr. Shyam Nokta, said in his report that he took over the leadership of the Association during a challenging period when the country was grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic and an election crisis.
Notwithstanding these challenges, under his leadership, the organization showed tremendous resilience and made significant accomplishments in the various sub-sectors. At the same time, it had focused on strengthening the organization and improving governance, strengthening collaboration with key stakeholders, supporting the membership and undertaking key initiatives. Some of the Association’s most notable accomplishments for the year were: an ExxonMobil sponsorship to support the establishment of a web portal, linking products and service providers in the agro-processing sector with potential clients nationally, regionally, and internationally; an FAO grant secured to determine the feasibility study of establishing a Consolidated Log Yard operation in Guyana; collaboration with Ministry of Foreign Affairs and participating at the level of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED), and the National Advisory Committee on External Negotiations (NACEN) to represent the interests of local manufacturers as it regards trade barriers; collaboration with Triple ‘C’ Consultancy and the University of the West Indies to offer several short courses in the area of agro-processing, aimed at building capacity of agro-processors, farmers, and employees of agro-businesses; Collaboration with the IDB and the Guyana Development Initiative (GDI) to successfully host a Webinar under the theme, “Opportunities for Strengthening the Value Chain and Expanding Agriculture in a Post Covid-19 Environment.” The webinar was designed to bring together leaders in Government, multilateral organizations, and the private sector, to share perspectives and experiences with a view to identifying actions to address key challenges which could set the stage for collaborative efforts; signing of an MOU with the United Diaspora Global Network (UGDGN) to provide support to SMEs in the areas of financing, market expansion, capacity building and knowledge transfer and GMSA’s successful lobbying of Government for a menu of budget measures to support the manufacturing sector.
The organization, Nokta said, was pleased to see many of its proposed measures appearing in the National Budgets of 2020 and 2021.
In his presentation too, Nokta said, “As we look to the new year, notwithstanding the challenges of COVID-19, there is a high level of optimism in the private sector. Guyana is on the cusp of transformation never before seen. Growth is expected to quadruple and immense opportunities opened up for all Guyanese. As a business support organization, the GMSA needs to organize ourselves for this growth so we can be competitive not only at home, but regionally and internationally.”
He told the members, however, “Perhaps the bigger challenge will be how we ensure our economy remains diversified, how we support and strengthen traditional sectors even as we encourage a new sector into the economy, and how we reconcile oil and gas with green/low carbon development.”
This should continue to be the primary focus of the new Board of the GMSA. The election of the new Board of Directors was done virtually and 13 members were elected to serve for the year 2021/2022. The board members will convene for its first meeting within two weeks to elect the new Executive, and formally install the new sub-sector chairs as part of the Board.
The GMSA said that it will formally introduce the new Board in a subsequent press release after the new president and vice presidents are elected.
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