May 28, 2022 News
Kaieteur News – Export Barbados and the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest) have organized a series of meetings that would hopefully improve channels for business collaboration between the private sector of Guyana and Barbados. These meetings were held ahead of Barbados’ Agro-fest 2022.
According to a press statement, 56 delegates from Guyana arrived in Barbados on Monday May 23 to exhibit their entrepreneurial talents at this year’s Agro-fest.
It was noted that 11 of those businesses were involved in several strategic business-to-business level meetings with members of Barbados’ Private Sector. From the meetings, the businesses gathered information and forged key partnerships.
Notably, the delegates represent a cross section of sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture and agro-processing, jewelers, craft and industrial supplies.
Executive Director of Barbados Manufacturers’ Association (BMA), Ms. Shardae Boyce said, “There are several projects which we are working on that this collaboration will benefit.” The BMA Executive also cited pineapples and other non-traditional agricultural imports as immediate needs, which can be supplied from Guyana for the production of rationing packages as part of their Rationing Pack Initiative.
Meanwhile, Executive Director of the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) Mr. Nizam Hassan suggested that his membership is keen on developing such partnerships with their Barbadian counterparts. In fact, he stated, “We are looking forward to working with BMA and their members to understand the needs of the Barbados market in order to ensure that products which are supplied from Guyana meet the expectations of the Barbados consumer both from a pricing perspective as well as in terms of quality.”
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Export Barbados, Mark Hill has also indicated that his team will be working with their Guyanese counterparts to develop the Guyanese export market for Barbadian products, citing that currently Barbados exports approximately $25 million worth of products and services to Guyana. As such, over the next three years, Export Barbados through its collaboration with GO-Invest and the Guyanese Private Sector will seek to move this total to $50 million.
The question of the removal of trade restrictions to ensure easy and affordable access to products and services was raised.
It was stated that the private sector is willing to invest on growing their capacity to supply the regions’ food needs, however trade restrictions and limited access to affordable and appropriate logistics services must be addressed.
Further, the President of the GMSA Mr. Rafeek Khan said that he is pleased at the level of urgency which has been placed on strengthening collaboration and is optimistic of the prospects of enhancing the value-added manufacturing activities.
As for CEO of GO-Invest Dr. Peter Ramsaroop, he stated that, “Both President Ali and Prime Minister Motley are wasting no time in putting the necessary resources in place to ensure that this elusive dream of a single economic space is realised.”
In the midst of the global challenges facing the region, driven in large part by COVID-19, resulting in increasing supply chain disruptions, the CEO indicated that they are in collaboration with Export Barbados to set up Trade and Investment Facilitation offices in Guyana and Barbados. This will see Barbados having a constant presence in Guyana and vice versa. Additionally, it was noted that this move by GO-Invest and Export Barbados is intended to ensure that commercial initiatives can be easily and expeditiously operationalized.
Moreover, the Representative of GO-Invest will be housed within the Secretariat which has been set up by Export Barbados in Pelican Village, while the Representative of Export Barbados will be housed within the Guyana Office for Investment in Guyana. The collaboration will also seek to address some of the financing challenges which have been identified by key stakeholders.
The initiative of Export Barbados will establish the Export Bank of Barbados. This will see businesses in both countries benefiting from development financing opportunities.
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