Minister of Natural Resources Vickram Bharrat, while attending a reception to celebrate the Barama Company’s attainment of the ‘Made in Guyana’ certification, noted that Guyana has come a long way from previous times.
He alluded to the government’s push to develop the non-oil economy.
“Twenty years ago, probably there weren’t many companies manufacturing local products in Guyana either, so that is another achievement by our country, by our people, and the persistence and also the incentives that have been created by our government to encourage local manufacturing, and will continue to do so because it is important in growing our economy, in providing opportunities for our people, in creating jobs for our people,” Minister Bharrat said.
He said the production of value-added commodities would ensure the country benefits from its resources.
“We have always focused on primary production, we have never ventured into value-added downstream, processing, we have always sold our raw material, in the forestry sector, we sold logs and we are still doing so, in the mining sector we do the same thing, we have been exporting bauxite ore for generations, and in almost every sector,” the natural resources minister stated.
The foreign-owned Barama company has been producing plywood locally for the past 31 years.
Now, the company will use the GNBS ‘Made in Guyana’ certified stamp on its “Guyana Tropical Plywood” products. The certification is valid for one year and can be renewed.
“As a foreign company we do recognise the significance of this certificate and how much it’s transcending into the new national thrust towards promoting local products and services,” said Mohindra Chand, Country General Manager of the company.
“I recall more than a decade ago while at the helm of the GMSA, we were calling for a Made in Guyana branding to distinguish ourselves from the region, I remembered that there was a story of ornaments that were created in Guyana and sold in another Caribbean country carrying the brand of that country at their tourist shops.
“Today the Government of Guyana, with the support of the private sector stakeholders, has transformed this dream into a reality,” Chand said.
The Barama Company, the largest plywood factory in the Caribbean, like other companies in the forestry sector, has been doing well in recent times, with major improvements in production despite some previous setbacks.
The company plans more investment and expanding its workforce, which currently has 95 per cent of locals.
The company fulfilled the criteria set by the Guyana National Bureau of Standards to receive the certification.
It is the 15th company to be certified to use the ‘Made in Guyana’ certified stamp.