[www.inewsguyana.com] – Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan has pointed out that “the Government recognises that business is not only the engine, but also the driver of economic growth and innovation… and being cognizant of the critical role of businesses to the growth and prosperity of our country, the Government has created a Ministry of Business to emphasise the importance we attach to the private sector.”
As such “this new Ministry will take action to boost entrepreneurship, provide incentives to local manufacturers and producers, as a stimulus for them to introduce greener technologies and increase value-added in their production lines, and build a new and more responsible economic model. We endeavor to create a fairer, more balanced and diversified economy, so that we are not limited to, and dependent upon, a narrow range of economic sectors, and where new businesses and economic opportunities are more evenly shared between regions and industries,’ he added.
The Minister further stated that entrepreneurial initiatives are one of the main tools for achieving the good life. They provide employment and empowerment, especially for vulnerable groups such as the Indigenous people, youth and women, and diversify communities and the local economy.
According to the Finance Minister, Guyana currently ranks 123 (of 189 countries) in the World Bank’s Doing Business Index. This is 2 points lower than its 2014 ranking. He explained “for this reason, the Government will smash the suffocating red tape that stifles businesses and stunts growth in this country. This will be facilitated by the computerisation of the licensing section of the Ministry, which would allow for more timely and efficient processing of import and export licenses.”
Also a help desk for businesses will be established; this will act as a single point of contact for information and tailored advice among businesses, traders and the Government. This is expected to encourage greater and wider compliance with international standards, and making the entire institutional framework transparent, to reduce corruption and enhance overall efficiency.
Also to ease the burden of people while setting up new enterprises, there will be the implementation of strategies to reduce the time and steps necessary to start a new business.
“The Ministry of Business intends to establish a Small Business Development Centre, which will facilitate the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in research and document preparation, and reduce the requirements necessary to access the Micro and Small Enterprise Development grant. Initiatives are also planned to make Go-Invest, the single stop, when registering a new business, which would greatly reduce the burden placed on the investor,” Minister Jordan explained.
Further, this will also be coupled with a reduction in the number of forms needed to be completed in the entire registration phase and more towards a ‘one-click’ registration system.
Also in order to foster improvements in the trading environment in Guyana, the Ministry will be strongly involved in laying the foundation for a Single Window Automated Processing System (SWAPS).
Moreover, the Ministry through its Small Business Bureau plans to advance the Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) 20 percent procurement initiative as early as 2016, so that SMEs can have a fair chance of being awarded Government contracts. [Extracted and modified from GINA]