By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – A global drop in commodity prices and lack of influx of cash into Guyana’s local economy are some of the factors that contributed to a challenging business year, but Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin has assured stakeholders that the economy will recover with renewed momentum.
Gaskin offered the sentiments as one of Guyana’s oldest private sector groups – the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) – held its annual awards gala at the Pegasus Hotel on Thursday December 3, 2015.
The Minister detailed several of Guyana’s core economic sectors which a showed decline in 2015 due to the global economic situation. These included the mining and quarrying sector, the agriculture sector and the energy sector.
In this regard, the Minister said it is important that the private sector’s goal align with that of Government thus ensuring synonymous development of Guyana’s potential.
“In a nutshell we need to keep increasing the amount of money entering the economy if we want to keep it going,” he said.
“There isn’t anything we can do to influence global commodity prices…Nothing that any government can do to develop our economy will be good in the long term unless the private sector and public sector has a clear understanding of what our priorities are,” Gaskin added.
In this regard, Gaskin hinted at major developmental projects that may feature in the 2016 Budget to be presented in January.
“The concept is simple – besides creating work and putting money into the economy what is being developed is a national transportation network,” he said referring to the Parika to Goshen and the Lethem to Georgetown road plans.
“Nothing inherently wrong with Guyana that prevents us from having the good life,” he said urging the “Private sector local and foreign to make the necessary investment in Guyana and our economy will rebound and everyone will enjoy the good life.”
Gaskin is adamant that Guyana will become the “economic tiger” that many have predicted it can be.
Meanwhile, GCCI President, Lance Hinds said that Guyana’s private sector should prepare itself to provide the services that will be required in Guyana’s future as an oil producing state.
“Guyana has the potential to benefit significantly from what appears to be a large deposit of oil…As stakeholders we have a responsibility to ensure that this promise of a bright future becomes a reality,” said Hinds
He said that the government and private sector has to work together to ensure that correct and robust policies are implemented with the aim of development.
“It is imperative that we work together to fulfill that potential that has escaped us for so many years,” he said adding that the sector must “prepare ourselves to competitively provide the service required.”