GCCI’s AGM: State Minister pleads with business owners to employ more Guyanese

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…as they seek to capitalize on incoming oil sector

State Minister, Joseph Harmon on Thursday asserted that business owners should consider the country’s high unemployment rate as they seek to capitalize on the incoming oil sector, and as such, should employ measures to hire more Guyanese.

State Minister, Joseph Harmon

“We still have too high an unemployment rate in Georgetown and many parts of our country and so times when we choose business models, while it might be efficient and might be appropriate for us to choose the best models, please, I’m asking you sometimes to consider that if a model will involve employment of more Guyanese people, I would ask may that you err on the side of employment of Guyanese people,” he said.

Harmon made this statement during the Georgetown Chamber of Industry and Commerce’s (GCCI) 128th Annual General Meeting at the Roraima Duke Lodge.

The Minister was at the time making reference to a quarterly Labour Force Survey conducted during the period July 2017 to September 2017 which revealed that the unemployment rate for that period was at 12 per cent, with youth unemployment being higher.

Meanwhile, GCCI President, Deodat Indar, noted that even as Guyana is preparing for the oil sector, the country must follow the path of a sustainable economy.

President of GCCI, Deodat Indar

At that, he placed in the spotlight the controversial and much rejected Parking Meter Project, along with several other Value Added Tax (VAT) related initiatives which had been rolled out by Government and severely campaigned against in recent months.

“Our Chamber believes that it has the responsibility to the Private Sector and to the citizens of Guyana to help strengthen the fibers of economic development. It is as a result of this deep seated sense of responsibility that since the announcement of the major oil discovery in 2015, the Chamber has been one of the organizations at the forefront in offering input into the development of the oil and gas industry,” he shared.

The GCCI’s 128th Annual General Meeting earlier today also saw presentations of audit reports, financial statements and the appointment of an Auditor.

Since being established in 1889, the GCCI has managed to expand its membership to over 200 members and attained a net surplus of $5.6 million for 2017 out of $72.4 million of total revenue recorded.

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