By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – GuyExpo 2014 – an almost two decades even – has once again demonstrated its importance to local businesses and the foreign investors with a grand opening last evening at the Sophia exhibition centre; attracting hundreds of Guyanese and foreigners.
The exhibition site has been transformed to host over the next three days the longest sustained trade fair in the Caribbean which comprises of 56 overseas businesses and over 400 booths.
GuyExpo is intended to be a Guyanese trade fair that was first held 19 years ago and has now morphed into what could be termed a Caribbean trade fair; attracting businesses from the region and further afield.
The event has been endorsed wildly by the local private sector, which also believes the foreign participation is a good show of the confidence external businesses have in Guyana’s potential.
Delivering remarks at the event, Tourism, Industry and Commerce Minister Irfaan Ali announced, proudly, that the fair this year has over 115 foreign delegates; making it the fair to so far attract the largest foreign contingent.
He said the theme for this year’s event: “Transformation, Partnering for a Better Guyana” was most fitting; adding that the outlook Guyana presents to the international community is important.
He urged Guyanese to think, act and work beyond what may seem to be confined boundaries.
“Be bold and not risk adverse,” he said; warning that stopping to calculate risk may cause a static outlook.
Ali said too that it was important for politicians who are selfish and patrician to transform to being nationalistic if the country is to see greater progress; alluding to the constant growth the economy has recorded over the last eight years.
He announced that a new rice biscuit factory will be launched which will see Guyana producing cereal that will be sold on the international market.
Meanwhile, having just returned from the United States to declare the event open, President Donald Ramotar reiterated the need for cheap energy in order to see higher levels of social and economic development.
He recalled action taken by his administration to restore broken down infrastructure, improve education and social services. The Head of State said plans are afoot to stop migration and says he intends to push ahead despite the negativity that currently surrounds him.
He spoke of sections of the media, which he said is only interested in distorting and slandering; warning that such irresponsibility can damage the country’s reputation and the economy.
President Ramotar believes there is a deliberate attempt to scare away investors. Among the attractions at this year’s GuyExpo was a supermarket featuring all local products and all entrances were name after the Tourism Ministers over the last three years.
It was announced that special transportation arrangements have been made for persons from selected communities. Those gathered were thrilled to several cultural activities, fireworks, received giveaways and of course had an opportunity to win several prizes up for grabs.