The Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) is aiming to produce over 50,000 tonnes of white sugar at the Albion Estate by 2022. It hopes to supply both the regional and local markets with this produce, GuySuCo announced in a release to the media.
The local market consumption for white sugar is approximately 20,000 tonnes and the Sugar Company says it intends to meet all or most of the local market requirements.
GuySuCo stated that the Albion Factory will be reconfigured with the flexibility to produce both brown and white sugar. Company officials on Wednesday met with the Foreign Trade Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where they discussed GuySuCo’s Strategic Plan for 2019-2021.
Discussions focused on value-added products such as white sugar, cogeneration and cultural heritage tourism.
The Foreign Service Officers were informed that annually, GuySuCo supplies the local market with 25,000 tonnes of brown sugar, the regional market with about 30,000 tonnes, the United States of America Market with 12,000 -14,000 tonnes, under the Tariff Rate Quotas (TRQ) and the remainder is sold mostly on the European Market at World Market prices which fluctuates between US$260 – $300.
The application of the Common External Tariff (CET) was also a key aspect of the discussion.
Currently, there is a 40% CET that is applied by CARICOM Member States for non-regional brown sugar, however, GuySuCo, Belize Sugar Industries Limited (BSIL) and other sugar producing countries in the region, have proposed for the 40% CET to be applied to all sugars entering the region, inclusive of white and brown sugars.
Another sore point for GuySuCo, has been the strength of enforcement of the CET by the relevant authorities, such as Customs Departments by ensuring that proper classification for sugars entering Guyana and the region is done.
GuySuCo said representatives from the Foreign Trade Department, provided invaluable advice and information on the Ministry’s efforts in areas of ‘Dumping’, current process of revision of the CET, widening partnerships and the Corporation aligning its products with trade agreements.
The Foreign Service Officers also indicated that assistance could be provided to GuySuCo with identifying solutions for bottlenecks in the marketing of sugar with other Caribbean countries.
The general aim of this initiative on the ‘Partnership and Awareness Building Programme on Direct Consumption White Sugar’, is to engage more strategically with key local and regional stakeholders; increase confidence in the regional sugar industry and promote its significance to economic, social and environmental development, locally and regionally.
The next steps would be engaging representatives from the Guyana Revenue Authority, Customs Department. Other meetings will be held with the Caricom Secretariat, Bureau of Standards, Private Sector Commission, Guyana Manufacturing Association, as well as manufacturers such as, Banks DIH Limited, Demerara Distilleries Limited (DDL) and Fernandes in Suriname.