High interest in Guyanese products by US states – Ambassador

US Ambassador to Guyana Sarah Ann Lynch

…urges Guyanese businesses to capitalise on interest

Several states in the United States are interested in Guyanese products, and with trade between the two countries exceeding US$1.4 billion in the first half of the year, US Ambassador to Guyana Sarah-Ann Lynch is urging businesses to capitalise on this interest.

On Monday Lynch spoke at a forum themed “Exporting to the US”. While there, she revealed statistics on trade between Guyana and the US, which has exceeded US$1.4 billion in the first half of the year.

She also spoke of American interest in goods from Guyana and the need for Guyana to increase its export competitiveness. When it comes to bilateral trade between Guyana and the US, the Ambassador was optimistic that this number will grow as Guyana’s economy grows.

“We at the embassy have a small but strong economic and commercial team and we are always happy to offer market insights and advice, to all of you. We have entrepreneurial booths; we do training from time to time.”

US Ambassador to Guyana Sarah-Ann Lynch

“Also, we continue to collaborate with the Guyanese and American private sectors, offering extensive entrepreneurship training and mentorship, as well as connecting folks to potential partners. The US has many states that would be interested in Guyanese products. So please consider logistical support, alongside of the state which you intend to be your first market.”

She encouraged Guyanese businesses interested in trading with the US, to participate in trade missions. This, Ambassador Lynch noted, will expose them to industry leaders and allow them to foster partnerships.

“Each state has its own trade and developmental agency and there are always trade shows to consider attending. Though I do advise you to apply well in advance if you need a visa…and there are local resources and chambers who also have valuable experience to share,” Ambassador Lynch said.

Changing trends

Meanwhile, Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) Chairman Komal Samaroo in his own presentation, also bolstered Ambassador Lynch’s point about the importance of Guyana being able to competitively produce and export goods.

He made it clear that the conditions under which companies such as his once traded with the US, have changed. This includes the preferential trade arrangements that have evaporated with the globalisation of free trade.

DDL Chairman Komal Samaroo

“In pursuing your business development, you need to make that determination – which segment of the market are you targeting? If you are in the commodity segment, you will have few customers and they as your business partner will generally guide you on the legal requirements and the standards required for them to import your product.”

“Invariable in this type of arrangement you will become part of the supply chain of a manufacturer or packer and competitive price, and reliability of supplies become important criteria for successfully growing your business,” Samaroo said.

In recent years there have been a number of new, but important trends that are driving some of the changes that can be of interest to producers in the Caribbean. He gave examples of some of the factors that have changed the way trade is done, including the rise in millennials and the increased use of social media marketing

World Trade Center

Samaroo also attributed the increased self-awareness of customers who want safe, clean and green products, as well as their increased desire to know what is in the products. All the more reason why the setting up of the World Trade Center in Guyana is so important.

“Products that are successfully marketed generally are those that capitalise on these trends in their design and marketing approaches. It is exactly because of the complexity of the international marketplace and the need to build connections and get relevant information that DDL has obtained a licence to set up the World Trade Centre of Georgetown, Guyana.”

“Connecting Guyanese businesses with potential partners around the world and accessing relevant information through a network of over 300 World Trade Centres around the world will be a major benefit to the Guyanese businesses seeking an increasing share of global trade,” Samaroo said.

It was announced back in April of this year that Guyana would be the home of the first World Trade Center (WTC) in the Caribbean Community (Caricom), following several months of negotiations between DDL and the New York-headquartered World Trade Center Association (WTCA).

According to Samaroo, work has already begun on modifying the building to accommodate the activities of the WTC, Georgetown, Guyana, and they are expecting the building to be operational in the first half of 2023.