By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The performance of Guyana’s economy, its potential and plans geared towards ensuring the economy reaches its full potential took center stage at the opening of Guyexpo 2013 on Thursday October 3.
Additionally, the importance of the Private, Manufacturing and Industrial Sectors and modern infrastructure as critical ingredients for growth and develop of any country was also underscored.
In this regard, President Donald Ramotar announced that a new brewery will soon be established that will facilitate marketing of a new alcoholic beverage in Guyana.
“A new beer will also be coming on stream very soon in Guyana because of the incentive that we produce here,” the President revealed.
He told the hundreds of persons who gathered to witness the opening ceremony that his Administration has worked very hard to create a conducive environment to facilitate such growth.
“To anchor an economy and create insurance the industrial and manufacturing sectors are important” the Head of State added.
He said his government continues to embark on developing infrastructure to promote hassle free travel and congestion with the expansion and construction of new roads and bridges.
“We need new infrastructure if we are going to take Guyana to the next level, we have come a far way in repairing the infrastructure that we met destroyed and have added to it significantly” he noted, adding that “We have completed the feasibility study for the new crossing over the Demerara River and continue to work to develop the Lethem Industrial site.”
He however listed among the constraint to a faster pace of development the unavailability of cheap energy. This he said is also important if Guyana is to advance to the next level and once again express dissatisfaction with the opposition’s non – support for the Amaila Falls Hydro Power Project.
“I am determined and I will work with the cabinet and the private sector to get cheap energy, we must make Amaila a reality for our country and the region… We didn’t spend $30M to build a road to nowhere,” the President added.
Also expressing concerns over the unavailability of cheap energy was Former Chairman of the Private Sector Commission Ramesh Dookhoo. He said the manufacturing sector is currently plagued by slow growth, citing the high cost for energy as being significantly responsible.
Meanwhile, Tourism Industry and Commerce Minister (ag) Irfaan Ali opined that the Government has led the country in an economically sound way and has invested significantly in social infrastructure.
He outlined the country’s performance over the years and pointed to the positive economic growth recorded and its resilience to external shocks as it shifted from agriculture and mining to services. Additionally, he outlined how low Guyana’s projected external debt is when compared to other countries in the region and the improvement of Guyana’s Social, Governance and Economic Indicators.
He proposed the development of a comprehensive action plan aimed at developing the business sector and envisions that the implementation of such a plan will improve the country’s ranking on the doing business index.
The ‘I Believe’ Campaign was also launched at event, aimed at encouraging Guyanese to have faith and believe in Guyana. The campaign is an initiative of Minister Ali.
Guyexpo 2013 – Guyana’s premier trade show and exposition – is being held under the theme: “Advancing Productivity through Innovation, Modernization and Expansion” and is being hosted by the Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with the Guyana’s Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA).
This year’s event is said to have approximately 410 boots and more than 290 exhibitors when compared to 2012 where there were only 288 boots and 237 exhibitors.
Apart from local the local exhibitors there is said to be international exhibitors from Argentina, Brazil, China, Suriname, French Guiana, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia, United States of America, United Kingdom, Barbados, St. Vincent and India among others.