On his first day as Guyana’s Head of State, President Irfaan Ali and senior members of his Government engaged leading Private Sector officials on matters in relation to the reopening the economy and the fight against COVID-19.
The meetings were held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre and were attended by representatives of the Private Sector Commission (PSC) and the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) among other members of civil society.
PSC Executive Ramesh Dookhoo explained that during the meeting, they shared ideas with the new Government on combating COVID-19. He explained that they also advocated for better coordination between the various Government agencies.
According to Dookhoo, there should be a broad multi-stakeholder effort against COVID with a new task force that will include civil society in decision making. He expressed optimism that their concerns would be addressed by the new Government.
Meanwhile, GCCI President Nicholas Boyer lauded the consultative approach of the new President. He also revealed that coming out of the meeting, they were tasked with compiling info to combat the social and economic effects of COVID in Guyana.
“It’s nice to see the President, even on his first day on the job, is worried about the pandemic affecting Guyana and obviously has reached out to the various agencies as well as the business community to see how we can collaborate to bring a more effective response to the virus as well as reopen certain parts of the economy.”
“So, we were left with some homework out of the meeting, to start getting focus groups and information out of the various sectors. There was a more consultative approach than before… it was heartening that one of the first things they did was to get information on what was going on in relation to coronavirus,” Boyer added.
President Ali was sworn in on Sunday and has since held a number of meetings with agency heads, the Disciplined Services and persons involved in the COVID-19 response.