…at Guyana Trade and Investment Exhibition (GuyTIE)
President David Granger, on Thursday, said that the private sector has a critical role to play in regional economic integration as he noted that the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) is the way to build more resilient economies, not only in the Caribbean but also in Guyana.
The Head of State was at the time speaking at the opening of the Guyana Trade and Investment Exhibition (GuyTIE ), being held at the Marriott Hotel Guyana.
He said Guyana’s economic development has been constrained, historically, by the small size of its population, small domestic markets and the small range and volume of primary commodity exports and these have made the country’s economy highly vulnerable to exogenous economic shocks.
He noted that the CSME aims, in the long-term, to create a single economic space with an enlarged market producing globally competitive goods and services and this can therefore serve as an impetus to trade and cooperation within the region.
“Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago, 24 hours ago, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote economic cooperation. We hope to conclude, soon, a framework agreement for economic cooperation with Barbados. We see Guyana’s future in the Caribbean and we see the Caribbean’s future in Guyana. The private sector has a pivotal role to play regional economic cooperation. The private sector, to fulfill this role, should aim at increasing international trade and at avoiding the dangers of insularity. The private sector should aim at increasing investment and at becoming more innovative in pursuing new markets and improving the competitiveness of its goods and services. Investment is the fuel for wealth creation and employment generation,” President Granger said.
President Granger noted that GuyTIE comes at a time of renewed efforts to re-energise Caribbean economies. He said that the exhibition’s theme, “Made Locally, Trading Globally” and its objective of promoting export-ready firms and linking them with regional and international businesses are all consistent with the objectives of economic integration in the Caribbean.
“We shall continue to pursue regional economic cooperation in order to build greater prosperity and global competiveness. The Caribbean – in an era of trade wars and Brexit – is an important common market. The combined land space of the countries of the Caribbean Community is almost equivalent to that of Sweden. There is huge potential for increased intra-regional trade.
“Intra-regional exports, at the end of 2014, stood at a 13.1 per cent of total regional exports of US$22.3 B. The Region’s estimated US$ 4.5B annual food import bill could be slashed. The Caribbean, taken as a whole, has the land, labour and capital to overcome its most severe setbacks to achieving food security,” he stated.
Meanwhile, President Granger said that the Trade and Investment Exhibition is a welcome development and will serve as a platform for local businesses to engage and network within regional and international investors.
Chairman of the Guyana Office for Investment (GoInvest) and GuyTIE, Owen Verwey said the event features 56 exhibitors and over 100 registered buyers and potential investors who have already arrived in Guyana.