In a show of overwhelming support, the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), on September 16, 2021 signed several Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with the Guyana Oil and Gas Energy Chamber (GOGEC); Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry Guyana (WCCIG); Region Three Chamber of Commerce; Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) and Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana (THAG), signalling their backing for the inaugural Guyana Energy Conference and Exhibition (GEC-X), slated for February 14-15, 2022.
GOGEC has signed on as the co-host for the event alongside the GCCI. The Pegasus Hotel Guyana is an Organising Partner while the other groups have come on as Partnering Stakeholders.
It will be the first such conference fully organised and managed by Guyanese and aims to promote local content and create a platform for strategic partnerships.
President of GCCI, Mr. Timothy Tucker welcomed the support as he noted that the signing ceremony is one of the biggest demonstrations of collaboration at the local level.
“Next year February is an important moment in the history of Guyana, especially with the united private sector that we are seeing today. You can see almost every business organisation signing MOUs with us; they want to be a part of it. This is what local content is and this is what local content is expected to be. This is how the GCCI envisions an event that is supported by locals for locals. We are showcasing our capabilities, what we are able to do as Guyanese, as a business community, and the hospitality that Guyanese have,” he noted.
Tucker said that the support has been overwhelming thus far and the GCCI looks forward to pulling off an exciting and successful event.
President of GOGEC, Mr. Maniram Prashad, said the Chamber had its own plans to host a conference but decided to partner with the GCCI since the end goal is the same: promotion and achieving local content and opportunities for local businesses.
“I am very happy to co-host this conference with GCCI. We want to ensure that the patrimony comes down to the small and vulnerable and that is what we aim to do with this conference. There is broad-based support but more importantly, it is local content. We want to educate, we want to promote this industry, we want to ensure that there is benefit to the operator, the sub-contractor, the service providers, the business community, the poor people,” Prashad, a former Government Minister said.
Ms. Latoya Jack, Board Director of the WCCIG said that the organisation is happy to throw its support behind the Conference since it represents a significant avenue to market Guyanese businesses, including those led by women.
“This is an excellent opportunity for the Guyanese business community to be able to express and showcase what we are capable of. So, any opportunity where not just women but business owners and entrepreneurs in Guyana have the ability to showcase our skills, is an opportunity that the WCCIG will be a part of and support wholeheartedly. Not just do we want women to be involved in the conferences, we want women to have the opportunity to see that not only are Guyanese capable of these things but other women in business, whether oil and gas or otherwise, can be able to support these ventures and do so in a manner that showcases our skills and local content,” she said.
President of the GMSA, Mr. Rafeek Khan said that the entity is happy to be on board the event since it believes that it can create opportunities for players in other sectors apart from the oil and gas industry.
“This is an exciting opportunity for our country. I look forward to this conference. I look at this conference not just as an energy conference. It is a business conference. The energy sector is going to draw potential investors, it is going to bring an energy there that we want to collaborate. Many of the energy conferences are overseas and international. What we are seeing here is that this is going to be at home, it is local. The investors are going to come here. The players are going to be here. So, I want to encourage our members to engage, participate, don’t limit yourself to just your industry,” he posited.
Chairman of the Region Three Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Premendra Parsons said that the Chamber was pleased to partner with the GCCI since the conference represents an opportunity for inclusion and participation for Guyanese businesses.
“We are excited to be a part of this conference and the decision is really part of our values and the first one is inclusion. We want to be able to have a community where we are all inclusive as Guyanese and able to support each other. There are other companies coming into our region. We want to be able to build that capacity within ourselves to be able to serve that small man. As a Chamber, we also want to be able to participate and participate in the events and all that is coming to our region and to take advantage of those opportunities,” Parsons said.
President of THAG, Mr. Harrinand Persaud said that the association decided to participate in the conference since it is a great initiative to drive and promote local content. He expects local restaurants, resorts, tour companies and hotels to significantly benefit through THAG’s participation.
“THAG is very exciting to be part of this Energy [Conference and] Exhibition. We thought it was a very good initiative and the grouping of all the local Guyanese components is very key to the decision as to why we wanted to be part of it. THAG represents all the hotels, restaurants, resorts, tours – so while persons are here to have the all-important oil and gas conversations, they also need to take some time off to explore Guyana and that is where THAG comes in. They can come through THAG, and we can organise and ensure everything goes smoothly,” Persaud said.