A Chinese-owned seafood processing company, Grandeast Inc., is the latest seafood processing establishment to commence operations in Guyana.
Grandeast Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fuzhou Hongpu Aquatic Products Co., Ltd. in Fujian, China, a company specializing in processing and trading of fishery products.
The facility was constructed at a cost of US$25 million and is outfitted with modern seafood processing equipment.
During a tour of the facility earlier today, Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha said that he welcomed the market opportunities being presented to local fishermen with the establishment of the processing facility.
“So far I am quite impressed with the facility. This was a massive investment and it provides a ready market for our fishermen. Most of this company’s suppliers are fishermen from the West Coast of Demerara. Today we were able to witness the entire processing procedure for one of their products,” the Minister said.
“The General Manager would’ve indicated that there is a ready market for this particular type of processed shrimp in China with room for expansion in the market. Our local fishermen would usually discard certain species of shrimp because there was no market for them locally. This company has provided that market and fishermen are now encouraged to work more hours weekly to satisfy the demand. As a government, we support these types of investments and we will continue to support investments that benefit the people and the development of this country,” Minister Mustapha added.
General Manager of Grandeast Inc. Wu Junyu said that the company has provided employment for up to 240 persons so far. He also said that this was the first phase of the company’s local operations and that plans are being discussed for the commencement of phases two and three. Mr. Junyu also said that with the company looking to expand, it will require additional produce from local fishermen in order to supply its Asian market.
As it relates to foreign trade, Foreign Secretary Robert Persaud said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is working to address the issue of barriers to trade for a number of agricultural and other produce.
“Given the mandate of the President, we’re looking to open new markets and remove any barriers or any obstacles whether it’s in the Caribbean, North America, or Europe. We have over 20 trade agreements with different countries and regions and we want companies in Guyana to take full advantage of these opportunities. When there are obstacles our Ministry through our Trade Department would step in and assist. We’re now working very closely with the Ministry of Agriculture to address issues of barriers to agricultural export,” Mr. Persaud said.
Hong Dong Fisheries Co., Ltd., which is the holding enterprise of Fuzhou Hongpu Aquatic Products Co., Ltd is involved in ocean fishing, fishery base operations, cold chain logistics, fish processing, import and export trade, marine biology research, and aquatic product market operations management. It is the largest comprehensive fishery enterprise in China with the largest number of fishing vessels, abundant product categories, and a complete industrial chain.