Diversification key to a stronger Region –Min. Gaskin

DPI, Guyana, Sunday, October 08, 2017

The Region Five Chamber of Industry and Commerce on Saturday, last, launched its Regional Business and Tourism magazine dubbed “The Potential 5,” a reference to the regions outstanding contributions to Guyana’s rice, sugar, fisheries, dairy and cattle industries.

The magazine was introduced by President of the Region Five Chamber of Industry and Commerce Imran Sacoor.

Minister Gaskin addresses the gathering at the launch of “the Potential 5”.

According to Sacoor, the final product culminates almost two years of preparatory and other works by the Chamber and its administrator Leanna Bachan. The theme of this first-time publication is “promoting regional diversity and pulsating commerce in Region Five.”

In brief remarks, Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin said that he is glad to see diversity prominently featured because, “while we want to see the strengthening of the rice industry in this region, we also want to see the development of other productive value-added industries in this region so that you can reduce the reliance on a single sector for the wellbeing of the regional economy.”

The Minister further commended the efforts of the organisation for its role in promoting the region as a place for investment and tourism, an integral part in creating jobs and becoming a competitive nation.

“I must compliment the Region Five chamber … for this forward-thinking approach and the launching of their magazine today. The role of the private sector is not to sit back and wait on government, but to drive our economy through investment,” Gaskin said.

Gaskin said government recognises the importance of organisations such as the chambers of commerce in providing leadership that is needed to advocate for better conditions for doing business and to initiate activities that help to promote business and investments.  “I am delighted to see our economy being tackled at a regional level with regional chambers selling the region to promote investment and to promote its tourism product, “this is how we become a productive and competitive nation and this magazine is an important way to showcase this region and to generate interest in doing business in Region Five, to build investor confidence in the economic future of this region”.

Highlighting the competitive advantages which result from the “unique” location of Region Five, the minister indicated fishing, bird watching, canoeing, camping, agriculture and sports tourism, as activities which can be highlighted and packaged for both local and international visitors.

“…This region is sandwiched between two rivers and you have two other rivers running through it, so there is plenty of scope for the kinds of activities that we are talking about. Entertainment is a big part of tourism and every single entertainment activity adds to the range of visitor options and therefore adds to the value of Guyana’s overall tourism product and we cannot speak about tourism in Guyana without recognising horse racing as a growing sporting event and Region Five has carved out a niche for this sport in Guyana so the base for economic diversification in this region is solid and the outlook is positive,” the Minister continued.

A cross section of attendees.

In addition, the Chamber President, Imran Sacoor, addressing recent statements by the Head of State of intentions to repatriate and offer land to Guyanese affected by the recent storms across the Caribbean, said, “I want to endorse the call by the president to encourage the people from the Caribbean to come to live in Guyana. The support that he wants to give to the Caribbean we believe is a good human call. It is also an opportunity for us in Guyana to upsell ourselves to the region. We don’t have earthquakes, hurricanes and these natural disasters, but we have resources which make us a rich country and we are going to be much richer and we need to start selling ourselves to the Caribbean. We need to start marketing ourselves to other countries so that over time we can attract investment; we can grow our population and we can have more people to do commerce with.”

The magazine was launched by Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo who expressed his satisfaction at the Chamber’s forward thinking and congratulated its members for recognising the opportunities that an inclusive approach will bring. “That shows that the chamber itself is thinking bigger, wider; it reflects its ambition; it reflects its own potential for growth from just being West Berbice into now Mahaica-Berbice. It’s an ambition you need to be proud of,” Nagamootoo said.

Other attendees include Regional Chairman Vickchan Ramphal, Member of Parliament Harry Gill, Mrs. Sita Nagamootoo and other notables from the Berbice Region.

 

By: Kidackie Amsterdam

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