Finance Minister tours Banks DIH

─ A definite case for the promotion of local products and local enterprises says Minister Jordan

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, September 13, 2018

Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan described his most recent visit to Banks DIH Limited’s Thirst Park headquarters as one that makes the case for the promotion of local products and local enterprises.

In an invited comment after the more than one-hour tour, the minister noted it was, “consistent with the government’s promotion of local businesses and continuing efforts to make sure these businesses are strengthened, and allowed to grow so that they will be part of the diversification of the economy.”

Noting that “quite a lot is happening at Banks,” Minister Jordan said the government is quite happy that sales have been growing, “to such an extent that they have a very extensive programme to align their products to international standards and their plants and machinery also.” He added that the company has been doing quite well in certain overseas markets with “critical products” and “we applaud them for this.”

He stated that wherever Banks can be supported in its expansion, the government will be “quite happy to do so.” The Finance Minister reiterated that the government is keen on widening the “Grow local, buy local” campaign so it will put local companies on the footing where they can compete with foreign competitors “fairly and effectively.”

The visit was welcomed by Banks DIH’s Chairman Clifford Reis. He said that during the tour, the company’s future plans were discussed, “We explained to him that we have a programme for the next five or seven years, which is going to take us into 2025.” Reis explained that some these plans include expanding its Ice Cream Plant, product lines, delivery services and a 400-capacity elevated car park with distribution outlet below.

The issue of certain taxation measures, was also raised with the Finance Minister, Reis added, “not only with Banks but with other companies and he has given us the undertaking that he will review these areas to see what the possibilities are.”

The Banks DIH Chairman emphasised that he is “bullish” about the beverage giant’s future given that it planned expansion, is estimated to be around $2Billion but which will also be funded in-house.

The visit was another in a series conducted by the Finance Minister to local manufacturers to get a first-hand look at their operations and have frank discussions with their management teams. 

By: Paul Mc Adam.

Image: Jules Gibson, Akeem Thomas.

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