Geographical Indicators key to standards in local production

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, September 5, 2019

Geographical Indicators (GI) are key to raising the standards and quality of local products and developing Guyana’s economy. This view was expressed by Minister of Business, Hon. Haimraj Rajkumar.

The minister was at the time addressing stakeholders at the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) workshop on Geographical Indicators and Control. He noted that Geographical Indicators can be a powerful marketing tool that will help Guyana get its products onto the global market; and that the government recognises the potential of the tool and is committed to meaningfully pursuing it.

“GI [Geographical Indicators] will help to ensure accountability among producers wishing to use the indicator in trade since they will now have to ensure that they adhere to standards in order to be certified and they will have to ensure that their peers are likewise compliant so that the integrity of the brand is maintained,” he underscored.

Meanwhile, Director of Business, Hon. Dominic Gaskin said that Geographical Indicators will help to increase Guyana’s exports. Gaskin pointed to the fact that with Guyana now entering the oil and gas industry, the country needs to make full use of the recognition and derive the benefits from the global market. He emphasised the importance of such a move since Guyana is a small country that is trying to grow certain products.

“We need to do everything to maintain and to exploit that name recognition. So, adding Geographical Indicators to the national quality infrastructure makes good sense at this time… we need to quickly expand our understanding of Geographic Indication and how this system can work for us and what we have to do to apply it to our products and services.”

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Country Economist, Victor Gauto, in his remarks, stated that Geographical Indicators can help create a strong private sector that is key to building a resilient economy. The development of new markets and greater competitiveness can contribute to strengthening investment, employment and family income.

In the business sector, Geographical Indicators or GI as they are commonly called are signs which identify goods as originating in a specific country or region where the quality and other characteristics are attributed to the specific country or region.