Gov’t working to make business environment friendlier – Minister Gaskin at Shipping Association’s 20th anniversary
GINA, GUYANA, Saturday, December 03, 2016
The Shipping Association of Guyana (SAG) last night celebrated 20 years of service with an award ceremony to honour its long-serving employees at the Pegasus Hotel, Kingston, Georgetown.
The ceremony was held under the theme “Sustainable development for Guyana’s shipping industry to efficiently function in the global arena.”
Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin, delivering the feature address, congratulated the shipping company and the awardees for their service to Guyana. The Minister noted that shipping is the backbone of economic activity as a large percent of Guyana’s trade is sea-borne. The Minister pointed out that any malfunctioning of the shipping industry will add to the cost of doing business in Guyana.
Speaking to the theme of the event, Minister Gaskin noted that over the last few decades, businesses in Guyana have not had the best operating environment. However, the Minister noted that understanding the importance of moving forward is critical.
“The environment in which businesses have to operate must improve if our economy is going to develop in a way that benefits the Guyanese people, and is sustainable over the long-term,” the Minister stated.
Minister Gaskin noted that going forward, it is government’s intention to deliver the good life to all Guyanese using a green pathway so that the future generation can benefit.
Additionally, the Minister noted that if Guyanese were to take a look at economies across the world, they would recognise that Guyana is on the right track.
However, the Minister noted that there is still much work to be done, and stressed that the work must be done in unity. “We have a lot of
work to do, we need to do it together and we need to do it quickly, otherwise we risk becoming independent on yet another non-renewable resource which could make the good life very fleeting and leave nothing behind for the next generation,” Minster Gaskin explained.
One of the challenges that Guyana faces, according to Minister Gaskin, is developing its value -added potential, adding that the time to do that is now. “Now is the right time,” the Minister stated adding that “it is the right time to start planting and harvesting and processing and exporting, it is the right time to get investors interested in setting up processing facilities in Guyana,” Minister Gaskin stated.
Guyana must also take the opportunity to showcase its tourism product to the rest of the world, the Minister stressed. However, while it is the right time to embark on those initiatives, Guyana’s business environment needs to be improved, the Minister pointed out.
The Government, Minister Gaskin said is, “concerned with the ease of doing business in Guyana and that we are working to fix the problems.” It is one of the sole reasons the Business Strategic plan was developed.
“Our economy needs to reduce its dependence on primary commodities by diversifying into secondary productivity. This will be achieved through well-conceived and comprehensive investment and export promoting strategies,” Minister Gaskin explained.
During the ceremony, long serving employees received awards in honour for their years of hard work and dedication to the shipping industry.
By: Isaiah Braithwaite