Green Guyana Expo and Summit opens

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─ Expo and Summit, a promotion of small businesses – Minister Jordan

─ Summit comes at important time of Guyana’s development

─ Small and medium scale business play vital roles in advancing green products and services

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, October 18, 2018

The convening of the Green Guyana Expo and International Business Summit is a testimony of the path government has chartered to help small businesses grow and be competitive, Minister of Finance Winston Jordan said.

Today, Minister Jordan gave the keynote address at the opening of the International Small Business summit at the Princess Ramada Hotel, Providence, East Bank Demerara. The two-day summit is part of the inaugural Green Guyana Expo.

“This expo and summit will, no doubt, create opportunities for networking and facilitating trade. I am acutely aware that once accompanied by the right policies trade can be a principal driver to the transition to a green economy,” Minister Jordan said.

He noted that small and medium scale businesses have a vital role to play in the transformation process, in which there is a growing demand for green products and services.

This transformation will be guided by the Green State Development Strategy (GSDS) which is currently being drafted. Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin said the summit is important since it will help small businesses understand how the GSDS will impact their sectors.

The government is making an investment in renewable resources more attractive, by removing import duties on renewable energy generating equipment, Minister Gaskin pointed out.

“A decision today, to invest in green energy, can make small businesses more competitive in the long term,” Minister Gaskin said.

The government has committed to drive green economic growth and diversification using oil revenues.

The Business Summit will run until October 19 and will see speakers from some 16 countries sharing their experiences and innovative solutions to diversify the economy along a resilient, low-carbon pathway while utilising the country’s vast natural resources.

Director of the Environment, Ndibi Schwiers, noted recognition is now given to small businesses and start-ups as potent drivers of economic growth and development since they create jobs and address pressing local challenges.

Also addressing the opening of the Business Summit were United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Representative, Leo Heileman, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Country Representative, Sophie Makonnen and Chairman of the Institute of Applied Science and Technology (IAST) and CGX Guyana, Dr Suresh Narine.

The UNEP has supported Guyana in the development of the GSDS while the IDB has been investing in green growth with the provision of loans and grants to enable private sector development.

Following the opening of the business summit, the expo was opened at the Providence National Stadium by Ministers of Finance, Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Public Affairs, sponsors and promoters of the Green Guyana Expo.

The Green Guyana Expo and Summit are being held under the theme “Sustainable Economic Growth Through Small Business Innovation Entrepreneurship and Transformative Government Policies.”

The Green Guyana Expo concludes on October 20.

Tiffny Rhodius.

Images: Keno George.