Ministry of Business launch programme to expand the export of local products

DPI, GUYANA, Friday, July 21, 2017

The Ministry of Business, in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) launched its “enhancing the national quality infrastructure for economic diversification and trade promotion” project. The US$9M project was launched at Marriot Hotel, Kingston on Friday.

Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin.

The project comprises three areas. These include, Modernisation of the institutional Framework for the National Quality Infrastructure, Improving Laboratory Facilities and Equipment and Implementing the National export and Investment Strategy.

Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin described the project as one that can transform Guyana’s export industries once it is applied correctly adding that, the government will ensure that it is effectively implemented.

According to the Minister, the project is going to improve the systems that are in place to verify the quality of products produced. Minister Gaskin said this will guarantee the foreign markets of what is being marketed by local businesses, is what they want to buy.

Producing better quality products, Minister Gaskin pointed out, will increase Guyana’s export earnings and improve its economic performance. To achieve this feat, the Minister noted that it will take a lot of hard work by both the public and private sector.

Guyana, the Minister opined, has struggled to increase its value-added exports for a very long time and that without targeted interventions it will continue to struggle.

“This project represents a targeted intervention that is expected to provide support to our value added industries.

IDB Country Representative Sophie Makonnen.

The principal feature of the project is a main laboratory which can carry out multiple types of testing. In addition to a physical laboratory there will be an upgrade of the entire national quality infrastructure which includes the entire network of laboratories operating in Guyana, both public and private,” Minster Gaskin explained.

The project will also provide support and training and accreditation on a national level. Additionally, it will support a national export strategy which will focus on strengthening specific export sectors of Guyana economy.

The Minister is calling on the Private Sector to take full advantage of the opportunity that is being presented for the advancement of the value-added industries. Minster Gaskin highlighted that the private sector is profit driven which the government appreciates.

However, the Minister noted that it is vital that the private sector understands that it is driven by more than just the need to make a profit. With that, the Business Minister said that there is a need for the private sector to be informed of what the government is trying to achieve.

Stakeholders present at the launch of the project.

“While government clearly articulated a vision, it needs to be repeated and reinforced and backed up by actions that show our commitment to that vision… we expect the private sector to recognise government’s genuine commitment to an economic model for Guyana that is clean, green and driven by value added exports,” Minister Gaskin emphasised.

IDB Country Representative, Sophie Makonnen making brief remarks said, that the launch of the project is a clear demonstration of the government’s commitment to supporting economic diversification.

Makonnen also echoed the Business Minister’s sentiments, and called for the cooperation of both the public and private sector for the project to be a success. “It is a public sector and private sector project, the public sector in terms of the enabling environment but it is for the private sector to be able to be that economic motor that is needed,” Makonnen stated.

The multimillion dollar project is slated to be rolled out over the next five years. The project will be implemented mainly by the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest) and the National Bureau of Standards.

 

By: Isaiah Braithwaite

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