Reforming business sector to make standards the new normal
DPI, GUYANA, Monday, September 25, 2017
The Ministry of Business has undertaken several new initiatives aimed at improving the standards practiced in the local business community.
Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin noted that the transformative power of oil revenue on Guyana’s economy will require standards as the new norm. Minister Gaskin was addressing the Caribbean Central American Action (CCAA) conference at the Marriott Hotel on Monday.
“Local businesses need to position themselves strategically to get piece of the action or to increase their share of existing markets as they expand,” Minister Gaskin noted. He outlined reform initiatives the Ministry of Business has undertaken over the last two years to ensure this happens.
He noted the creation of a single electronic window for trade facilitation is one such initiative. “We feel that this is imperative in order to create a clean and efficient bureaucracy that will make it less costly to do business in Guyana and increase certainty and investor confidence”, Minister Gaskin said.
The Single Window System will allow companies to make online applications for licences and permits to various government agencies and conduct other businesses online.
“It won’t be business as usual and in a rapidly growing economy there will be need for better and more efficient regulation of key industries”, the minister noted.
Greater attention to standard and quality is part of the “new normal” that the government is fast-tracking Gaskin said, so business can be conducted with confidence in Guyana. To facilitate this, the Ministry has undertaken the Enhancing the National Quality Structure for Economic Diversification and Trade Promotion Project.
“This is a project that is designed to improve our capacity to carry out testing and certifying activities by upgrading our entire national network of laboratories. It seeks to promote economic diversification by supporting the use of standards in our export industries and providing supporting testing facilities that are internationally accredited so that our products and services can meet the requirements of the international marketplace”, Minister Gaskin explained.
This important project supports value-added production and export diversification which the ministry is promoting through a sector by sector approach with private sector and industry stakeholders.
“It will also help to build the capacity of local businesses to meet the requirements of the oil and gas sector in areas where opportunities exist but strict standards are in place”, Minister Gaskin observed.
The Ministry of Business will seek to increase training and access to public procurement and finance by small businesses as “unprecedented levels of growth” in the country’s economy when oil production begins.
More importantly, the Minister of Business said the Green State Development Strategy will help the country avoid the pitfalls associated with newly introduced oil revenues. “It will give Guyanese people the confidence needed to make sound decisions for their long-term well-being and will let investors know the director of the country and the economy.”
The Strategy is currently in the draft stages. It outlines the general principals and central themes around which the strategy will be structured. The Strategy is expected to be finalised by 2018.
These initiatives are all aimed at ensuring that the private sector makes investments that will expand value-added sectors, apart from energy, with the support of government through its investments in improved infrastructure and access to fast and reliable networks.
By: Tiffny Rhodius