Sugar industry plagued by unnecessary political interference

- Yesu Persaud

a“Poor management and unnecessary political interference, continue to plague Guyana’s struggling sugar industry,” according to Chairman of the Institute of Private Sector Development (IPED) Dr Yesu Persaud.

In his assessment of last year’s performance of the local economy contained in IPED’s 2010 annual report Dr Persaud said that human resources and cash flow problems apart “the [sugar] industry is in dire need of a non-political solution.”

Despite the continued sluggishness of the industry Persaud presented an upbeat picture of last year’s performance of the country’s economy noting that the major factors that influenced growth last year were the performances of the gold, forestry, construction, rice and wholesale and retail sectors.

Persaud noted that last year the Guyana economy grew by 3.6 per cent against the backdrop of a 0.5 per cent growth in economies elsewhere in the Caribbean and a 4 per cent growth in the global economy. “These numbers signal that we are out of the great recession but some fears continue to linger as to whether there would be a double dip recession which can possibly be triggered by the debt crisis and budget deficit in Europe.”

According to Persaud, the overall economic outlook for 2011 seems to be positive. “Local economic performance can be stymied due to the unwelcoming investment climate in the year of election,” Dr Persaud added.