Chamber wants businesses to ‘get real’ at security seminar

The August 13 Security Seminar being hosted by the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry must go beyond “the customary erudite exchange of views and ideas” and focus on “finding real solutions to the serious crime challenges facing the business community”, GCCI President Clinton Urling has told the Stabroek Business.

“It has long been the Chamber’s view that crime that targets the business community is one of the great challenges confronting the business sector. The available evidence suggests that life and limb as much as the material resources of the business community are under threat. More than that we often tend to overlook the impact that crime which targets the business community has on the disposition of foreign investors towards coming here,” Urling told Stabroek Business.

In an interview earlier this week the GCCI President  said that his “greatest desire” is that the forum attracts “the fulsome participation of the private sector and that the discussions between the private sector and the security and law-enforcement representatives be honed into workable and implementable decisions. There are times when it is not altogether apparent that all of us in the private sector are mindful of just how serious the crime situation has become,” Urling said.

GCCI President Clinton Urling
GCCI President Clinton Urling

A statement issued by the Chamber earlier this week said that the Seminar is designed “to sensitise the business community on issues relating to security in Guyana.” However, Urling told Stabroek Business that the August 13 exercise “would  have been an exercise in futility if we simply confine ourselves to disseminating information.” He said that the Seminar was being structured in a manner that would allow for an exchange of views between the private sector side and the experts in the security and law enforcement sector. “In this regard we are particularly happy that the Minister of Home Affairs has thrown his weight behind the event by agreeing to deliver the keynote address. One of the many positives of the Minister’s involvement is that the forum will get the full attention of the law-enforcement agencies”, Urling said.

Besides embracing the “views and concerns” of the business community the August 13 Seminar will be supported by local technology which will benefit from presentations by Information Technology specialists and security technology service providers.

Urling said that while an effective strategy to protect the private sector from criminal attacks “has to evolve over a period of time” there was need, “now, for a sense that we are beginning to develop a workable strategy.” He said that while the Seminar was only scheduled to last  “for a few hours” the Chamber would be ensuring  that “the essential elements are documented and that the key recommendations of the forum are, with the support of law enforcement, shaped into a strategy that can ease the worry of the business community.

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