The formalization of memoranda of understanding between the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) and key business support organizations in Canada, Cuba and India designed to promote “structured trade and other related areas of cooperation” send unmistakable signals that countries across the world are keen to do business with Guyana, GCCI President Deodat Indar told the Stabroek Business on Wednesday.
In an invited comment in the presence of the Heads of Mission of the three countries Indar told the Stabroek Business that the agreements represented “an important achievement not just for the Chamber and its members but for the Guyana private sector as a whole.” At the same time Indar enthusiastically acknowledged what he said was “the important role” played by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in providing technical support in the process leading to the conclusion of the MOU’s.
The signing of the MOU’s which took place in October and November of last year, preceded the establishment of Trade Facilitation Councils comprising representatives of the diplomatic missions of the respective countries as well as officials of the GCCI, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Business, the Guyana Bar Association, the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) and the Guyana Office for Investment. (GO-Invest).
Documents released by the Chamber say that the scope of work of the Trade Facilitation Council will be to “promote and facilitate structured trade “ between Guyana and the respective countries through the regular exchange of market information, promoting access to commercial information, planning and supporting the organization of trade and other exchange visits, promoting participation in trade fairs, exhibitions, seminars, symposia and other fora, organizing events aimed at promoting investment opportunities and joint ventures, creating match-making fora for partnerships and acting to amicably resolve such disputes and misunderstandings as may arise with trade between Guyana and the respective countries.
On Wednesday Indar told Stabroek Business that he believed that the collective effort of government and the private sector in the Guyana side could see “an acceleration of trade between Guyana and the respective countries sharing the MOU’s.
Under the terms of the MOU between the local Chamber and the Federation of Indian Export Organizations that two sides have agreed to recommend and introduce to each other opportunities for cooperation and partnership for investment and trade and provide each other with consultancy services within their scope of business and organize exchange visits of investment and trade missions, buyer-seller meets, symposiums, seminars, workshops, display of product samples and related literature.
Noting that the actualization of the MOU’s was an example of the functioning of economic diplomacy Indar said that he was aware of the particular efforts of Guyana’s Ambassador to Cuba, Halim Majeed towards the conclusion of the MOU with the Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of Cuba.
Indar told Stabroek Business that each of the three MOU’s had a specialized focus in terms of the strengthening of bilateral relations. In the case of Canada, relations with the Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Industry Association (NEIA) “would seek to promote the development of projects and trade in sectors of common interest related to clean technology, environment and the green economy.” In the instance of Cuba the goal of bilateral cooperation will be to “improve and deepen structured trade, investment relations and the development of projects between Guyana and Cuba especially in the area of oil and gas and ICT training. Under the MOU with India the two countries will be seeking to “improve and deepen structured trade, investment relations and the development of projects……..in the areas of renewable energy, pharmaceuticals, tourism, agro-processing, the film industry and ICT.”