Georgetown Chamber Business Forum opens today: No ‘talk shop’ – Indar

Business Minister Dominic Gaskin

Seized, it seems, with a renewed sense of urgency arising out of the limited results secured so far from efforts to grow the entrepreneurial profile of much of the local business sector, the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) will, beginning this morning, stage a forum which Chamber President Deodat Indar has told Stabroek Business will seek to bring businesses and business support institutions together in an effort in an effort to ensure that such support services as are required to optimize business growth are placed at the disposal of both established and emerging entrepreneurs.

The event, which is being staged against the backdrop of sustained criticism of both public and private sector efforts which, up until now, have yielded far from sufficient in the way of transformative action is, according to Indar, intended to bring both large and small businesses together with a broad range of business support organizations that are ideally positioned to offer them practical support “in ways that address their particular needs.”

 While the programme for the event itemizes presentations by a number of speakers including Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Country Representative Sophie Makonnen and officials of both state and non-state organizations, Indar told Stabroek Business that care has been taken to ensure that the forum is not dominated by speeches. “This will definitely not be a talk shop. We expect that much of the time will be taken up with practical interaction that will lead in a positive direction as far as the growth and improvement of the businesses attending the forum is concerned,” Indar told Stabroek Business. 

IDB Country Representative
Sophie Makonnen

The two-day event which opens at the Pegasus Hotel this morning and which is billed by the Chamber as a Business Development Forum (BDF) will include a public exhibition of locally produced commodities to be staged in the courtyard of the Hotel simultaneously with the Forum. A Chamber release on the Forum said that while it was originally conceptualized as an event for small businesses, following research and analysis “it was realized that a forum to foster improvement of the internal dynamics of all firms in Guyana’s private sector was necessary. It is with this in mind that the BDF seeks to cover issues relating to private sector entities of all sizes – micro and small businesses, medium-sized businesses and large entities,” the release added.

According to the Chamber’s release the Forum’s “three-pronged approach” is designed to embrace considerations that focus on the role of agencies and institutions relevant to business growth, the role of formal education in the growth of the business sector and “role model” contributions to growth in various categories of the business sector.

Structured to embrace substantive contributions from both the public and private sectors, the various sessions comprising the forum will be led by representatives from state agencies including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Guyana Revenue Authority, the National Insurance Scheme and the Government Analyst-Food and Drugs Department. Other state-connected institutions including the School of Entrepreneurship and Business Initiative of the University of Guyana will also play prominent roles at the forum. Private sector organizations including commercial banks, and IDB Invest (Guyana), the business arm of the IDB will also play active roles in the Forum. Insurance companies and accounting firms will join state agencies including the Guyana Office for Investment in offering a broad range of business-related advice to entities participating in the forum.

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