City chamber launches trade councils with India, Canada and Cuba

The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) yesterday launched three trade facilitation councils in efforts to operationalize memoranda of understanding (MoU) signed with Cuba, India and Canada.

Speaking at the launch of the councils yesterday, GCCI President Deodat Indar explained that after members of the chamber noticed a downturn in the local market they decided to start building export markets which took the form of three visits to engage with the private sectors in the various countries.

Indar explained that in each case both the private sector and government were welcoming and MoUs were drafted and signed, he however acknowledged that in the absence of a mechanism to execute the MoUs they will not be effective.

Consequently a decision was taken to have councils formed which would operate within specific terms of reference and report to the chamber at their monthly statutory meetings. These council are tasked with ensuring that bilateral trade as covered under the MoU occurs in an organized way.

Each council is to be chaired by a member of the GCCI and include representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Business and GO-Invest, the Bar Association, Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association and the specific embassy or High Commission. According to Indar, Dr Surendra Persaud has already been identified as chair for the Guyana-India Trade Facilitation Council.

Present at the launch were Cuban Ambassador Narciso Armador Soeorro, Indian High Commissioner V. Mahalingam and Canadian High Commissioner Lilian Chatterjee each of whom expressed their government’s support for the initiative.

High Commissioner Chatterjee further noted that the MoU has already resulted in four partnerships between Guyanese and Canadian companies.

Ambassador Rawle Lucas, Executive Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Department of Global Economic Co-operation, Trade and Investment congratulated the GCCI and assured that the Ministry will continue to offer the necessary support.

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