Business training and regional universities

A few weeks ago the Stabroek Business reported on an announcement made by Professor Stefan Gift, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Graduate Studies and Research at the University of the West Indies, regarding what he said was the intention of the region’s foremost institution of higher education to push a Caribbean-wide entrepreneurial curriculum with a view to positioning graduates to pursue options to paid employment by establishing businesses of their own.

Our historic indifference to food safety

It would do both the health sector as a whole and the food safety authorities, specifically, a power of good, if they pay more focussed attention to the surfeit of information being disseminated globally on food safety.

Small contractors in construction sector and the 20% ‘set aside’

The news that the construction sector remains closed – at least for the time being – to small businesses through the mechanism of the 20% ‘set aside’ provided for under the 2004 Small Business Act is, at the very least, disappointing, this newspaper’s appreciation of the importance of adherence to procedures, which is what it seems is blocking the access up until now, notwithstanding.

Food safety headaches

The Government Analyst-Food & Drugs Department’s (GAFDD) disclosure earlier this week about the quality of the safety protocols practised by eating houses in Regions Four and Six, though acutely disturbing is really not at all surprising.

The Small Business Procurement Programme

In October last year the state-run Department of Public Information (DPI) announced that the Small Business Procurement Programme enshrined in the Small Business Act of 2004 and under which 20% of state contracts pertaining to jobs of up to G$30 million would have come into effect in January of this year.

Getting tough on regional market access for our manufactured goods

There currently exists here in Guyana an uncanny and unkind coincidence between the attention that agro- processing has been attracting as an entrepreneurial option, particularly at the micro and small business level and what, up until now, has been a largely futile official battle to break open the protectionist fortresses that continue to place measly limits on access by our own agro-produce to regional markets.

Oil and the national psyche

However hard we contemplate the issue it is difficult to think of any single development in the post-independence history of Guyana that has impacted the national psyche in quite the manner that the May 2015 ExxonMobil oil discovery did.

Urban tourism

Invariably, when we conceptualize what one might call a ‘tourist package’ that Guyana can offer to visitors the options afforded by the beauty and adventure that can be derived from our far-flung interior locations are always ‘front and centre’ in that vision.

Remigration and diaspora investment

It has always been a policy position of the Government of Guyana that Guyanese residing in the diaspora should be encouraged to return home eventually, to resettle, to invest or both.

The IDB’s Vote of Confidence

In the fullness of time the significance of last Monday’s meeting between President David Granger and the President of the Inter-American Development Bank, Luis Alberto Moreno, could go way beyond the time that the two spent together at State House and the relatively brief summary of the engagement released immediately thereafter.

Good news for the tourism sector

Two days ago, at the the world’s leading Travel and Trade Show, the ITB Berlin, staving off stiff competition from a number of better-known international tourism destinations, Guyana was declared the #1 “Best of Ecotourism” destination in the world.

GUYTIE 2018: Expectations and outcomes

One of the positive elements in the recently released Report on last September’s Guyana Trade and Investment Exhibition (GUYTIE) staged at the Marriott Hotel jointly by the public and private sectors with the support of Caribbean Export  is that it openly concedes that, for all sorts of reasons, it felt short of what might have been expected.

Urban pavement vending and the broader commercial culture

Over a period of several years urban street vending has experienced a painstaking graduation process from the status of a nuisance that simply got into the way of the various other more mundane pursuits of city life to a facet of commerce that is recognized (there are those who would say tolerated) as what one might call ‘legitimate business,’ insofar as it has not only become legitimized in more ways than one but also given the fact that it provides a living for hundreds of urban, almost certainly mostly working class families..

The urban garbage disposal pantomime

We have been, as far as circumstances allow, deliberately monitoring the impact of the latest bout of jousting between City Hall and its two principal garbage disposal contractors  if only because, first, we are aware of the particular vulnerabilities of the municipality in the wake of the revelations of the Report of the Kennard Commission of Inquiry.

Gov’t Analyst Dep’t and fight against fake drugs 

There was a hollow ring to this week’s warning from the Government Analyst Food and Drugs Department (GAFDD) regarding the circulation of yet another fake drug, apparently an imitation of Daflon, which the Department says, is used for treating patients suffering from “chronic venous insufficiency” (CVI) and other ailments.

Agriculture in an emerging oil economy

Part of the discourse on the subject of the implications of oil and the earnings to be derived therefrom for the future shape of the Guyana economy has had to do with the impact  on the long-term future of those  other sectors that have kept the country going until now and whether they will retain their sustainability once the various options associated with an ‘oil economy’ kick in fully.

Venezuela’s aggression and Guyana’s economic interests

It is by no means accidental that the beleaguered administration of President Maduro in Venezuela has chosen this particular time frame to make menacing signals towards Guyana specifically – at least so it seems – to seek to disrupt this country’s move to finally begin to initiate its oil recovery efforts.

Protecting state contracts for small businesses from corruption

If only because of its enormous potential for job creation and  providing small businesses with a shot in the arm and giving rise to the creation of new ones, it has to be said that it took an inordinately long time to bring the 20% allocation of some state contracts to small businesses into effect.

The Department of Labour’s safety and health ‘alliance’

Taken at surface level Minister Keith Scott’s disclosure in his post-budget presentation in the National Assembly earlier this week regarding the creation of an “alliance” designed to help curb the incidence of workplace accidents in the various high risk sectors is an interesting one particularly since, outside of mining and the traditional areas where workplace accidents occur with some regularity, the Minister has also based on his presentation in the National Assembly embraced the oil and gas and aviation sectors, which, going forward will assume an increasing prominence in the country’s economy, as part of the alliance.

The 20% state contract allocation for small businesses should be in place now

Two years ago, almost to the day, Finance Minister Winston Jordan told Guyanese in his 2017 budget presentation that it was the intention of the Government to preside over the full and effective implementation  of the provision in the Small Business Act allowing for small businesses to have access to 20% of state contracts which are within their competence to execute.  

The Berbice Bridge toll

The legitimacy or otherwise of the adjusted toll rates recently announced for the Berbice Bridge aside, there are, as every rational thinking person would agree, other considerations which are at least of comparable importance.

Giving impetus to gov’t-private sector ties

Against the backdrop of the frustrating ‘on-off’ relationship that has obtained between government and the private sector for many years, one has every right to wonder aloud as to precisely how we should interpret the recent media release from the Private Sector Commission (PSC) arising out of its meeting with President David Granger.

Valuing agriculture

A few days ago the Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC) issued a media release that made a few instructive points about aspects of the country’s agricultural sector including its potential to increase its market share for fruits and vegetables on the regional and international markets and the constraints that inhibit the realization of that objective.

The City Hall probe

It is highly unlikely that there will be anything even remotely resembling a shortage of persons and, it seems, institutions, queuing up to provide evidence in the forthcoming Commission of Inquiry into the running of the Georgetown municipal administration.

Oil and gas and strengthening of education sector

As we report in this issue of the Stabroek Business preparations for the materialization of ‘first oil’ in 2020 are witnessing the emergence of local learning institutions as partners in the process of training Guyanese to take up positions alongside their foreign counterparts in the high-skills oil recovery sector.

GO Invest

Any objective analysis of the performance of the Guyana Office for Investment (GO Invest) in its role as the principal facilitator for the creation of an enhanced business and investment climate for Guyana will probably conclude that it has fallen short of expectations.

Award for Gov’t Analyst Department

The disclosure that the Government Analyst Food & Drugs Department (GAFDD) has been awarded the ISO/IEC 17025:2005 Standard is a welcome boost for what, over the years, has been one of the most neglected and maligned public sector agencies in Guyana.

Talk shops

In the Friday July 20th issue of the Stabroek Business our lead story was based primarily on a brief telephone interview with the President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) during which he told us that  a July 20-21 private sector forum at the Pegasus Hotel would have been seeking to move in a positive direction as far as the growth of the businesses participating in the forum were concerned.

Small enterprises could profit from new CDB pact

We are yet to know how last week’s partnership agreement signed between the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Geneva-based International Trade Centre (ITC) will affect the business community in the Caribbean and whether, specifically, there is room in the arrangement for boosting the growth of the emerging but patently needy small business sector in Guyana.  

An ‘oil economy’ and a strategic plan for agriculture

One good sign in the ongoing discourse on the commencement of oil exploitation in 2020 and the implications of the returns from it for the country’s future and direction of the economy is that it is not being allowed to entirely drown out the urging that other vital sectors not be ignored.


If the recent promotional event at the Marriott Hotel is anything to go by it appears that there is considerable enthusiasm for the September 19th – 22nd Guyana Trade and Investment Exhibition (GUYTIE) which brings together the local public and private sectors in collaboration with the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), its mission being to launch an experimental initiative in an effort to kick-start a long overdue project aimed at providing results-oriented interaction between local export-ready entities and buyers outside of Guyana with a view to significantly expanding overseas markets for locally manufactured products.  

Drone technology and the agricultural sector

There is probably a case for suggesting that the current (understandable) preoccupation with the imminent commencement of oil exploitation offshore Guyana and what this could mean for the future economic shape of our country could serve as a distraction from other equally important issues that have a bearing on the economy of our country and the well-being of our people. 

New man at the helm

Whilst the concept of the team is often an important tenet in the pursuit of successful leadership it is not uncommon for some leaders to succeed purely by virtue of the sheer weight of their own personalities and their own particular leadership qualities so that much of what emerges as policy within an organization may well be the result, by and large, of the thinking of one man or woman.

Minister Lawrence’s outburst

In what would have come to many observers as something of a surprise the Ministry of Public Health, earlier this week, issued a media release seemingly pointing to a busy time ahead for the Ministry pertaining to what Minister Volda Lawrence strongly suggests has been a virus of fraud attempts to steal from the public treasury, occurring within her Ministry.

Politics and public/private sector relations

Relations between the public and private sectors in the economic sphere are generally considered – and justifiably so – to be essential to Guyana’s economic health, the reason being that while it is government that creates and provides the policy framework within which the private sector functions, it is the private sector by investing in economic initiatives that makes critical goods and services available, paying taxes and creating jobs that are, in fact, the engine of growth. 

The agro processing sector: Seizing the moment

The Stabroek Business has, in recent weeks, focused a considerable amount of editorial attention on the collaborative efforts involving government, the Guyana Manufacturing & Services Association (GMSA) and the agro processing sector, through initiatives like the UncappeD events and the lobbying efforts taking place at the level of exchanges between GMSA and government officials.

Getting it together: Public/Private Sector Relations

Over a protracted period of time the relationship between the Government of Guyana and the private sector as represented by the major Business Support Organizations has proceeded in fits and starts and if the truth be told the failure to see eye to eye has not always been on account of differences that have had to do with business and the economy.

Agro–processing on the up and up

If the adage about one swallow not making a summer clearly applies to the recent initiatives by the Government of Guyana and the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) to attempt to breathe new life into the country’s agro-processing sector, it would be churlish not to acknowledge the recent developments in the sector and what we should be reading into it.