Local Content Policy

As 2020 draws closer the learning curve associated with Guyana becoming an oil and gas country will become steeper.

Uncapped

There are a whole host of reasons why Guyana’s agro processing sector has been unable, up until now, to deliver to anywhere near its fullest potential.

Public/private sector relations

You get a strong sense from some of what transpired at yesterday’s public/private sector encounter at the Marriott Hotel that many things continue to be unwell in the relationship between the APNU+AFC administration and the private sector, more specifically the Private Sector Commission  (PSC).

DDL’s investment disclosure

The disclosure yesterday that DDL is looking to invest $10 billion dollars in consolidation and expansion initiatives over the next three years is good news in more ways than one.

A new chapter in Guyana/Cuba relations?

This week’s departure of a consignment of local rice for Cuba lends continuity to a series of developments in business relations between Guyana and Cuba which would appear to be heading in the right direction.

Gold mining syndicates

Arising out of an aggressive lobby by small miners some of whom complained of being hostage to a regime of exploitative landlordism under which they were compelled to mine gold on lands controlled by the ‘big players’, we have witnessed, recently, the emergence of Mining Syndicates, essentially cooperatives that bring together groups of small miners to ‘work’ areas of land allocated to them by the Guyana Geology & Mines Commission.

Taking agro processing forward: The GMSA’s proposal

There appears to be a real sense of enthusiasm amongst the leaders of the Guyana Manufacturing & Services Association (GMSA) whom this newspaper met with earlier this week to discuss issues affecting the growth and development of the sector.

Gov’t has to do much more for Food and Drugs Department

Like so many other key service departments within the state sector the Government Analyst Food & Drugs Department (GAFDD) continues to be afflicted by a chronic scarcity of capacity and resources to effectively execute its mandate, a circumstance that has been due, in large measure, to the indifference of government to incrementally upgrading its capabilities.

Inching towards a crisis?

It is not our opinion that City Hall, on its own, intends to enter into an arrangement that allows for an expeditious settlement of its debts to its waste disposal contractors.

Marketing our creative produce

Every year, small intrepid bands of local businesspeople – mostly from the art and craft, jewellery and dress design industries – show up at the local expos – GuyExpo, Berbice Expo and Essequibo event, among others  – and make their way to trade shows mostly in the region, bringing with them modest consignments of the goods they have to offer in the hope that their goods will find favour with the market.

Product promotion and the agro- processing sector

The Stabroek Business has, on quite a few occasions, raised the issue of the constraints affecting the growth of the agro processing sector, not least the inability of cottage industry operators to secure financing for expansion, the scarcity of modern processing infrastructure, which limits agro processing largely to domestic kitchen operations and of course the underdevelopment of the packaging and labelling industry and the impact of these on the competitiveness of local agro produce.

The GMSA/GOG Round Table initiative

More than any of the various sectors comprising the Guyana economy, the manufacturing sector had been ‘marking time’ for several years.

Cuba beckons

If President Donald Trump’s move to slow the pace of the thaw in relations between Washing-ton and Havana initiated by his predecessor was intended in any to dim the enthusiasm of Caricom countries keen to strengthen their own ties with Cuba in what these days is a discernably liberalized economic environment, that ploy has simply not worked.

An oil industry… going forward

As a nation, we are approaching the point of possibly becoming a major producer of oil and gas producer, though just how big a player we will be can only be determined with the passage of time in circumstances where our understanding of the industry, its dynamics and its complexities is worryingly limited.

Foreign investment: The Brazil and T&T initiatives

The visit to Brazil in May by a delegation of heads of various state agencies including the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest), the Guyana National Bureau of Standards and the Lands and Surveys Department and the more recent visit here by a delegation of Trinidad and Tobago business leaders under the auspices of that country’s Chamber of Commerce were both focused, in large measure, on exploring trade and investment opportunities, which is among the issues that have featured in national discourses on the performance of the country’s economy and the prognosis for the future.

Defective scales and the GNBS

Arising out of the media briefing earlier this week by Chief Inspector of the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) Mr Shailendra Rai, we now know that hundreds of measuring devices including scales, masses and rulers that have not been verified as reliable and accurate were being employed to weigh and otherwise measure quantities in the business sector.

Street food and public health: What’s out there?

Our decision to embark on a series of articles on food safety particularly as it relates to street vending derived from informal discussions with a handful of readers, insights secured from the usually helpful Director of the Government Analyst Food and Drug Department (GAFDD) Mr Marlan Cole and what one might call street observations by writers.

The noise in the market

A review of the performance of the “other crops” sector for the first four months of this year prepared by the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) painted what, from all appearances, was a justifiably glowing picture of the yield from commonly used greens, vegetables and fruit in Guyana. 

Import substitution

Earlier this week we received some uplifting news from the agricultural sector, through the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) regarding a breakthrough in the cultivation of some crops not previously known to have been cultivated on a sustained basis in commercial quantities in Guyana, including onion and potato.

There is an absence of realism, maturity in government, private sector relations

We note with a measure of relief the fact that just when it seemed that relations between government and the private sector were set to go completely off the rails, representatives of the two sides managed to sit down together last week at an encouragingly high level to engage on an agenda which included a number of long-standing and important issues.

Those NACOSH safety and health awards

There was something decidedly farcical about the recent National Advisory Council on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH) Awards ceremony.

What engine of growth?

Not for the first time in recent weeks the Stabroek Business is commenting on what it perceives to be a strained relationship between government and the private sector and what is widely believed to be the need for a meeting between the two sides.

We need to significantly strengthen a weak agro-processing sector

Last week the Stabroek Business  reported on what appeared to us to be a somewhat unusual though not unique increase in the volume of greens, vegetables and fruit on the urban retail market and what appeared to be, at a certain point, a condition in which, even what in most instances were ‘bargain’ prices, supply appeared to outstrip demand.

The University of Guyana and the business community

Based on what he had to say on the issue during a recent lengthy interview for a forthcoming issue of the Guyana Review, it is clear that University of Guyana (UG) Vice Chancellor Professor Ivelaw Griffith believes that the future of the university will be heavily dependent on the quality of the relationship that it can cultivate with the private sector.

Economic diplomacy and the Foreign Ministry

By the time this editorial is read the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be winding down what is arguably its most important Heads of Mission conferences in several years.

Fiddling while Rome burns?

We note with interest that two high-profile private sector officials, one a veteran leader of both the Georgetown Chamber and the Private Sector Commission and the other the incoming President of the Chamber have endorsed the sentiment expressed in our editorial last Friday regarding the desirability of a meeting between the government and the private sector.

Ending the standoff: Time for a public/ private sector summit

A few days ago the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) issued a public statement echoing much of what the Private Sector Commission (PSC) has already had to say about the business sector’s unease over what it sees as indicators of a decline in the Guyana economy.

Mining syndicates

Reporting in sections of the media on the implementation of what is being termed syndicates which we understand to mean cooperatives comprising groups of gold miners who will have mining access to traditionally closed areas has been fast and furious.

Government/ private sector relations and the investment climate

The issue of investor confidence, that is to say whether or not Guyana is currently enjoying a business environment the conviviality of which lends itself to the acceleration of investor interest in the country has been a matter of muted discourse in business circles for some time now.

The GGDMA, syndicates and the gold mining sector

It is quite obvious from the tone of the statement issued by the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) earlier this week that the relationship between the miners’ body and the political administration is growing worse.

Food safety: Who cares anyway?

An intense if somewhat muted row  has been ensuing between some local business importers and the Government Analyst Food & Drugs Department (GA/FDD) over what has become the prevalent practice by some distributors of importing volumes of food items that do not adhere to the requirements that obtain under the Food and Drugs Act.

The Small Business Bureau

It is now just over three years since then president Donald Ramotar launched the Small Enterprise Development and Building Alternative Livelihoods for Vulnerable Groups (MSED) project in October 2013, which is intended to support the goals of the Government of Guyana in the areas of poverty alleviation.

Cuba beckons’

Accelerated moves towards a thaw in relations between Havana and Washington (though we must wait and see how the relationship unfolds under the Donald Trump administration) have triggered consequential developments here in the Caribbean where a number of Caricom countries are beginning to take a closer look at the economic opportunities that might be on offer in a liberalized Cuban economy.

Cuba beckons

Accelerated moves towards a thaw in relations between Havana and Washington (though we must wait and see how the relationship unfolds under the Donald Trump administration) have triggered consequential developments here in the Caribbean where a number of Caricom countries are beginning to take a closer look at the economic opportunities that might be on offer in a liberalized Cuban economy.

The RUSAL visit

Not a great deal has been said about the brief and relatively quiet visit to Guyana late last week by two Russian functionaries of the global aluminium giant RUSAL It has to be assumed, however, that their visit here had to do with an attempt to bring an end to the crisis that had more or less been festering inside the majority RUSAL-owned Bauxite Company of Guyana Inc (BCGI) for years.

Public accountability and the Small Business Bureau

In last Friday’s issue the Stabroek Business published a lead story regarding some of the details of the training regime being provided by the Small Business Bureau (SBB) under the Micro and Small Enterprise Development (MSED) project launched by then president Donald Ramotar in October 2013.

Investing in Guyana

Every time a government functionary has spoken publicly on the matter of official policy on foreign investment in Guyana it is always the same unchanging story.

The Government of Guyana and BCGI’s Russian management

The disclosure late last week that Cabinet will now be contemplating the goings-on at the operations of the majority RUSAL-owned Bauxite Company of Guyana Inc (BCGI) is as good an example as one would find of feverishly seeking the close the stable gates long after the horses have bolted leaving in their wake a trail of mayhem and destruction.

GO-Invest and the Brazilian investment team

It made for encouraging news that the GO-Invest Chief Executive Officer Owen Verwey met with a sizeable group of Brazilians, potential investors we are told, at the Brazilian Cultural Centre earlier this week “to explore investment opportunities” in Guyana’s economy.

The Small Business Bureau, again

The news emanating from the Ministry of Business’ recently released 2016-2020 Development Plan pertaining to skills’ shortages in some key public sector agencies extends to the Small Business Bureau, part of the critical apparatus set up for administering the support mechanisms for small business development.

Crime and the public/private sector relationship

It should be said at the outset that the private sector’s recent publicly expressed concern that crime, including violent crime, once again appears to be lurching out of control and its demand that there be a concerted official response to push back the current crime wave is entirely appropriate.

Food and Drugs, Customs and the integrity of consumer imports

All of the evidence bared during last Tuesday’s interface between functionaries of the Govern-ment Analyst Food and Drugs Department (GA/FDD) and the Guyana Revenue Authority – Customs and Trade Administration ostensibly to attempt to refine the relationship between the two state agencies in matters pertaining to the importation of safe foods, drugs, cosmetics and medical devices into Guyana suggested that the engagement was long overdue and ought to have happened much sooner.

Crime and the business community

On Tuesday October 18, the Stabroek News’s editorial titled ‘Crime statistics and public security’ raised the issue of the relevance of the crime figures routinely published by the Guyana Police Force (GPF) in the context of the role that the figures play in helping the public to arrive at a reliable assurance regarding just how safe we are.

Mining casualties

It is not the easiest thing in the world to speak glibly about safety in the gold mining sector in circumstances where most of us who dwell outside of that circle do not know much about the associated risks.

Restoring UG

Those who know even a little about the career of recently appointed Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana Professor Ivelaw Griffith, may well be persuaded that he is what one might call ‘the right fit’ for the job as Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana.

Public servants wages and salaries: The rhetoric and the reality

We can probably anticipate an animated reply from the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) to the forthright comment made by Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) President Vishnu Doerga on the 10 per cent salary increase in public servants salaries offered by the Government of Guyana and which the union says it rejects.

An oil economy: Public perception vs reality

One of the things that came clearly across in this newspaper’s interview earlier this week with Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman was the need to separate the idealistic wishful thinking that used to (and still does) inform public discourse about such prospects that might arise as a result of an oil discovery from the very different reality that obtains now that we are actually on the verge of becoming an oil-producing nation.

After the Ogle inquiry

The passage of time and the unfolding evidence of some crucial directions in which Guyana’s development appears to be heading underscores the importance of the country’s aviation sector and more particularly the Eugene F.