Several months after we raised the issue of the seemingly long-postponed public/private sector ‘summit’ there has been no definitive word from either side as to whether or when the two will meet though the former chairman of the Private Sector Commission (PSC) Major General (ret’d) Norman McLean did say in a letter to this newspaper that the meeting will take place.
This year, small business representatives at the Jubilee GuyExpo event had much to say about how it impacted on customer patronage when compared with their customary day-to-day trading in arcades, on pavements, in malls and the like.
Once the programme of official events for the Jubilee Independence celebrations is over one expects that there will be some movement on the commencement of discussions between the government and the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) on wages and salaries and related issues.
Understandably, we have no clear idea of the numbers that will arrive here over the next week to be part of the country’s 50th Independence Anniversary celebrations, though from all that we have been hearing Guyanese from the diaspora, some of whom may well not have set foot on their native soil in decades, will be ‘touching down’ here to participate in the historic celebrations.
A fair number of people – including some employees of the company with whom this newspaper spoke – have commented favourably on the grit and determination with which the Guyana Fire Service battled Monday’s conflagration at the Gafoors Houston Complex.
It is the easiest thing in the world to take sides in the prevailing brouhaha between the Georgetown City Council and the vendors who ply their trade in the area of the Stabroek Market following what turned out to be the forcible removal of the vendors from areas where – in some cases – they had been trading for several years.
A vigorous and increasingly acrimonious exchange is ensuing in business and political circles in Jamaica over just what sort of reaction the country should provide to what it says is the ill-treatment of Jamaicans travelling to its sister Caricom country by the immigration authorities in Trinidad and Tobago.
The announcement earlier this week that 13 dredges and a dragger had been caught mining illegally in the area of the protected Kaieteur National Park area underscores the challenges that the authorities in Guyana will continue to face in circumstances where the mining of gold continues to coexist with imperatives that have to do with our obligation to the environment.
One of the points made to us by the new President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) Mr Vishnu Doerga during an interview published in the Stabroek Business last week, had to do with the focus which, going forward, the Chamber will be placing on reaching out to sister Chambers across the country in an effort to support them in their quest to infuse a higher level of organizational and administrative acumen into the agendas of the business communities in the various regions of the country.
This newspaper’s interview earlier this week with the newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of GO-Invest Mr Owen Verwey, provided some important and long-overdue insights into the likely future of the agency charged not only with promoting Guyana at home and abroad as a worthwhile investment destination but also with helping to open up new external markets in which Guyana can pay a trading interest, apart, of course, from shoring up the traditional ones.
President David Granger’s perspective on the implications of a stronger local democratic framework for the advancement of Guyana’s economic fortunes and for the welfare of the people of Guyana was set out in an absorbing even if somewhat unconventional presentation to the Annual General Meeting of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI).
For all the official discourse and the various initiatives undertaken to talk up the value-added potential of Guyana’s agricultural sector there is no question that the country continues to be way below its potential in this regard.
Finance Minister Winston Jordan would—much more than the average citizen—be au fait with the condition of the national economy (or what is usually referred to as the numbers) in the context of whether or not it is in a position to afford public servants a salary increase and just how much the economy might be able to afford at this time.
When the Stabroek Business learnt that an organization called the General Contractors Association of Guyana (GCAG) had been created we agreed to meet with members and – arising out of that meeting – to bring the existence of this organization to the attention of the public.
Wednesday’s release from the Guyana Revenue Authority’s (GRA) Law Enforcement and Investigation Division (LEID) that it had seized uncustomed goods valued at $20 million in the month of January would probably hardly have attracted a great deal of public attention beyond the actual newspaper headline.
The closest that this newspaper was able to come to getting anyone in authority to talk about some of the likely features of the APNU-AFC coalition’s first full annual budget came during an extended interview with Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin on Wednesday.
Anything remotely resembling accurate monitoring and measurement of growth in Guyana’s small business sector has not been possible over the years since no reliable mechanism exists for so doing.
There was something more than a trifle curious about last week’s announcement that City Hall had called a halt to construction work on the 81-82 Camp and Robb streets construction site after it had been determined that the developer had apparently gone ahead with the exercise without receiving the requisite permission from the City Engineer’s Department.
There were things about the seasonal commercial activity that were different this year.
Several months ago this newspaper was briefed by Chairman of the Private Sector Commission (PSC) Norman McLean about the planned staging of a public/private business/economic forum which, as we understood it, was intended to chart a course for a longer-term relationship between the business sector and the new political administration.
There was an encouraging sense of entrepreneurship amongst many of the vendors who placed their goods on display at last month’s first ever Small Business Exposition.
One assumes that (sooner rather than later) there will be some sort of official assessment of last weekend’s Business Exposition, the event being the first of its kind and the organisers, presumably, wanting to determine whether the event might have been sufficiently successful to warrant its annualisation.
There would not have been a Small Business Exposition but for the fact—at least so we are told—that as far as the annual GuyExpo is concerned we are saving our effort for the 50th Anniversary of Guyana’s independence at which time we will stage what is likely to be the biggest GuyExpo ever.
It has been a memorable week for the local aviation sector, for the wrong reasons.
News that Guyana has invited the Director of the Hospitality Institute of Barbados to give support to the creation of a similar facility here in Guyana is welcome, even if it leaves us none the wiser as to a time frame for the creation of our own local centre of excellence as far as raising the bar in the hospitality sector is concerned.