(GINA) Amidst complaints about high energy costs facing the local manufacturing sector and major setbacks in the realization of hydro electricity, a new brewery is soon to be established that will facilitate marketing of a new alcoholic beverage in Guyana.
President Donald Ramotar made the announcement to the thousands gathered at the Sophia Exhibition Centre for the opening night of Guyana’s premiere trade fair and exposition, GuyExPo.
“A new beer will also be coming on stream very soon in Guyana because of the incentive that we produce here,” President Ramotar said as he spoke on the ornately designed GuyExPo main stage.
In a growing economy with a manufacturing sector that contributes 4 percent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the services sector 60 percent, a new beverage on the market can supplement production achievements.
Establishing a partnership for the first ever joint hosting of GuyExpo, the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) is hoping to promote specific value-added products.
Among them are in the areas of forestry, agriculture, arts and craft and services. The aim is to secure stronger business relationships at the regional and international levels for the manufacturing and services sectors.
It is the GMSA’s hope that the trade fair and exposition which coincides with its 50th anniversary calendar of activities, will promote an environment where discussions on trade and investment will be encouraged.
Earlier Thursday, a GuyExPo business forum was held at the Guyana International Conference Centre (GICC) seeking to provide relevant information on current trade issues while encouraging the establishment of business partnerships between foreign and local enterprises.
It attracted participants from the Caribbean, the United States, Canada, Brazil, Suriname and other South American countries, China and India which were also represented at GuyExPo.
The number of international exhibitors more than doubled the events according to the events committee. Visitors can find them all together in the International Pavilion at the exhibiton site.
GuyExPo this year will be showcasing indigenous goods and services and the exploration of prospects for the acquisition of goods and services that can be sourced overseas.
GMSA President Clinton Williams said it is important that business partnership opportunities among Guyanese, regional and international producers and services providers are encouraged during this four-day exposition.
Under the theme “Advancing Productivity through Innovation, Modernisation and Expansion” GuyExPo is being held with much acknowledgement about the need to continue promoting public/private partnerships for the economic development of Guyana.
President Ramotar said the Government has been playing its part by investing in the social and physical infrastructure necessary for the right environment. Among them are a deepwater harbour, expansion of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) and the much talked about Amaila Falls Hydropower Project (AFHP).
The latter project is the most highly anticipated but is far from becoming a reality following refusal by the political Opposition to support legislation necessary for construction of the site.
“One of the most important for us is developing cheap energy. At the moment we have raw materials but we are not able to do enough value-added because we generate energy at too expensive a cost,” President Ramotar said.
Hydropower in Guyana is projected to significantly reduce the cost of electricity to domestic and commercial consumers, reduce dependence and save millions of dollars often needed to import fossil fuel.
“We can produce goods for our region, save a lot of money and they can come here to invest in producing many of the things that they import at this point in time,” President Ramotar told the large gathering.
Senator Maxine McClean, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Barbados who was among the special invitees at this evening’s ceremony described it as an event ideal for promoting business ventures.
The “I Believe Campaign” which seeks to energise sustained hope in the population about Guyana’s development was also launched