Guyana’s premier trade fair and exhibition, GUYEXPO was officially launched on Friday by President Donald Ramotar at the Guyana International Conference Centre (GICC), Liliendaal under the theme, “Transformation: Partnering for a Better Guyana”.
GUYEXPO provides a platform for importers, exporters, retailers and wholesalers both local and foreign to showcase their products, interact with each other, and create trade linkages.
Delivering the feature address, President Ramotar spoke of the importance of building a strong, competitive productive sector in Guyana. He made reference to the recently held meeting of the Board of Governors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), where the disadvantages of the unavailability of cheap energy were highlighted.
He said this state of affair can change given the fact that Guyana has an enormous capacity to produce renewable energy to satisfy its own needs, as well as those of neighbouring countries.
For this reason he said, his Government has been trying its utmost to develop the Amaila Falls Hydropower project. He assured that despite being voted down in the Parliament, the Government’s efforts to bring this project to fruition has been, and will remain unwavering since this project will see the country acquiring the most important infrastructure needed to propel its development.
“We will never have a strong industrial and manufacturing sector without having cheap energy in our society and therefore we will continue to pursue this project,” the President said.
Over the years, the Government has invested heavily in infrastructural development across the country to increase and improve production and productivity. President Ramotar explained that these developments are absolutely vital in a modern society.
Some of these projects include: the Cheddi Jagan International Airport Expansion project, a deep water harbour, the Linden-Lethem Road and the Marriott Hotel. The realisation of these projects will drive the country’s economy and bring tremendous benefits to Guyanese citizens.
Public Private Partnerships (PPPs)
The President said that the Government has successfully pursued major projects through PPPs such as the Berbice River Bridge and called on the private sector to make greater use of this mechanism; seeking strategic partnerships not only with each other, but with foreign companies as well to improve the capacity of the country and expand its economic base.
He reiterated the need for more technology to be incorporated into the agriculture sector since it offers more possibilities for the sector and those involved in it. He lamented that internationally, the price of food has begun to rise, and therefore it is important for the sector to be further diversified to ensure food security.
“International trade for us is vital. Our internal market is extremely small and therefore for us to prosper and develop, export is extremely important…we have to also think about adding value and only by creating a good industrial sector we can add the kind of value that we want,” the President said.
While the Government has been investing in infrastructure that will drive economic development, even more attention is being paid to the sector in an effort to boost the country’s human capital and built the necessary capacity.
For this reason, the largest section of spending in successive annual budgets goes towards the social sector.
“This is the area where we think we can redistribute income more to our people and give greater opportunities to our young people,” he said.