Lower commodity prices still affecting business community- GCCI
Some members of the business community are still being affected by low commodity prices, according to President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Vishnu Doerga.
“Decline in business started about 3-4 years ago and it coincided with the drop in commodity prices especially commodities like rice and sugar where rice, when a farmer gets paid, most of that money is spent back into the economy, so when those commodities start dropping in prices…especially our membership starts feeling it because that’s where most of our disposable income, a lot of it comes from” the President related.
The mid-year report stated that Guyana’s economy was adversely affected by lower commodity prices, inclement weather conditions and fragile markets.
The country’s Gross Domestic Product grew by 2.0 percent during the first half of this year which was driven largely by increased output of the mining sector.
There were production declines in rice, sugar, forestry and manufacturing of value-added products as well as lesser activities in the wholesale and retail trade and construction industries.
The GCCI President said with such numbers his members felt the decline.
He said he hopes that government will engage the business community on a regular basis and make changes that can improve the sector.
According to him it does not need to finance alone, but includes simple changing of regulations, amending procedures which will allow for faster transactions if Guyana means business.
Doerga said “Unless we start treating our rice and sugar like one of these commodities that we want to get more value out of, and taking serious actions to making it that way; going into more of the packaging, more of the branding, using… where we can charge more and earn more, we will continue treating it as a commodity and we will continue being at the mercy of global prices.”