Over 50% of city business face decline due to political environment- GCCI
The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce & Industry (GCCI) says over 50% of the city’s businesses are facing a decline in commercial activity as a result of the current political environment.
As such it is calling on national leaders to “expediently resolve political issues that exist” in order to restore and boost investors’ confidence.
The body noted that it has been observing the occurrences in Guyana’s political environment and is concerned about the effect on the business community.
“This significant decline in commercial activity is worrying and with the continued state of political uncertainty can result in further decline in economic activity,” GCCI noted.
The GCCI statement was based on responses from a survey it conducted. The survey of the wider business community found that about two in every three businesses “experienced some form of decline due to uncertainty over the state of political affairs in Guyana.”
This translates to 64% of businesses showing a dip in business. The survey showed that approximately 85% of respondents experienced a 25% to 50% drop in the level of commercial activity while the remaining 15% experienced 75% to 100% decline in business, the statement noted.
The Chamber pointed out that the climate of uncertainty does not bode well for investors’ confidence, both local and foreign, as well as business planning, budgeting and other key features of business management and administration.
However, it said it remains hopeful that an environment which encourages investment prevails.
GCCI’s membership size is over 240 business organizations which include micro to enterprise type levels, located throughout the country and in the CARICOM region.
On December 21, a No-Confidence vote was passed in the Government paving the way for General and Regional Elections in 90 days, with an extension only possible through a Parliamentary vote of two-thirds of the members of the National Assembly.
The Chief Justice on January 31 reaffirmed the vote as being legal and valid and refused an order to stay the implementation of the vote until an appeal is heard and a ruling made.
The Guyana Elections Commission by way of a 4-3 majority vote last week decided to write the President to inform him that elections are not possible to meet the constitutional deadline.
The President has only held one meeting with the Opposition Leader since the No Confidence vote and no definite meeting has been announced for the two to discuss a compromise date for elections.