Gerry Gouveia elected new PSC Chairman
The Private Sector Commission (PSC) on Friday afternoon elected Captain Gerry Gouveia as its new Chairman during its 27th Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the Marriott Hotel in Kingston Georgetown.
Other elected members of the executive body are Vice Chairman Komal Singh, Secretary Ramesh Dookhoo and Treasurer Ramesh Persaud.
The PSC was established in 1992 to be the leading advocate for the private sector and promote socio-economic growth and development through partnerships with the Government and other stakeholders.
Gouveia, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Roraima Airways, replaced Desmond Sears who only served a year as the Commission’s Chairman.
Sears delivered the annual report and highlights over the last year at the AGM on Friday where he noted that Guyana’s economy grew by 4.1% during 2018, compared to 2.1% in 2017.
“The growth in Guyana was mainly as a result of an increase in the Construction Sector by 11%, Livestock sub-sector, mining and quarrying – especially bauxite which saw a 24.6% growth and the services sector and by extension wholesale and retail trade and financial and insurance services,” Sears said.
The global economy recorded a growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 3.7 per cent in 2018 and is projected to decline to 3.5 per cent this year.
Advanced economies experienced a decline in GDP growth due to domestic demand and political uncertainty, Sears said.
In Guyana, Sears said that the increase in the cost of living as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was recorded at 1.6 per cent at the end of last year, where the main driver for the inflation continues to be food prices and transport and communication.
Meanwhile, the PSC has seen a 4.2 per cent increase in loans for 2018 as compared to the previous year.
“At the December-end 2018 was GY$233.6B compared to GY$224.2B at end of 2017,” Sears said.
Sears said the PSC met with the Ministry of Public Security in 2018 to offer support of the number of issues affecting the prison system.
“Among the issues discussed were the lack of adequate transportation; the general conditions under which prisoners are being held especially at the Lusignan Prison,” Sears said.
During last year the PSC also met with President David Granger where the PSC committed to participating in the development of the Green State Development Strategy.
Sears said, “The PSC also expressed the view that, in keeping with the Government’s thrust for localized development, members of private sector organizations in the communities should participate in the governance and regulatory systems in their communities.”
The PSC has also expressed its support in working with the Department of Energy and the Ministry of Public Infrastructure.
“The PSC in 2018 met with the Minister of Public Infrastructure on infrastructure projects covering, inter alia, roads, bridges, airstrips, stellings, sea defences, ports and a deep water harbour,” Sears said.
According to Sears, the PSC and the Ministry have re-established periodic meetings to exchange information and input in the decision making and implementation processes regarding infrastructure development.
Sears said the PSC will continue to focus on the creation of a better enabling environment for business and development in Guyana and that he is honoured to have served as the Chairman for 2018/2019.