As the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) brought its members together for its 131st awards presentation on Thursday, businesses received a timely reminder from the government that it was business-friendly.
Delivering the keynote address at the gala event held at Parc Rayne, on the East Bank of Demerara, Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh said the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) government prides itself on being a business-friendly administration; so much so, and without any disrespect to the Parliament, Dr, Singh said three members of Cabinet left an ongoing sitting of the National Assembly to be present at the awards presentation.
“We are business-friendly and I say that in unequivocal and emphatic terms,” Dr. Singh said as he received a nod from his Cabinet colleagues, Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues and Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar.
Dr. Singh said with Guyana poised to go through a rapid and steep transformation in the coming years, the private sector must position itself to not only benefit but to also help chart the course of that transformation.
He assured that the government will ensure the preservation of a good macro-economic framework and an environment that is friendly to doing business, but said the private sector must become bold.
“This is the moment for boldness, not throwing action to the wind…this is time to examine new and emerging economies…and seek out opportunities not so obvious, position yourselves,” he added.
The Finance Minister was keen to point out the government’s efforts and commitment to ensuring infrastructural development/transformation and the provision of cheap and reliable energy.
“You don’t have to worry about investment, the government will ensure the environment is conducive,” he added.
Dr. Singh told the gathering that the government was reviewing the possibilities of the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project and said it can come on stream within the next three years.
In turn, he said, businesses must position themselves to benefit from the enabling conditions, facilitated through thoughtful government interventions.
Even as the GCCI unveiled the newest edition of its business magazine, President of the chamber, Nicholas Boyer, said businesses must be recognised for their resilience over the last year in a push against the tides of COVID-19.
The magazine is so titled to reflect this pliability: “Resilience, Dynamism, and Innovation.”
Boyer said businesses must be commended for the manner in which they adapted; reconfiguring their operations while protecting customers and employees all while helping to push the achievement of 30.9 per cent economic growth in 2020.
The GCCI President said although this is mostly oil-driven, Guyana led the world as he called for the building of non-oil sectors.