Foreign Ministry briefs businesses on trade rules to smooth process of business & investment

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To help businesses understand the country’s trade rules in hopes of making the process smooth, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on Thursday held a special meeting to lay out the details.

“Knowing and understanding what those mechanisms are will dictate whether firms are able to access foreign markets or import foreign products into the Guyanese market,” said Foreign Secretary, Robert Persaud, during what was the 4th virtual Trade Talk Series held by the Foreign Ministry.

“In addition to accessing markets, understanding trade facilitation measures makes the difference in the ability of firms to efficiently conduct trade,” he added.

He said a trade facilitation regime undoubtedly plays a supportive role in Guyana’s economic expansion and this will augur well for all people in ensuring prosperity and equal opportunities.

The ongoing series hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce and the Private Sector Commission (PSC) is aimed at deepening the private sector’s understanding of Guyana’s trade agreements.

Thursday’s session focused specifically on trade facilitation matters related to customs rules and regulations, tariffs and charges, standards, conformity assessment and product certification.

The series, according to the Foreign Secretary, is one that is vital in allowing all stakeholders to have a better understanding of what trade opportunities Guyana hold and to be in a better position to address challenges.

According to Persaud, trade facilitation is considered a “critical driver of trade” but the mere signing of trade agreements do not automatically translate to access to trade markets.

What is equally important is trade facilitation, which looks at a regulatory framework for facilitating movements of goods. To this end, Persaud related that the government remains supportive of all efforts to enhance Guyana’s trade facilitation regime.

This includes increased awareness, increased investments in electronic systems that will expedite trade transactions, and measures that will allow for more effective compliance with standards or technical regulations.

Added to that, he disclosed that work has begun at the level of government through the National Trade Facilitation Committee to facilitate the implementation of the World Trade Organisation’s Trade Facilitation Agreement.

Persaud said that this would ultimately contribute positively to the delivery of service by public entities, ultimately leading to efficiency and competitiveness of businesses, “making Guyana more attractive place for doing business and conducting trade.”

Meanwhile, Chairman of the PSC Paul Cheong touched on the importance of Guyana’s local private sector being knowledgeable of the country’s trade agreements as it will lead to enhanced trade and investment opportunities, improved cooperation in the global marketplace, and the removal of barriers.

Already at the level of the private sector, he said efforts are also ongoing to ensure that there are mechanisms in place to protect against illegal and unfair activity that may threaten the local trade markets.

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