Guyanese business community united in outrage at threat from regional conglomerate

- could potentially lead to boycott of CSME, regional conglomerate

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The Head of a prominent Trinidad and Tobago business corporation has claimed that Guyana’s historic Local Content law violates some provisions of the Treaty of Chaguaramas but these claims have resulted in much outrage from the Guyanese business community and even citizens.

In a screenshot of an email that was sent by the company’s head, it was noted that the conglomerate intends to raise its concerns about the Local Content law with the Government of Guyana and further, with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

Those concerns appear to relate to the first schedule of the new law; this schedule sets out 40 areas- from transportation to legal services- under which Guyanese companies should be used, detailing the percentage requirement by the end of 2022.

But the Trinidadian conglomerate seems to believe that this law violates the central treaty of CARICOM.

Members of the local business community have since expressed their outage and even bemusement at this.

“… the email to me shows ignorance of the mood, sentiments and aspirations of Guyanese people, and an arrogance that there is a god given right to have at this new industry in Guyana,” Former Chairman of the Private Sector Commission (PSC) Nicholas Deygoo-Boyer wrote on his Facebook page.

Deygoo-Boyer emphasised that the number of areas carved out for Guyanese and listed in the first schedule (40) has been significantly reduced from the initial proposal. But even so, he pointed out that the conglomerate already benefits from partnerships with local companies in some of those same business areas.

And so, he asked: “Are they really coming to do transportation and the other 40 items that we’ve carved out for Guyanese?”

Meanwhile, the current President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) Timothy Tucker opined that a potential legal challenge to Guyana’s much-needed Local Content law could prompt a re-evaluation of the benefits of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME).

“If the Trinidad Private Sector or Government wants to challenge Guyana’s Local Content Legislation, it’s time the Guyana Government exit CSME and review the benefits of Caricom,” Tucker contended.

The CSME is an ambitious initiative that was created through the revised Treaty. Once implemented, the CSME is expected to facilitate economic integration and the movement of goods, services and capital throughout the Caribbean Community without tariffs or other restrictions.

But challenges from some countries- including Trinidad and Tobago – has hindered the full realisation of the CSME. These challenge include enduring trade barriers and restrictions.

And this is a point that was noted by Tucker and a former President of the GCCI, Lance Hinds on Facebook.

As such, Hinds contended that if there is a challenge to Guyana’s Local Content Law by the Trinidads, then the “real violators” of the treaty will be revealed.

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1 Comment
  1. Dicksonrp says

    This Trinidadian conglomerate is also the main financier of the ruling dictatorship cabal Pnm in Trinidad. So don’t believe for a moment that this though originated from him only, just ask Rowlie. Guyana should immediately pass a law to protect Guyana from outside raiders and suspend in full, this so called conglomerate operations in Guyana. Other GUYANESE COMPANIES CAN FILL THE SPOT.

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