It was anticipated that among the outcomes of a visit last year by Surinamese President Chandrikapersd Santokhi and members of the Surinamese Business Association (Vereniging Surinaams Bedrijfsleven – VSB) that there would have been the launch of a Joint Business Council.
And on Saturday, in a joint statement, the Private Sector in Guyana and Suriname announced that the Business Council had finally been formed.
This was done as the governments of Guyana and Suriname strengthen bilateral relations, allowing for the Private Sector Commission (PSC) of Guyana and the Suriname Trade and Industry Association to also realise the importance of the involvement of the private sector.
The PSC and the VSB said the established Business Council, consisting of key representatives of the private sector, is solely dedicated to the strengthening of economic ties and initiatives regarding the shared interests and the creation of the envisioned Single Market and Economy.
Chairman of the PSC Paul Cheong described the occasion as historic.
“The relationship with Suriname is necessary. There are many synergies that we can achieve”, Cheong said.
The two private sector bodies said they will find opportunities to collaborate in the various sectors, and with the assistance of the Guyanese and Surinamese governments, they will work on the removal of all barriers for the realisation of efficient bilateral trade.
“When we come next time, we will not come with a list of issues, but with a detailed strategy, ” VSB Chairman Bryan Renten said.
The first official Council Meeting was held on March 16, 2022, where ambitious but necessary targets and a meeting agenda for the next 12 months were set.
The next council meeting is slated to be held in May 2022 in Guyana after which bi-monthly meetings will be held.
The Business Council will have joint leadership with Renten elected Chairman for the first six months, after which the Chairmanship will be handed over Cheong for the next six months.
The Council consists of 10 members from the private sector of both countries. The members from the Surinamese side are Mr. Bryan Renten, Mr. Derrick Klaverweide, Mr. Rishie Parbhudayal and Mr. Farsi Khodabux while the members from the Guyana side are Mr. Paul Cheong, Mr. Norman Mc Lean, Mr. Ryan Alexander, Ms. Latoya Jack and Mr. Leekha Rambrich.