Europe eyes bigger stake, simplified access to Guyana market as trade grows

… New EU/ Guyana Chamber of Commerce in the works


Trade between Guyana and the European Union (EU) member states has been steadily increasing in recent years and those northern countries are seeking to establish a greater presence in the local market, capitalising on the ongoing boom.

The interest in expanding their presence in Guyana is one of the reasons a new EU/Guyana Chamber of Commerce is in the works. The body was launched on Wednesday.

Soon, elections will be held to elect the leadership of the new body. It is also envisaged that numerous local and European companies will join the body, deepening private sector partnerships between Guyana and Europe.

“We are building a very important tool that will ultimately bring more prosperity to both sides,” EU Ambassador to Guyana Fernando Pontz Canto said at the Chamber’s launch on Wednesday.

He added that the chamber is expected to promote the interest of business in all sectors and services. He was keen on pointing out that the interest is not solely in Guyana’s lucrative, nascent oil and gas sector.

This focus was welcomed by President Dr. Irfaan Ali, who underscored that Guyana is pursuing a diversification agenda wherein its oil and gas resources are being leveraged to boost other sectors.

Outgoing EU Ambassador to Guyana Dr. Fernando Ponz Canto chats with President Irfaan Ali [Photo: Office of the President/ August 17, 2022]
While he hopes that this new partnership with the EU private sector will help to push Guyana’s ambitious goals in food security, climate change services and energy, he said that the chamber is strategic for another reason.

“The EU market is important for food security and technology.

“Just the war in Ukraine(a European country) has taken out more than 30 percent of wheat production globally,” President said, explaining that linkages with EU countries can help Guyana withstand these unexpected global events.

From the EU’s perspective, this new body in Guyana offers an opportunity for businesses to easily access the South American market.

Ben Butters, the Chief Executive Officer of Euro Chambers- an organisation representing Chambers across the EU, said that EU bodies are constantly working on removing “unnecessary and disproportionate” barriers that hinder trade.

“To do that, we need reliable, like-minded partners in those countries,” he added.

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