PSC, GOGEC, other business bodies happy with renewed Guyana/UK trade prospects

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Shortly after news broke on Tuesday that  the United Kingdom will lift the visa requirement for Guyanese to travel to there, local businesses and private sector bodies welcomed the announcement.

The first such entity was the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI). The GCCI had formally requested an end to visa requirements in 2019.

It was followed by a statement from the President of the Guyana Oil and Gas Energy Chamber (GOGEC), Manniram Prashad who acknowledge, like GCCI, the supporting role that the private sector played along with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

“This move will bode well for Guyana and the United Kingdom in terms of improving and strengthening bilateral trade relations between the two countries while promoting the free movement of our people to the U.K,” Prashad said in his statement.

Currently, Guyana enjoys a trade balance surplus with the U.K. As of 2021, exports to the UK accounted for 6.5 per cent of total exports, while imports accounted for 1.7 per cent of total imports.

As such, in 2021 the trade balance surplus stood at US$208 million in 2021.

Meanwhile, The Private Sector Commission (PSC) also welcomed the announcement and commended President Dr. Irfaan Ali for his leadership and initiative in aggressively pursuing this opportunity for Guyanese.

“This decision demonstrates the strength of our economy, signals the ease of travel, deepening of cooperation and collaboration between the UK and Guyana, and will bring great value to our growing private sector.” The PSC statement noted.

The PSC also expressed its appreciation for the representation afforded to Guyana by High Commissioner Jane Miller in bringing this request to fruition.

A similar statement from Region Three Private Sector Inc. (R3PSInc) that Guyanese stand to reap the many social and economic benefits of open borders.

R3PSInc noted that the total trade between the UK and Guyana last year amounted to 560 million pounds sterling, making Guyana its largest trading partner in the Caribbean.

R3PSInc believes the GCCI must be congratulated for its foresight as it predicted the buoyant business activity between the two countries.

“Visa waivers save administrative costs and, much more importantly, spur international business activities and tourism by facilitating the cross-border mobility of people as such, the R3PSInc lauds this initiative and will anticipate more business ventures and opportunities between Guyana and UK.”

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