Local companies advised to prepare for anticipated high market demands in 2023

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Part of Guyana’s aim to reemerge as the food capital of the Caribbean is an anticipated high demand for local products in 2023 and the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) President Rafeek Khan advises companies to prepare by ramping up production.

The Government of Guyana has already made clear its aim, as such, many projects focused on ramping up food production and reducing high living costs were primary areas addressed in the National Budget for 2023.

Khan, in a recent interview with the News Room, said he wants to see businesses, particularly agro-processers, grasp at every opportunity offered by the government and institutions to meet international market demands.

In 2023, he hopes businesses will continue receiving support from the government and this partnership will push Guyana closer to its goal.

“This year I would like to encourage our businesses to go beyond, stretch themselves and see what you can do with your businesses to help build more capacity. Companies need to realise that in order to be competitive we cannot produce a small amount of products and expect results.

“We produce wheelbarrow loads and the world buys shiploads we need to start preparing ourselves,” the GMSA President said.

He suggested that businesses start building inventory. “If you are confident in your products and if you’re confident in a market demand and I believe Guyana has so many products that we are very, very strong at, that the world is demanding, it’s to challenge our companies to start building more capacity,” Khan added.

However, he reminded that many companies are facing economic challenges and said the GMSA proposed that corporate taxes are reduced by 3 per cent.

“We didn’t get that feedback but I would like to perhaps see a reduction in corporate taxes to help businesses cushion themselves while we are waiting for infrastructure cost and power energy cost to be realised.

“We are trying to avoid the dutch disease and not rely too much on subsidies. What we are seeking is some temporary measures to help companies get ready and start beefing up production,” he said.

Further, Khan said the Government of Guyana through Go-Invest and other government agencies, assisted many local companies with promotions regionally in 2022. He hopes this partnership will continue and increase with more support this year.

“We want to take our members outside of Guyana and help perhaps pay for some of their cargo going outside on exhibitions.

“I think trade shows and taking our products and showcasing it to the world. We need to continue that effort. We need to have more and more happening not just regional but internationally,” Khan said.

Khan said the GMSA welcomes more participation from businesses and engagements to discuss areas that business owners want to present to the government.

He also said that Guyana is becoming more and more accessible to the international market and businesses must make use of these avenues that are available. Last year the visa requirement to travel to the United Kingdom was waivered.

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