Five years on, AmCham boasts of diverse mix of over 170 US/Guyanese businesses

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In June 2018, a total of 17 prominent companies from both the USA and Guyana came together to form the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Guyana, a voluntary, non-profit, membership organisation committed to promoting and enhancing commercial relations between the two countries.

Five years on, the organisation boasts a diverse mix of some 170 US and Guyanese businesses working to promote trade, investment and competitiveness.

This rapid growth in membership and representation was the highlight of celebrations to mark the 5th anniversary during a grand Black Tie Dinner and Awards Ceremony at the Marriott Hotel, Kingston.

The event was attended by over 350 persons, including Prime Minister Mark Phillips; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hugh Todd; US Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch and Senior Vice President of the Americas Program at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Neil Herrington.

There, AmCham’s President Devindra Kissoon recalled what a “remarkable journey” it has been.  As he puts it, “evolving with innovation and good connections.”

AmCham Guyana was formed with the simple intention of fostering economic ties between the US and Guyana.

The US Ambassador’s role in facilitating this was hailed by Kissoon as instrumental, as he recalled starting operations from a small room at the Marriott Hotel and later going on to become a big support in the 2020 elections as an accredited observer body.

AmCham’s President Devindra Kissoon and United States Ambassador to Guyana Sarah-Ann Lynch

“We had determination and enthusiasm…today we have 175 active members… I am thrilled.

“Over these five years, our members and volunteers played a pivotal role in the commercial and regulatory landscape of the country. We ensured our members are well represented.

“Our work doesn’t stop at policy-making… We are proactive in driving change on the ground,” Kissoon said as he hailed the work of the chamber to be that of a living organism.

He was thankful for the support of all members, past and present, and said no one can imagine what’s on the horizon.

“Together we write the next chapter in Guyana’s commercial history.”

Trade between the United States and Guyana was US$3.9 billion last year, making it Guyana’s largest bilateral trade relationship with US oil giant ExxonMobil being the largest investor here.

Some of the persons in attendance including Prime Minister, Brigadier (retired) Mark Phillips

During a brief address, Ambassador Lynch was in appreciation of the members’ unwavering commitment to strengthening US/Guyana relationship.

In his feature address, Herrington recognised AmCham Guyana for its role as a vital link between the US and Guyana, assisting local companies in meeting and maintaining global business standards. He highlighted the Chamber’s rapid growth over the past five years in promoting trade and ethical business practices.

It was Herrington who pointed out the diversity in AmCham’s membership from Fortune 500 companies to women-led businesses.

For him, it’s the “quality in diversity of members that stands out.”

Prime Minister Phillips reaffirmed the government’s commitment to partnering with AmCham to enhance bilateral relationships and praised the efforts made in fostering local and international investment.

He said the government will continue to encourage American investors to explore opportunities in Guyana.

Since its establishment in 2018, the prime minister noted that AmCham’s membership has grown significantly, and expanded into a number of sectors, including ICT, tourism and construction.

AmCham used the evening to honour the efforts of its members, shining a spotlight on six exceptional winners for their achievements in the following categories:

  • US-Guyana Trade Advocate Award – GTT
  • Guyana US Trade Advocate Award – Dave West Indian Imports
  • Catalyst for Change Award – SBM Offshore Guyana
  • Women’s Business Achievement Award – Abbigale Loncke-Watson
  • Young Business Executive of the Year Award – Joshua Kissoon
  • Distinguished Member Award – Ayanna Watson

Over member companies were also recognized for their constant support and contributions towards AmCham Guyana over the past five years.

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