EU/Guyana Chamber of Commerce notes successes in matchmaking, lobbying


More than a year after its formation, the European Union (EU) – Guyana Chamber of Commerce held its first networking event on Tuesday and noted successes in matchmaking and lobbying for EU businesses in Guyana.

Chamber Chairman Gregory Dean addressed the gathering at Moray House on Camp Street, Georgetown and said the team was pivoting and changing the way it operates to respond to the specific needs of EU businesses already in the country and those looking to set up shop here.

“Some of the interest we are now having which is why we are pivoting a bit… is a lot of European companies outside of Guyana that want support to enter Guyana.

“Although initially we said we weren’t going to be a matchmaking service we are getting involved in matchmaking because that’s what a lot of the external European companies require,” Dean explained.

He said the interest in having local companies as partners is in keeping with a keenness to fulfill the requirements of Guyana’s Local Content Act.

Beyond matchmaking, Dean said the Chamber was also doing extensive work to provide greater representation for EU businesses in Guyana.

And so, there have been engagements with many government agencies including the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), the Guyana Office for Investment and several ministries.

“If companies come on board and they have common issues, the plan is to go to these agencies and represent these companies,” Dean added as he highlighted ongoing work with other EU chambers in the region and other bilateral chambers in Guyana.

Dean said the membership had grown since August 2022 but said persons interested in doing business in Guyana and Europe can register via the website.

“So, we are going to be a platform in terms of networking. Matchmaking and also lobbying,” Dean assured.

Meanwhile, providing details on the benefits of doing business with the EU, Chamber Administrator Pierre Gaté reminded the gathering that the EU market is the largest in the world with 500 million people.

He reminded too,  that there are countries in Europe but not in the EU and said these specificities matter when doing business with the EU.

The CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreements make it easier for people and businesses from the two regions to invest in and trade with each other, and to spur development across the Caribbean.

“I invite you to check it out because it favours investments from the region to the EU… it’s a duty-free, quota-free market into the EU for all products and the [100 per cent duty-free] tariffs are important or ta Guyanese company,” Gaté said.

He noted that although the requirements are extensive and processes strict for trade and export to the EU, tools exist to help people understand.

Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Guyana, Ambassador René Van Nes told the gathering to expect an EU trade mission in Guyana later this year.

A total of 24 companies from nine European Union (EU) member states visited Guyana last year as part of the first such trade mission to the South American country.

“So we have the big trade mission in November and what we will go for are more specific follow up issues.

“We will have a mini mission on forest and timber and furniture and maybe a mini mission on pharmaceuticals and if any of you have a suggestion we will look into that,” he concluded.

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