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Trade Councils launched to improve international trade relations
The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) on Monday revealed that three councils would be assembled to monitor trade relations with three of Guyana’s bilateral partners.
The three countries – Cuba, India and Canada – recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Guyana to boost and monitor trade relations.
As such, the councils namely the Guyana-India, the Guyana-Cuba, and the Guyana-Canada Councils – are expected to be established soon, GCCI President Deodat Indar announced.
The councils will consist of representatives from the GCCI, Foreign Affairs Ministry, Business Ministry, GO-Invest, Guyana Bar Association, representatives from the respective country’s High Commission to Guyana, and officials from the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA).
According to Indar, the Councils “will operate in their own right, have their own meetings; have their own Terms of Reference that they agree on and they will deal with that, they will approve that, change that as they see fit; and they will run it independently, but there will also be some form of reporting mechanisms for it, so that we know that work is being done.”
Moreover, he posited that the Chairperson of each trade facilitation council would be expected to report to the statutory meetings, which would be held at the Chambers once a month.
Business Minister Dominic Gaskin expressed eagerness to support the endeavour, noting that trade facilitation was not just the work of the Government or Private Sector as a collective body.
He further highlighted that the Business Ministry was “willing to participate” in any way that would ensure the success of the initiative involving Guyana and the three countries.
Cuban Ambassador to Guyana, Narciso Reinaldo Armador Soeorro indicated that this launch and signing of the MoU collectively was an important step to improving bilateral relations.
In addition, Indian High Commissioner to Guyana, Mahalingam Venkatachalam told media operatives that the launch of the Councils was one of the most anticipated steps towards fulfilling the mandate of the MoU.
Canadian Ambassador to Guyana, Lilian Chatterjee related, “The Councils are only going to help things in a more organised way to ensure that both parties can realise the full potential of our countries and counterpart Private Sectors.”
Further, Indar explained that owing to reports of a fluctuating export sector, the GCCI took up the task of improving it.
“Over last year, this Chamber decided that the local scene we were seeing some downturns and some upswings in different sectors and strategically what we said is that we need to try to start building on the export markets for our members, so we took the initiative and we first went to Cuba … they actually drafted the MoU between the Cuba Chamber of Commerce and us … to strengthen ties bilaterally between Guyana – not just Georgetown Chamber of Commerce – but between Guyana and Cuba”.
Subsequent to this, Indar said that similar MoUs were signed with India and Canada respectively.