Private Sector Commission

Chairman’s Report 2017 Another year has come to an end in my role as Chairman of the Private Sector Commission, and I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on the achievements of this organization over the past year.

Chairman’s Report 2017

Another year has come to an end in my role as Chairman of the Private Sector Commission, and I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on the achievements of this organization over the past year.

The objective during the year was to ensure that the PSC would continue to promote prosperity and economic stability within Guyana, and to champion the Private Sector as a significant element of growth.

Much of the focus this year was to become prepared for the mammoth opportunities open to Guyanese businesses, as our country heralds the influx of oil and gas. The PSC as a group, worked diligently to ensure that our members were aware of these opportunities. We encouraged the development of the entrepreneurial skills that need to be addressed. We emphasized the importance of the local content policy, as we need to make as much use of this as possible.

With the advent of oil and gas, Guyana has already started to attract investors and the industrialization of the nation has begun. The potential influx of capital and growth in GDP has already resulted in foreign and local companies becoming interested in expanding through partnerships and investments and we see the need to be prepared.

I ensured that businesses received full exposure, through a number of activities including the Guyana Business Summit, which was welcomed by all. In addition, we participated in GIPEX, which saw a number of Canadian based oil and gas related companies making presentations. We were also part of a team that went to Newfoundland, to look firsthand, at the nature of oil and gas operations. We met with ministers of the Government, members of the diplomatic communities and executives of foreign businesses, to share our thoughts and gain meaningful exposure. As the PSC gets prepared for GuyTIE in September, I am certain that the Private Sector in Guyana would stand tall and showcase opportunities and innovations, which were recently, only a dream.

I ensured that we demonstrated our desire to work with Government at all levels, to improve the conditions prevailing today. I take this opportunity, to complement our Government on a number of its accomplishments, including local government elections, establishment of the Procurement Commission, reduction of Corporate and Personal taxes, increase of the personal threshold and lowering of the VAT percentage. I applaud our Government for their determination, to address the Public – Private Partnerships in Guyana, and their recognition of the need for co-existence and collaboration.

As I demit office, I would like to highlight a few areas which will still need to be addressed. These include the Rule of Law within Guyana, as we note with grave concern the allegations of political involvement in the judicial system. We would like to see Government address the bureaucracy and seek ways of simplifying the means of doing business. We would encourage Government to create employment opportunities in a slowing economy, to generate wage growth and to seek out measures to increase wealth. I would hope that all levels of Government would become friendlier to business, as it is business that ultimately creates employment and economic growth.

The PSC continued with its services to the community as during the year we held a job fair at Wales, on the East Bank of Demerara. This fair was immensely successful, as a number of corporations, both public and private, attended and offered employment to recently laid off sugar workers and other residents of the area. In addition an outreach program was done at Skeldon and Linden, where food hampers were distributed to members of the community. Internationally, we did our part to help our Caribbean neighbours in the aftermath of the destructive hurricanes, Irma and Maria.

During the year, I was fortunate to have executive members, subcommittee members and staff, who were of the highest caliber. They dedicated their time and efforts, for the greater part voluntarily, to the greater good of Guyana. They worked feverishly, to make each and every thought a forceful and viable one. They displayed a model of fairness and dedication, and came to my rescue many times, especially on topics related to their areas of expertise. I wish to thank them.

As I leave the Private Sector Commission as Chairman, I know that it will continue to grow from strength to strength. In the private sector, there is always innovation. There's always change. There's always improving productivity, and if you're not leading that, you'll be passed over and ultimately go out of business. So there's an urgency to constantly update and renew and to rethink your enterprise.

In conclusion I would like to quote former Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon who said, “Building sustainable cities - and a sustainable future - will need open dialogue among all branches of national, regional and local government. And it will need the engagement of all stakeholders - including the private sector and civil society, and especially the poor and marginalized.”

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