As Guyana strikes oil, Jamaican trade mission makes visit

As Guyana strikes oil, Jamaican trade mission makes visit

Several business meetings already lined up with Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Observer business writer

Sunday, January 26, 2020

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An eight-person Jamaican “mini” trade mission is now in Guyana for a five-day series of briefings by public sector entities, as well as business-to-business meetings with private sector leaders there.

The Jaamica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) is collaborating with its Guyana counterpart at the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce & Industry (GCCI) to arrange meetings with potential business partners.

The Jamaican team, which will be led by JCC President Lloyd Distant Jr, will comprise representatives of enterprises engaged in the provision of ICT services, legal services (especially alternative dispute resolution), construction, training, back-office services, food retail, pharmaceuticals and skills certification.

As mission leader, Distant says the visit is timely to explore the scope for deepening business linkages — pointing to recent economic developments in Guyana such as the discovery of oil. He is emphasising that over the next several years Guyana is projected to be the fastest-growing economy in the entire hemisphere and one of the fastest-growing worldwide.

In addition, the mission leader is encouraging the local business community to look at Guyana not only as an export market for Jamaican goods and services, but also as a source for a range of goods as well as an investment location.

On Friday the mission members were briefed on key aspects of Guyana's economy and culture by Guyana's Honourary Consul to Jamaica Indera Persaud.

The Jamaican firms being represented on the mission include Business Works Collective, Jamaica International Arbitration Centre, Charles O' Connor Consulting Network, Distant Enterprises, PA Benjamin, Reshi Roma Foods, tTech and Vertis Technology.

The mission members will return to Jamaica on Friday January 31.

For its part the GCCI is pointing to the regional interest, which continues to grow in Guyana, with the Jamaican trade mission, which aims to form business-to-business connections with local companies.

GCCI President Nicholas Deygoo-Boyer disclosed that the Jamaican trade mission visit is being organised by GCCI with the assistance of CARICHAM, a private sector-led Caribbean chamber of commerce.

He pointed out that it is the hope that the delegation would have been present in Guyana since November 2019 when Jamaica's first female head of state, Portia Simpson-Miller had visited for GCCI's 130th Annual Awards Ceremony. However, the plans which were in the works since then will finally take place.

According to Boyer, “I think that a lot of Jamaican business people are interested and excited with the prospect of doing business both in Guyana and with Guyanese businesses.” He noted that the delegation represents a very wide cross range of businesses, offering different types of services and products.

During their time in Guyana the Jamaican trade mission will be introduced to various local businesses with the help of the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association, the Private Sector Commission, and other regional chambers of commerce.

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