Aubyn Hill leads mission to Guyana
Senator Aubyn Hill (standing), minister of industry, investment and commerce, reinforcing the need for more exports during a briefing for the ongoing trade mission to Georgetown, Guyana, scheduled for October 2-7, 2022.

MINISTER of Industry, Investment and Commerce Senator Aubyn Hill has led a Jamaican delegation of public and private sector entities on a mission to Georgetown, Guyana, scheduled for October 2 – 7, 2022.

According to a release from the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (Jampro), "The mission to Guyana aligns with the thrust by Minister Hill to significantly improve exports to the region and beyond and is timely, with both Jamaica and Guyana experiencing economic recovery after the fallout from the [novel coronavirus] pandemic."

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has forecast that Guyana's overall real gross domestic product (GDP) for 2022 will grow at a rate of 57.8 per cent. Much of this is underpinned by the development of a nascent oil and gas sector, and spin-off developments.

However, the non-oil economy is also expected to continue growing at a rate 7.7 per cent this year, based on IMF projections, driven mainly by rebounds in rice farming, gold mining, continued expansion in construction activity, and wholesale/retail trade and repairs.

Jamaica and Guyana have experienced very good bilateral relations over the years, going as far back as July 1973 with the signing of the Treaty of Chaguaramas and more recently with the planned reactivation of the Guyana-Jamaica Joint Commission in 2018.

With this in mind, Hill noted, "With both our nations currently experiencing economic growth, strategically there are many mutual benefits to be explored on this mission to Guyana, where regional collaboration and partnership will be central to the business engagements of the mission."

The industry and investment minister will focus on key areas for collaboration including agribusiness, financial services, infrastructure, manufacturing, and professional services. He added that the mission is expected to cement business-to-business partnerships that will foster cross-border transactions — in both investments and trade — of mutual benefit to Jamaica and Guyana.

For this mission to Guyana, Jampro will provide support to the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce. Moreover, Minister Hill will be accompanied by 22 Jamaican entities and over 30 individuals, largely from the private sector, along with representatives of the Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC), the Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority (JSEZA), as well as agencies of the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce.

"The composition of the delegation complements the main areas of focus for the mission to Guyana — which are fresh produce, agri-processing, non-food manufacturing (including construction materials), financial services, and consulting services (including accreditation/certification)," Jampro outlined.

The mission will also receive strong private sector support in the form of sponsorship from NCB Capital Markets Limited.

"This mission to Guyana is indicative of the kind of public-private sector engagements needed to drive nation-building and grow the Jamaican economy. Ultimately, the commercial benefits will be widespread. Collaboration with our Guyanese counterparts will also enhance commerce, investments, and trade in the Caribbean. NCB Capital Markets Limited is delighted to play a part in this undertaking and looks forward to the significant benefits it will yield for both regions," Steven Gooden, CEO, NCB Capital Markets Limited, commented.

In preparation for the mission, a briefing session, attended by 32 persons, was staged on September 13th to inform local business entities of the opportunities in Guyana.

During the briefing session Senator Hill took the opportunity to underscore the critical need for export and regional trade to drive economic growth for Jamaica and Guyana. He also charged the participants to continuously look beyond the shores of Jamaica to market goods and services across the globe.

Guyanese support for the briefing session was provided by Rafeek Khan, president of the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association, and Richard Rambarran, executive director, Georgetown Chamber of Commerce.

Senator Aubyn Hill (centre), minister of industry, investment and commerce , poses with the team following a briefing session for delegates on a private/public sector mission to Georgetown, Guyana, October 2 – 7, 2022. From left are: Gabriel Heron, vice-president of markets, Jamaica Promotions Corporation (Jampro); Christopher McPherson, special advisor to the minister; Diane Edwards, president of Jampro; Marlene Porter, manager of agribusiness, Jampro; Angus Young, head of regional investment banking and new markets — NCB Capital Markets, a sponsor of the mission; and Nicholas Sutherland, manager, new market development, JAMPRO.

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