Leverage oil status at CARICOM to remove trade barriers on Guyanese exports – GCCI
Kaieteur News – The leadership of the Georgetown Chambers of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) insists that Guyana as a country is now in a position – given its status as an oil producer – to leverage its hydrocarbon boom in order to remove tariff-free trade barriers on its exports to the. Caribbean community.
According to recently elected GCCI President Timothy Tucker, the Guyana government can use the country’s new wealth to exert pressure on its regional counterparts on the issue. He was discussing at the time, ‘Local Content, Business and Development Guyana’, during a webinar hosted last week by GlobeSpan24X7 and moderated by the economics lecturer at the University of Guyana, Richard Rambarran. They were also joined by head of National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) Paul Cheong.
According to Tucker, Guyana’s development is tied to its exports free movement so that the country can gain much needed foreign exchange. He pointed out that many Caribbean countries are currently facing economic and foreign crises and that Guyana is rapidly emerging as the epicenter of Caribbean business.
The GCCI President said that while a technical system exists under the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), this is not generally applied to members.
Tucker claimed that CARICOM nationals find operating in the Guyana market costly while the same is not true of Guyanese nationals abroad or their exports. As such, Tucker was adamant, “we must use our new wealth and investment opportunities to create open markets for Guyanese business exporting to Suriname, Brazil” and other neighbors in the CARICOM block.
He used the occasion to reiterate that Guyana must either use its new economic position at CARICOM to discuss ways of getting around the tariff-free trade barriers or come out of the group altogether. Tucker pointed out that many businesses will soon be going to Guyana and the benefits of staying in the regime are currently outweighed by the negatives.
The GCCI President said that with the country’s new wealth and inherent status as an investment destination for regional businesses, “we must leverage that capability.” He claims that Guyana as a country cannot be fully developed with less than a million people and as such, will take a Caribbean effort in terms of what capacity is needed and as such, “it is We have to leverage this type of development to clear the way for our manufacturers and exporters because we have to have foreign currency coming into this country. ”