A large Jamaican delegation of public and private sector entities will embark on a mission to Georgetown, Guyana, scheduled for October 2nd – 7 th 2022. The mission will be led by Senator the Honourable Aubyn Hill, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce.
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 COVID-19 Pandemic. The Guyanese economy is projected to grow by 49.7% in 2022, according to the World Bank’s Global Economics Prospects Report published in January 2022. 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 registering strong growth, projected at 7.7% in 2022 by the IMF, driven mainly by rebounds in rice growing, gold mining and continued expansion in construction activity wholesale/retail trade and repairs.
Senator the Hon. Aubyn Hill states “Jamaica and Guyana have a shared history of good bilateral relations. 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. Key areas for collaboration include agribusiness, financial services, infrastructure, manufacturing and professional services. The mission will cement business-to-business partnerships that will drive cross-border transactions in both investments and trade, of mutual benefit to Jamaica and Guyana.”
Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), an agency in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, is providing support to the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce on the mission to Guyana, which includes 22 Jamaican entities and over 30 persons, largely from the private sector along with the Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC) and Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority (JSEZA). 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).
Jamaica and Guyana have experienced very good bilateral relations over the years. 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.
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 the Honourable Aubyn Hill, took the opportunity to emphasize the urgent need for export and regional trade to drive economic growth for Jamaica and Guyana and further 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 Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) and Richard Rambarran, Executive Director, Georgetown Chamber of Commerce (GCC).
Strong private sector support for the mission is being provided by NCB Capital Markets Limited in the form of sponsorship and Steven Gooden, CEO, NCB Capital Markets Limited shared thoughts on the mission. “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 counterpart will also enhance regional commerce and further reinforces the potential for regional investments and trade. NCB Capital Markets Limited is delighted to play a part in improving regional commerce.”
The mission will entail scheduled meetings with relevant government entities, senior government officials as well as business-to-business (B2B) meeting specifically for the Jamaican delegation to explore opportunities with approximately 45 targeted potential business partners in Guyana.
A member of the delegation, The Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC), an agency within the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce is the only internationally recognized accreditation body in the English-speaking Caribbean. On June 14, 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved JANAAC as a recognized accreditation body under the accredited Third-Party Certification programme. Currently, JANAAC, is present in ten (10) CARICOM countries, including Guyana, where it has accredited four laboratories with the intention to continue collaborating with Guyanese stakeholders to accredit all its labs as well as conformity assessment, inspection and certification bodies.
Diane Edwards, President of JAMPRO, said “this mission is outcome oriented, ensuring that focus is given to enable tangible benefits from the mission, through strong business matchmaking activities to seal revenue opportunities for the future. The great regional challenge for 2022 is to consolidate the economic recovery of the region and lay the foundations for more inclusive Inter-Caribbean growth.
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The Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce is described as Jamaica's "Business Ministry." It's mandate is to lead the development of policies that will create growth and jobs, while achieving social inclusion and consumer protection. The Ministry, working its stakeholders is primarily responsible for business policy development, monitoring and evaluation, while giving direction and oversight to a cluster of implementing departments and agencies.
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