Georgetown, Guyana – (August 17, 2015) President David Granger said that by ensuring there is infrastructure to facilitate cheaper transport services, the competitiveness of Guyana’s productive sector will be vastly improved.
The Head of State’s comments came as he was commissioning the GAICO Construction and General Services Incorporated’s Wharf Facility and a Trailing Suction Hopper Dredge, at Nismes, West Bank Demerara. In addition to the construction of the new wharf, over the next few months the Company will develop packaging and manufacturing facilities, which will serve the West Bank Demerara area and other surrounding communities further up the Demerara River.  
In applauding the company for the investment into the sector, President Granger said that this is a clear indication that the company is catering the needs of the country in which they operate.
“The situation around our wharves presents a huge bottle neck affecting the mooring and navigation of vessels and this will allow Guyana to provide better services to all of our shippers,” the President said. He added that he is confident that shippers will take advantage of the new services and that it will stimulate more economic activity.
“Our government aims to give Guyanese a good life, but most of all we want a strong economy… and a strong economy requires that we catalyse our productive services and sector by linking our hinterland with the coast lands… an efficient maritime transport service and system is critical in the realisation of a strong economy,” the President added.
Describing the hinterland as a main repository for natural resources in Guyana, President Granger said this initiative will provide greater access, while affording the provision of additional services to riverain communities that depend heavily on the mining and forestry sectors.
“A sound economy will ensure that goods produced in our communities will get to markets. Internal markets are small, and there is need for produce to get to those larger markets.”  
President Granger pointed out that over the years, the heavily silted Demerara River has had a severe impact on the volume of goods that can be transported from hinterland areas, since larger ships cannot access the river channels.  This has had an impact on Guyana’s export capacity.
“This investment will reduce economic disparities and it will contribute to empowering the poor,” the President added.
He noted, however, that initiatives like this one will open more opportunities for the growth of the economy as it will now make way for larger ships reaching inland areas, and allow for a wider range of economic activities for the local economy. More importantly with the dredging of the Demerara River and other main rivers, President Granger said Guyana can now become a maritime gateway to South America and a gateway from South America to CARICOM.
Also at the event, the President was presented with a boat, which will be used to ferry school children from riverain communities to school. Having received a similar gift at his 70th Birthday celebration, President Granger had declared, “Hold the frankincense and myrrh and give me boats instead.” The Chief Executive Officer of GAICO Construction, in responding to that call, presented the President with the boat, bearing the name, “David G”.  The boat will be handed over to the Ministry of Social Cohesion, after which is will be formally presented to a selected community.
President Granger thanked the company for the gesture as he noted that ensuring that children have access to education is one sure way of reducing poverty. “Education remains the best means for the poor to graduate out of poverty. If we provide them with education it is a means through which they can be qualified,” President Granger said.
Even as the President noted his Government’s commitment to ensuring that every child has access to an education, he called on corporate Guyana to play their role in ensuring that the nation’s children have the means of acquiring a sound education.

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