Georgetown, Guyana – (March 29, 2018) Minster of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon, today, urged the members of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) to use their role as the drivers of the economy to embark on a programme of enhanced corporate social responsibility and to take advantage of innovative investment opportunities to create more employment. The Minister challenged the group to closely examine the issue of unemployment in Guyana and to actively commit to working with Government to finding solutions during his address at the GCCI’s 128th Annual General Meeting(AGM), which was held at the Roraima Duke Lodge in Kingston.

“I call on the GCCI this afternoon in your deliberations to recognise this important element in corporate social responsibility. As you look at making good business, as you look at making good profits… What I will ask is to look at the condition of the citizens of this city. We still have too high of an unemployment rate in Georgetown and in many parts of our country. Sometimes when we choose business models, while it might me efficient and it might be appropriate for us to choose the best models I am asking you, sometimes, to consider your model to involve the employment of more Guyanese people. It is the private sector, the GCCI that will drive this economy,” Minister Harmon said.

The Minister also said that the Government is cognisant of the role that Government has to play in the creation of an environment for greater private-public partnerships. “I wish to iterate that the Government regards the private sector and organisations such as the GCCI as developmental partners. We are all committed to the development of Guyana, to the success of our individual and collective endeavours, to economic prosperity and the provision of a good life for the citizens of our country,” he said.

Meanwhile, GCCI President, Mr. Deodat Indar said the group has continued to distinguish itself over the past year and is committed to continuing these fruitful relations with the Government and other stakeholders. “The GCCI’s relationship with our partners continue to grow. Locally, the Chamber continues to meet with Government agencies, which are key to unlocking a more conducive business climate… Our Chamber has also been able to establish dialogue committees with critical stakeholders for the private sector, including the Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Power and Light Incorporated. Regionally, the GCCI continues its strong relationship with the Caribbean Development Bank, executing the first project of its grant funding, which targets improving capacity for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in Guyana. More projects are expected to roll out in 2018,” he said.

GCCI Senior Vice President and Chairperson of the meeting, Mr. Nicholas Boyer, said that the members of the Chamber remain committed to working with the Government. “We, at the Chamber, look forward to these continued partnerships with the Government so that dialogue can be had and we can promote the interest of both the Government and businesses in their search of developing the country,” he said.

The over 200-plus member strong GCCI is one of the oldest and largest business support organisations in Guyana. The Chamber boasts a diverse membership, which is valuable in helping it to execute its mandate to advocate for policies aimed at stimulating, and increasing, trade and investment in Guyana.

Minister of Business, Mr. Dominic Gaskin and members of the diplomatic corps also attended the meeting.

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