GMSA, diaspora group collaborate to support small businesses
The Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) and the United Guyana Diaspora Global Network (UGDGN) on November 6, 2020, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaboratively assist small and micro enterprises (SMEs) in the agriculture and agro-processing sector.
UGDGN is a non-profit organisation in the USA that brings Guyanese organisations and individuals together from around the world under one umbrella to work together in the best interest of development in Guyana.
Through the MoU, the diaspora group will work with the GMSA to provide support to SMEs in the areas of financing, market expansion, capacity building and knowledge transfer. The MoU came off the heels of the GMSA-Inter American Development (IDB) agriculture webinar held in September 2020.
Present at the webinar was President of the UGDGN, Wayne Forde and member Dr Kofi Dalrymple. They spoke on the Diaspora’s involvement in agriculture. The GMSA welcomed the involvement of UGDGN especially since it is adjunct to the Government of Guyana’s recent commitment to engage the Guyanese Diaspora to assist in the development of Guyana.
Government recently committed that it would re-establish the Diaspora and Remigration Unit, through the Foreign Affairs Ministry and International Co-operation, to allow for a structured engagement with the Diaspora aimed at strengthening relations and dialogue and to foster national development.
According to Forde, “The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the United Guyanese Diaspora Global Newark Corp and the Guyana Manufacturer Services Association affirms a commitment between the Government of Guyana and interested stakeholders in the diaspora to build bridges for a brighter future for Guyana.”
In addition, he emphasised the need for collaboration and cooperation between the Guyanese Diaspora and stakeholders in Guyana. The collaboration agreement will allow Diaspora members to invest, partner, mentor, transfer knowledge, technology, and increase market expansion for members of the GMSA.
GMSA’s President Shyam Nokta welcomed the formalisation of the collaborative arrangement with UGDGN and thanked the organisation for its commitment to supporting national development and working with Guyana’s Private Sector by helping the GMSA to connect with the network, knowledge base and expertise of overseas-based Guyanese.
According to Nokta, “This partnership is coming at a time when the GMSA is accelerating its efforts to support SMEs, in particular in the agriculture and agro-processing sector. The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed us to move to the digital space and as part of our successful UncapppeD Initiative, we have started the process to set up an online portal to help SMEs showcase their products and potential markets. “
“Through this mechanism, we can also work closely with the Diaspora on key areas identified under the MoU as well as explore a range of other possibilities of collaboration in other sectors. The GMSA remains committed to working closely with Guyanese at home and abroad and to supporting SMEs,” he added. The GMSA and UGDGN will convene a joint working group in late November to develop a programme of activities.